California Educator

April/May 2023

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 61

O N M A R C H 2 5 at CTA State Council of Education, members and chapters who made extraordinary contributions to the education profession through effective political action in 2022 were honored. Award categories recognized individual members — The Member-in-Politics Awards in Honor of Ted Bass — and chapters — The Chapter-in-Politics Awards in Honor of Joyce Fadem. Recipients of The Member-in-Politics Award: Overall Award Winner — Karen Sher, Oxnard Education Association. A member of CTA's Political Involvement Committee, Sher is now on her third term as a trustee for the Oxnard Union High School District, and currently serves as the board president for the second time. In 2022, she devoted many hours to defeat Proposition 30 (taxing the wealthy to fund wildfire management and electric vehicle incentives/infrastructure). Sher has been instrumental in recruiting public school teachers to run for local school boards — four in total, and all were vic- torious. Sher also served as a mentor for CTA members running for school board seats across the state. She spearheaded voter registration efforts with more than 10,000 students regis- tered while in school. Getting Others Involved Winner — Anthony Fuentes, Kern High School Teachers Association. Fuentes advises three school clubs, an academic team, and the " Youth for Justice" club, encouraging students to become involved in the political process and stressing the importance of registering to vote. He served on the local Politi- cal Action Committee (PAC), and has logged hours canvassing for union-en- dorsed school board candidates and recruiting members to get involved. Fuentes was elected as a Bakersfield City School District trustee. State Priorities Award Winner — Holly Lederle, Carmel Teachers' Association. Lederle has a proven track record of educating members about statewide political issues and successfully mobilizing them to become involved in supporting these efforts. Her efforts have empowered teachers, making them more effective advocates for their students and pro- fession. As a result of her leadership, her chapter has become more politi- cally active and has been successful in advancing its political priorities. Local Priorities Award Winner — Ila Nelson, Los Banos Teachers Association. Nelson is the chapter sec- retary and chair of the chapter PAC. Her involvement in political action started because the elected school board was not in favor of educators. She has been instrumental in flipping the school board and led an effort that resulted in an adversarial board mem- ber resigning. Nelson has also helped in local redistricting to make sure vot- ers were not disenfranchised. Partisan/Non-Partisan Activities Award Winner — Vanessa Cudabac, Sacramento City Teachers Association. Cudabac is a 5th grade educator and member of the SCTA bargaining team. In 2022, she spearheaded the field campaign for three school board races in the Sacramento City Unified School District. Under her leadership, the field team knocked on every likely voter 's door — 44,000 doors in total. As a result, all three candidates won, and two incumbents were defeated. Coalition Building Award Winner — Nicholas Vaccaro, Natomas Teachers Association. Vaccaro just completed his first year as the PAC chair for NTA and is the NTA representative at the local central labor council. In 2022 , NTA endorsed two candidates who were running against candidates supported by "parent 's rights" organi- zations and outside charters. Vaccaro formed a coalition of parents and community members to beat back these efforts and NTA's candidates won by over 60 percent. Left to right: Nicholas Vaccaro, Natomas TA; Michael Jordan, Farmersville TA (FTA); an FTA representative; Eric Mayer, Nevada Joint Union High School TA; Margie Black, Capistrano Unified EA; Stacey Willett, Sacramento City TA(SCTA); Krissie Goetz, SCTA; CTA President E. Toby Boyd; Vanessa Cudabac, SCTA; Karen Sher, Oxnard EA; Tara Jeane, SCTA. CTA members, chapters recognized Honors for Political Action 50 CTA & You

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - April/May 2023