LOS ANGELES – Nearly 1,000 teachers from across the state marched through downtown Los Angeles today for an enthusiastic Pershing Square rally to back the best candidates for our students and public schools – Phil Angelides, John Garamendi and John Chiang. Educators also urged a yes vote on Proposition 1D, the statewide school bond to relieve overcrowding, modernize schools and make them earthquake-safe.
Waving political signs and chanting, the teachers marched to the rally from the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, where they’re attending the quarterly meeting of the California Teachers Association State Council of Education this weekend.
“Together last year, we stood against the governor’s attacks on the working men and women of California and his destructive special election initiatives and we won,” CTA President Barbara E. Kerr told the get-out-the-vote rally of teachers, firefighters and nurses to loud applause. “On Election Day, we want to go all the way and elect a new governor of California.”
CTA-backed Lieutenant Governor candidate John Garamendi spoke about his long commitment to public schools, his opposition to vouchers and his strong opposition last year to the governor’s failed special election agenda. State Controller candidate John Chiang has a good record as chairperson of the State Board of Equalization and will fight to ensure our schools get the resources they need.
“John Garamendi opposed the governor’s attempts to gut the state’s public education minimum funding law, Proposition 98,” CTA Vice President David A.Sanchez said. “He supports universal healthcare, and fought the wealthy HMOs as California’s insurance commissioner. As the next State Controller, John Chiang would sit on the State Teachers Retirement System board and will work to protect a secure retirement for educators, so we can attract more teachers into our classrooms.”
Rally speaker Paula Monroe, an education support professional in the Redlands Unified School District, stressed why public schools need Proposition 1D to pass on Nov. 7. In addition to helping to make schools stronger against earthquakes, Prop. 1D will relieve rampant classroom overcrowding, she said.
“It provides almost $2 billion to relieve overcrowding and to build classrooms in K-12 schools,” Monroe said. “Many of our students are jammed into schools that were built to accommodate 75 percent fewer kids than they do today. If we don’t address the problem now, it will only get worse.”