By Mike Myslinski
SRVEA Rep Council volunteers
“Our voices will never be silenced,” vows Darren Day, president of the 1,600-member San Ramon Valley Education Association in Contra Costa County. “Educators are raising their voices in our community, and we are being heard in many ways.”
Teachers are mobilizing in San Ramon Valley Unified to pass Proposition 30 and defeat the devious Proposition 32. They also want to pass a $260 million school bond and elect two teacher-backed school board members, parent Mark Jewett and incumbent Greg Marvel.
Members are spreading the word to worksites, using the chapter website and e-newsletter, along with using social media and local media outreach. See their mobilizing efforts at: www.srvea.org.
“The school and community are starting to recognize how much damage Prop. 32 would cause to anyone who fights for students and the teaching profession,” says Ann Katzburg, SRVEA vice president.
Katzburg comments on a Sept. 10 organizing meeting where members of the SRVEA Rep Council posed for a group photo holding “No on Prop. 32” signs with blue tape across their mouths: “We brought everybody together on that day and heard all of the campaign information. It was great.”
Katzburg pitched the local “Patch” newspaper (these are online only and can be located in your city at www.patch.com) to run a passionate campaign opinion column written by Monte Vista High School English teacher Kimberley Gilles, a 27-year classroom veteran and a past winner of a CTA Human Rights Award.
“Proposition 30 asks Californians to pony up for education and government services,” Gilles wrote, in part. “If we want to have adequately funded schools, we have to help make that happen. And not just because we are teachers — but because we are citizens. We have a state economy to sustain and children in our neighborhoods to nurture.”
Gilles blasted Prop. 32 in her column as “wildly manipulative” for trying to weaken union spending on politics at a time when corporations already outspend unions on lobbying 15 to 1. While the Special Exemptions Act gives more power to the wealthy to write their own rules, it masquerades as campaign reform because it would ban unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted funding on politics.
“Sounds evenhanded, right? Wrong! Corporations don’t use employee contributions to exercise political clout, they use their profits!” Gilles wrote.
“Do we really want the only organizations that truly represent our rights and interests, CTA and SRVEA, to be silenced? For me the answer is an outraged ‘Hell no!’ I will do all in my power to educate the electorate about this blatant power grab.”
Related Tags: Volume 17 Issue 2, Make A Difference, Inside Educator, Educator, Campaign, Community, Election, Locals, Networking, Organize,