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By Julian Peeples

“Once again, California voters put our students and public schools first on Election Day.”

—CTA President David Goldberg

Union educators won strong victories on Election Day in March — another example of our power in numbers! While the bulk of California’s more than 2,000 school board seats are up in the November 2024 election, CTA members were successful in winning elections from Glendale to Alameda County to Los Angeles.

“Once again, California voters put our students and public schools first on Election Day,” said CTA President David Goldberg. “A huge thanks to all members who walked precincts, reached out to voters and put in work to win for our students. Onward to November!”

Brentwood Teachers Association and CTA Board of Directors member Angela Normand won re-election to the Alameda County Board of Education, while Beverly Hills Education Association member Telly Tse won election to the Glendale Unified Board of Education. United Teachers Los Angeles member Karla Griego received the most votes in her bid for Los Angeles Unified School Board, and she advances to the runoff in the General Election.

“I want to urge us all to keep the momentum for the 2,000-plus school board elections to be determined in November. Together, we win.”

—CTA Board Member Angela Normand

“From the very beginning, this was a campaign of the community, by the community and for the community,” Tse says. “This victory is not mine — it belongs to our children, our families and our educators.”

As of press time, two-thirds of CTA’s recommended candidates for local school board races were victorious in March (12 out of 18) and 100% of recommended local school measures (four of four) were successful. In state legislative races: 86% of recommended Assembly candidates advanced to the November election and 88% of state Senate recommendations advanced. Unofficially, 90% of recommendations for House of Representative seats were successful.

In Woodland and Orange, educators successfully recalled school board members who had pushed for policies and spewed rhetoric to harm LGBTQ+ students and families.

They join educators in Temecula Valley, also deeply engaged in a recall effort with parents and students in their community.

In the Sacramento area, Twin Rivers United Educators members walked door-to-door to encourage voters to elect an educator-recommended candidate and finally oust an incumbent — recently embroiled in a corruption scandal — who had been on the board since the 1970s.

With voter turnout around 34%, the old adage of “every vote matters” was even more appropriate — with some races still undecided weeks after the election, including Proposition 1, which eventually secured a narrow victory (about 28,000 votes with more than 7 million ballots counted at press time). Prop. 1 is a $6.38-billion effort supporting a major transformation of the state’s behavioral health care system.

“This is a huge victory for doing things radically different when it comes to tackling homelessness. (It’s) the biggest change California has seen in decades,” Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted when the results became apparent. “Now it’s time to get to work — repairing the damage caused by decades of broken promises and neglect to those suffering from severe mental illness.”

Tse thanked CTA members and local associations for the support during his campaign, saying that victory in November will require all educators getting involved to win for our students and public schools. Normand was also grateful for member and allies’ support. “Winning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I am incredibly thankful for all the support I received from CTA members, labor allies and those in community — every dollar, door-knock, social media post, one-on-one conversation, and of course, every vote that was cast,” Normand said.

“This was a collaborative win. My seat is unique in that it is decided in the primary, but I want to urge us all to keep the momentum for the 2,000-plus school board elections to be determined in November. Together, we win.”

Keep up with the latest on Election 2024.

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