We did it! Why is this win different? And what’s next?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Because of all of you and your work in your communities, we have achieved a monumental victory. Because of your outreach, California voters demonstrated their willingness to invest in our public schools and colleges. Because of your collective voice, voters rejected by the largest margin ever a well-funded “paycheck deception” measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.
You know how hard you worked. You made phone calls, you rang doorbells, you talked to your friends and relatives. You carried signs and attended rallies. You wore buttons and attached window clings to your car. You posted on Facebook and tweeted. You showed up at the polls, and you got your friends there, too.
Words can’t express how proud I am of you, of our staff, of all those who partnered with us. You talked the talk and walked the walk. You were awesome!
To me, this victory feels a little more gratifying than some past elections. Back in 2005, we were definitely on the defensive. School funding was under attack. The teaching profession was under attack. And we were under attack as a union. And while there were attacks this year as well, we also took the opportunity to be proactive in this election. With Prop. 30, we took a step toward tax fairness, and at the same time helped put our schools and California back on track. With Prop. 30, we worked for our students and for our profession. We won this election for our children, for better teaching and learning conditions, and for the future of California.
So now what? After celebrating what we’ve accomplished, we take a deep breath. And we reflect. Oh, to have time to stop and reflect on our good work. It makes for better instruction, doesn’t it? It gives us a chance to consider whether what we're doing is working and, if needed, change for the better.
Your Voice. Our Union. Our Future.
CTA is taking the time to reflect. In fact, I’m asking you to contemplate your CTA, because we are embarking on a strategic planning process that is just as important as the election we just won. You will not only be hearing about it, though, you’ll be participating in it. As we celebrate our 150th anniversary next year, we will be reflecting on how far we’ve come as an organization, and where we’re headed.
Just as public schools succeeded in this election because of you, CTA’s strategic planning process starts with you. Be prepared to be asked for your opinions, observations, ideas and direction. Know that you’ll be asked to play a part because everyone has a role in this, especially if you want a strong union that helps you in your classroom and helps you advocate for our students. In our conversations, we want to be honest and sincere about the new directions our organization should move so we will be prepared for the future. We need to hold on to what’s working and not be afraid to cast away what’s not — even if it means doing things differently than we’ve always done them.
This isn’t just about CTA; it’s about CTA’s role in public education, in making sure the best and brightest are teaching in our classrooms.
Just as this election was about the future of our public schools and the success of our students, this strategic planning process is about the future of CTA. The goal: Make sure CTA is positioned in the best possible way to help all students and educators succeed. So join me as we roll up our sleeves and start planning for our future in a thoughtful, collective way. We can make it whatever we want, but we have to do it together.