California Educator

February/March 2023

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Below is the campaign statement of a candidate for CTA officer in the March 2023 State Council elections.* The statement is unedited and limited to 400 words. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the candidate and not necessarily those of CTA and NEA. I am excited to be running for CTA Secretary-Treasurer. I began teaching kindergarten in 2005. Union member- ship runs in my family and my dad is still active in NEA. I have held various leadership positions and am proud of the work I have led as a CTA director representing all members. Centering the needs of our profession and the communities we serve has been at the core of my leadership style. I was the only teacher on the Governor 's Charter School Task Force, which led to long overdue accountability and transparency laws for the charter industry. I uplifted your voice and concerns on State Super- intendent Thurmond's Reopening Taskforce as we developed best practices for reopening schools during the pandemic. During these difficult times, I have been a proven leader. I became active in my local association and CTA as a young educator who kept getting "reduction in force" notices at the height of the last recession. That coupled with mas- sive unregulated corporate charter growth within my district caused an environment where cuts and closures impacted students tremendously. My class of kindergarteners at the time, would go through their entire K-12 schooling with increased class sizes, no school library, no access to arts or music programs, and massive staffing cuts reducing support professionals, counselors, custodians, etc. No student should have to deal with a learning environment like that, and edu- cators deserve a working environment where they are NOT overworked and underpaid. Making things better for all of us drives me. I have the experience and background to continue the strides that have been made in ensuring that the budget is accessible. As we find ourselves in economic uncertainty once again, the fiscal health of CTA is critical and will be my priority. Access and understanding are key to member edu- cation and member inclusion. There is a saying, show me your budget and I will show you your priorities- I want each of you to look at the CTA budget and see a strong, clear budget that reflects your priorities and voices, all while interweaving programs, departments, governance and staff support. I want to be part of making CTA relevant to every member, finding real solutions for local struggles and investing in our- selves where it is felt from the worksite up. I want to partner with you and work alongside you for our profession, for our communities and for CTA. *NOTE: At January 2023 State Council, Jones was elected as the next CTA Secretary-Treasurer by acclamation (since she was unopposed, she was elected by a voice vote). Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer Erika Jones Member, United Teachers Los Angeles; CTA Board of Directors member 54 Jones

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