CTA contact: Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thousands of educators visit with voters and colleagues – Yes on Prop. 30, No on 32
Statewide News Conferences, Precinct Walking, Phone-Banking
BURLINGAME – Thousands of CTA members and coalition partners hit the streets, figuratively and literally, to encourage voters to vote, and to vote YES on Prop 30 and NO on Prop 32.
CTA’s State Council of Education members organized events in 25 cities across California, kicking off the final campaign push before the November 6 election. Educators, joined by labor unions and coalition partners, were knocking on doors, making phone calls, marching in rallies and holding news conferences. Educators were assisted by policy-makers, too, including Governor Jerry Brown and State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
CTA members are asking their communities to pass Proposition 30 to stop billions in immediate school cuts and to defeat the deceptive Prop. 32.
“This election is critical for our students and California’s future. Prop. 30 is the only ballot measure that will stop $6 billion in immediate cuts to our schools, colleges and universities,” said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Prop. 32 is another deceptive attempt by powerful corporate interests to write their own rules and silence the political voices of working people in our state. When teachers can’t advocate, our students pay the price.”
Here’s what happened this weekend at a just a few of the 25 locations.
Gov. Jerry Brown joined a packed CTA news conference here on Saturday to stand with California educators fighting to pass his Proposition 30 and to defeat the deceptive Prop. 32. Educators knocked on doors across the state to talk to voters about what’s at stake in the Nov. 6 election. Events continued Sunday and will continue through Election Day.
The governor spoke about Prop. 30 being what the state needs to get back on the road to recovery, and said the mysterious anonymous new millions pouring into the No on 30 and the Yes on 32 campaigns is another reason to vote against the measure.
“Proposition 30 is the key to building our future,” Brown said. “Proposition 30 is about a lot of things. It’s about kids, it’s about teachers….it’s about hope, and it’s about those who’ve been most blessed to have an opportunity to give something back,” the governor said of how the initiative only raises taxes on households earning more than $500,000. “We have a close election, I believe we are ahead, but we can’t be complacent.”
The governor and CTA Vice President Eric Heins blasted the recent donation by a shadowy Arizona group of $11 million to the California Small Business Action Committee to defeat Prop. 30 and to pass Prop. 32, the deceptive ballot measure that weakens unions so millionaires and billionaires can have even more influence in government. Brown wondered if unknown powerful donors in California might be “laundering” campaign funds by sending them to the Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership group that does not have to disclose who its donors are.
“Some things in life we have to say ‘no’ to, and that’s Proposition 32,” Brown said firmly.
Heins said Prop. 32 amounts to “the most blatant con job that California voters have ever seen.” He noted the hypocrisy. “On one hand they claim their ballot measure is about campaign finance reform, but on the other hand they’re hiding who their donors are from voters.”
Watch CTA video clips of the governor’s remarks on Saturday in San Francisco on Proposition 30 here and on Proposition 32 here.
Speaking in Culver City on Saturday to teachers mobilizing their communities, CTA President Dean E. Vogel said, “CTA members all over the state are going to go out there and do what needs to be done for kids the same way they do it every single day in their classrooms. The public trusts teachers and they're going to listen to what we have to say."
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson held a news conference with Silicon Valley teachers at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21, at the CTA San Jose office, 4810 Harwood Road, San Jose, 95124.
From Chico to San Diego, the voices of teachers were heard loud and clear as they met to reach out to voters in 25 cities:
“There are people who don’t want us to succeed in passing Prop 30 and they’re trying to do something about it. Prop 32 is their attempt to take us out of the picture so they can have unchecked influence in Sacramento. It’s no accident that the Small Business Action Committee and millionaires like Charles Munger are funding both the No on 30 and the Yes on 32 campaigns. They want to silence our voice and cut our schools, but we’re not going to let them." - Brian Guerrero, President, Lennox Teachers Association.
“Everyone with us here today know what it means for our school districts if Proposition 30 fails, an additional $6 billion dollars in devastating cuts. In the Hawthorne School District, we are looking at losing another $3.7 million this academic year, with a possible 15 additional furlough days, and that’s on top of the five we have already! Our students can’t afford to miss 20 days of school. We cannot allow the children of California to be deprived of a quality education anymore! Our students deserve better.” - George Amaya, President, Hawthorne Elementary Teachers Association.
