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Tony, Tony, Tony!

With the election just more than a week away, the CTA State Council of Education focused on creative ways to help push Tony Thurmond over the finish line in the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) campaign. With polls showing the race is still neck-and-neck and many voters still undecided about who should lead California public education, Council led a Tweet-a-Thon to spread the word about this election and share why Thurmond is the educators’ choice for SPI. The effort made Tony Thurmond for SPI go viral, as tweeters propelled #TeamTony and #VotePublicEd to the No. 2 and 3 trending topics on Twitter.  Keep up the momentum by using these hashtags all the way up to Election Day. And check out CTA’s Digital Toolkit for graphics and ideas for social media posts to help ensure a victory for Tony Thurmond on Election Day!

In addition to tweets, Council educators text-banked for Thurmond, sending more than 68,000 text messages to get out the vote. Retired teachers also added 600 hand-written postcards in support of Thurmond.

Amid all this, Thurmond took time out of his campaign schedule to join educators at Council to thank educators for their tireless support during the long campaign. Thurmond said it’s been an honor to work alongside educators to fight for public schools and our students.

“My opponent is supported by billionaires; I’m supported by teachers,” Thurmond said. “You all are champions for our kids every day!”

CTA President Eric Heins said that Thurmond was touched by the love and support shown by Council educators.

“You could feel the electricity in the room,” he said.

Onward to Victory on Election Day

Educators nationwide are raising their voices to support public schools and our shared values at the ballot box, and California is no different. CTA members are among the 1,500 educators across the country seeking election to take leadership roles in their communities. Victory on Election Day means voting for candidates who value education and understand the needs of our schools and educators. Shout it out loud to #VotePublicEd on Nov. 6!

Council voted to officially oppose Proposition 6, the effort to repeal revenue for repairing bridges and roads. Get a customized voting guide outlining CTA’s recommendations on this and other ballot initiatives and candidates before you cast your ballot Understanding the importance of this year’s election, Council authorized up to $2 million to support CTA’s positions on the November ballot.

President Heins: Don’t Let Billionaires Buy the Election

During his speech to Council, President Heins urged educators to vote for Tony Thurmond, stand up for public schools and fight the out-of-state billionaires who are trying to dismantle education.

“They’re trying to buy public education in California, and it is not for sale!” Heins said.

Let your friends and family know on your social media accounts why Tony Thurmond is so important for public schools and help shine a light on the billionaires spending millions to elect Marshall Tuck by sharing new videos showing just who’s behind his campaign.

Showing #RedForEd Solidarity with UTLA and OEA

Donned in every shade of red, council members stood in solidarity with educators in Los Angeles and Oakland, who are fighting school district administrations that have shown they do not support the people who serve their students. With United Teachers Los Angeles marching toward a potential strike and Oakland Educators Association not far behind, CTA members, educators across the country and the communities we serve are joining the #RedForEd movement in support of these and other educators who continue to make magic in the classroom despite the lack of support by their school districts.

Council delegates passed a NBI to have CTA encourage local chapters to initiate solidarity actions in support of the two largest local chapters, UTLA and OEA, in their current contract negotiations. The success of these two chapters will impact contract negotiations throughout the state.

Member Engagement Keeps Us Strong

Executive Director Joe Nuñez thanked Council for all the work in chapters to strengthen our union leading up to June’s Janus Supreme Court decision. Due to the engagement efforts of educators around the state, the impact of the negative (but expected) decision by the court has been far less than anticipated. He warned of the need to remain vigilant, as the Freedom Foundation and Mackinac Center for Public Policy (which is dedicating $50 million over the next three years to union-busting) are continuing their deceptive efforts to get members to drop out of their unions. If either of these groups (or others like them) show up in your district, use these tools to fight back and expose their real intentions.

Mourning the Tragedy in Pittsburgh

The energy of the Council meeting was dampened by news of another mass shooting tragedy, this time at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The Council took a moment of silence in memory of the 11 people who were killed in the senseless shooting.

“We cannot allow this kind of hatred to exist in our society,” Heins said, urging the adoption of common-sense gun laws. “We must do it now. We must continue to fight back and not remain silent.”