California Educator

February/March 2023

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Below are campaign statements of candidates for CTA officers in the March 2023 State Council elections. The statements are unedited and limited to 400 words. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the candidates and not necessarily those of CTA and NEA. As public-school educators, we hold the key to unlocking the hopes and dreams of our students and in engag- ing our communities in a way that is truly transformative. This is why I became a classroom teacher. Like you, I wanted to make a difference. I have been active in my local from the very start of my career. From Site Representative, Executive Board member, Vice President, and President, I have dedicated myself to working hard on behalf of our dues-paying mem- bers. This has expanded into Service Center Chair, NEA Director, and now CTA Director. This has helped to prepare me to be your next CTA Vice President. Our members are the life blood of CTA and the power behind our union. I have always advocated for member engagement and listening to diverse voices. Together, we can create a stronger, more effective CTA - where every member has access and opportunity to grow professionally and to become effective leaders. We can strengthen our resolve by committing to the union values underscored in the CTA Organizing Plan. This is how we build stronger local chapter governance, organize our members, and build bridges within our communities. For my community, I am a life-long resident of Fremont in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. My father taught Social Science in the Fremont Unified School District, my mother was a Registered Nurse, and my older brother and I attended our public schools. After earning both a degree in Biology and a teaching credential from Cal Poly Humboldt in Northern California, I returned home and was hired by my hometown school district as a middle school science and math teacher where I have been for 34 years. I am looking forward to my daughter graduating this June from my very own high school. As your CTA Vice President, I will fight for our vision of a strong union and be an active proponent for public educa- tion. I will use my energy and enthusiasm for our profession to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I am passionate about advocating for our members and our students. I will fight against anyone whose goals are to destroy public edu- cation. Lastly, I commit to building a cohesive team with the Officers and the Board of Directors to meet the challenges that lie ahead. From north to south, east to west, I will repre- sent you. It has been an honor to serve as your CTA Secretary-Treasurer these past four years. While experiencing a global pandemic was not in my expected list of challenges when I took office, I am proud of the work done to flip CTA into a virtual setting and not only preserve our democratic processes but fight to protect stu- dents and educators. During that time, we protected school funding, ensured that schools did not reopen unless safe to do so, and provided profession devel- opment to help educators face this new reality. With the support of our governance and tech staff, we held several virtual State Councils, two NEA Representative Assemblies and countless committee meetings. In addition, we used virtual platforms to hold our annual conferences and to pro- vide almost 200 bargaining, professional development, and social justice trainings. College unit credit was offered free of charge to members, allowing many to advance along their salary schedule. Working with the Budget Committee, I made the member- ship engagement grants, created when David Goldberg was Secretary-Treasurer, permanent and increased the funding to $750,000. Knowing the importance of elected pro-educator school board candidates, we increased member contribu- tions to the ABC fund by one dollar. Seeing the need for a concentrated focus on Special Education issues, funds were allocated to create an annual Special Education Conference. We are at a pivotal moment in public education. While education funding has increased in years, it by no means is enough. Educator workloads have become unmanageable, resulting in burnout and few willing to enter the profession. We need to improve educator compensation, reduce work- loads, and change the public narrative about our profession. Knowing that our ability to fight against the toxic anti-public educator narrative rests with our collective power, over $30M dollars was allocated for chapters to organize school sites and build community coalitions. Strengthen our collec- tive power will help us build upon past victories and set up new ones. If elected Vice President, I hope to continue to fight for equity and equality in public schools, engage and empower locals, transform our schools into community schools, and develop new leadership pathways. Together with you, I hope to build an even stronger CTA, one that maintains a balance between organizing, advocacy, and member engagement. Candidate for CTA Vice President Greg Bonaccorsi Member, Fremont Unified District Teachers Association; CTA Board of Directors member Candidate for CTA Vice President Leslie Littman Member, Hart District Teachers Association; current CTA Secretary-Treasurer 53 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 2 3 Littman Bonaccorsi

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