“Prop 32 is the biggest fraud, sham and piece of hooey on the ballot. In a textbook example of irony: Prop 32 supporters claim their ballot measure is about campaign finance reform, but then they hide who they are from voters and refuse to even disclose who is making their million-dollar donations. You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to know this is just plain wrong.” - Mikki Cichocki – CTA Secretary-Treasurer
“I am from a district that is having a lot of problems like so many other districts. We are finding that 20 percent of our students are now homeless. That means that students are coming to our classrooms stressed and tired, and they are coming to class sizes that have grown immensely. We used to have 18 to 20 students in our lower grades and now we’re up at 33, an increase of 50 percent. With so many students, they get so little individual time. So I ask everyone to vote Yes on Prop 30 to right these wrongs.” - Carol Rodrigues, President, Salinas Elementary Teachers Council
“I’m here because Prop 30 is very important to all community colleges. Community colleges educate 70 percent of our state nurses and 80 percent of our firefighters and emergency personal, and nearly 50 percent of our veterans attend a community college for workforce training. They need us, and right now we are turning these people away as colleges have had to cancel summer sessions and some winter sessions. We’re not available to those who have suffered job losses and they need somewhere to go to get training and enhance their schools. Pass Proposition 30 to support California workers.” - Carol McEwan-Suarez, Gavilan Community College, California School Employees Association.
“We can’t continue cutting education and higher education and have a strong economy. Prop. 30 is the only measure on the ballot that will stop another $6 billion in cuts to K-12 schools, the community colleges, and the state’s universities….Prop. 30 guarantees that the money goes into a special account for local funds. It’s the only measure on the ballot that syncs with Proposition 98, the school minimum funding guarantee in the state Constitution.” - Kevin Merrit, president of the Chico Unified Teachers Association.
“This is a grassroots effort.. Going out to meet the public is something we need to do because it lets them know that teachers care about these issues." - John Anderson, president of the Tracy Educators Association, who walked voter precincts in Ceres.
"I'm participating because funding Higher Education is essential to California's future. My students are facing increased fees and fewer courses. We all need to work together to help our students K-16." - Lee Haggerty, Professor, Saddleback College.
"I believe in public education. I believe in standing up to those who don't. I also teach at the community college and I've seen them struggle with higher fees and trying to make ends meet." - Pamela Greenhalgh, speech pathologist, Maxwell School in Magnolia Elementary district.
"It is absolutely vital that my four and five-year-old transitional kindergarten students get individual attention, something increasingly difficult for me to provide as class sizes continue to grow as the result of all the recent budget cuts. That's why I'm walking San Bernardino County neighborhoods this weekend to urge citizens to vote YES on Prop. 30 and NO on Prop. 32. I'm fighting for my students, our schools and the middle class in California." -- Tracey Douglas, transitional kindergarten teacher, NEA Jurupa Association.
“As a high school government teacher who works every day to help my students understand the political process, I’m keenly aware of how Prop. 32 would silence my ability as a union member to actually participate in that process. That’s why I’m pounding the pavement this weekend in south San Diego County to help people understand the importance of the voice of educators’ to advocate for the needs of students and schools.” - Roberto Rodriguez - Otay Ranch High School government teacher, Sweetwater Education Association.
“We’ve seen teacher education programs all over the state – including ours at Cal State San Marcos – hit with a triple whammy because of the cuts over the last few years. Not only is the number of students applying for teacher education programs been cut in half, but fewer of those who do apply are being accepted. Yet, because faculty numbers have been slashed, I’ve seen my class sizes increase, making it harder to provide my students with the attention they need. If Prop. 30 doesn’t pass, the California university system will be cut an additional $250 million on top of the $1 billion in cuts we have endured the last four years. I’m doing everything I can this weekend to make sure Prop. 30 passes.” - John Halcon, teacher education instructor, Cal State San Marcos Faculty Association.
“In nine years of teaching and coaching in Palm Springs Unified, I have never found coping with funding cuts, in order to help my students learn, to be more difficult. If Proposition 30 doesn't pass, not only will its failure exacerbate the existing issues of increased class size and reduction of teachers, but we will see shortened school years of up to 20 school days.” - James Workman Middle School teacher Mark Acker.
“If proposition 30 does not pass, our students, who are already under privileged, under represented, and under prepared, will be hit with yet more obstacles.” - Coachella Valley Unified teacher Richard Razo .
“Just as we will be doing this weekend, educators are always advocating for students and public education – for adequate school funding, smaller class sizes, school safety requirements, and reforms that actually improve learning. Prop. 32 supporters know if it passes, they’ll be free to push their own profits-first agenda at the expense of California’s students.” – Desert Sands Unified educator Mona Davidson.
The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.