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By Julian Peeples

Presidents Conference Home Edition provides tools to fight

Fierce advocacy and unbreakable unity in the face of overwhelming adversity is center stage this week for more than 500 CTA leaders attending the 2020 CTA Presidents Conference: Home Edition—taking in the usual top-notch advocacy development virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the next five days, new and experienced chapter leaders will attend virtual sessions designed to help build power to advocate for the resources that educators need and students deserve. From bargaining strategies to the intersectionality of organizing to protecting educators and students in the age of COVID, the Presidents Conference provides chapter leaders with the tools needed to build strong and vibrant locals.

CTA President E. Toby Boyd

During his welcome this morning, CTA President E. Toby Boyd thanked local chapter presidents and vice presidents for their dedication and leadership as their members deal with unprecedented challenges and dangers. With more than half of California counties now on the state’s radar for COVID outbreak and anxiety over the health and safety of educators and students running high, Boyd reiterated CTA’s message last week to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and other state leaders: California schools cannot reopen until it is safe.

“We cannot open schools until we can ensure they are safe for our teachers, our students and our communities—there are no ifs ands or buts about it,” Boyd said. “We will be the voice to ensure schools reopen when they are safe to do so. That’s the only way we’ll re-open in-person.”

President Boyd said that while he misses being together for the conference, he is excited about the opportunity to still share critically relevant information to help leaders advocate for educators, students and their communities. He expressed gratitude for all the tireless efforts of educators to make the best out of this crisis and continue the fight for justice and progress.

“Thank you for the incredible job you’re doing on behalf of your members and your students,” Boyd said. “I’m inspired by your work, every day.”