by President Dominic Rizzi
More than 8 weeks in and we are full steam ahead. There have been significant changes to our district, our union, and for many of us, new work environments. OGEA is supporting 3 candidates this year for school board race as well as keeping our membership informed about pivotal county and state elections affecting public education.
Thank you to all who were able to come out and support our members transferred to new school sites over the summer as a result of school consolidation and program movements. TWBI is now housed on the Del Roble campus having been moved from Anderson. The Autism program from Hayes is now housed at Parkview. Our brothers and sisters from Glider and Miner were relocated throughout the district to new schools. To all who are experiencing these changes in working conditions and environments, continue to lean on one another in the spirit of our Union Code, “Here for the Kids and Here For Each Other.”
The United States Supreme Court Decision on the Janus v. AFSCME case had us on our toes, and we stand strong and united, unphased by the attacks against public education and organized labor. Attacks from big business on organized labor is not a new threat and CTA and NEA legal provided the necessary training and guidance for our local chapter leadership throughout the case. CTA and OGEA planned for the potential loss of membership and agency fee and have refined our budgets and enhanced our membership services to ensure all members have access to member benefits, professional training, representation, and the ability to have their voice heard in decision making.
With declining enrollment in the district, vacant properties and discussion on how to best attract and retain families and educators in OGSD, we turn to our school board to make the right decisions. This is why the OGEA membership identified three strong public education champions to endorse in the upcoming Nov 6th election. The OGEA Political Action Committee was created in 2004 and has been a key player in supporting the desired leadership we need on our school board. Brian LoBue, Tami Moore, and Dennis Hawkins are the OGEA endorsed candidates with the vision, heart, and brains to direct our district out of deficit spending and identifying sources of revenue without cutting services or programs to our families and students. Our candidates need your help in spreading the positive reasons why they were chosen to represent our community on the school board. When the community hears from our educators on who we recommend, it has a direct impact in getting voter attention. We will need to engage with our community as the district advances for a parcel tax in the future. Having the community and school board and staff aligned in building trust and fiscal responsibility in the district is critical to our success as public educators and service providers. Visit our website, www.ogea.org for more information on when we are walking and talking with our neighbors about our candidates, writing postcards, and phone banking all the way up to the election. Special prizes and incentive raffle with increased chances of winning for each event you participate in, including 2 tickets to a Sharks game, dinner and movie passes, and more.
Lastly, we need to get out the vote for our County and State elections on the positions that affect our classrooms. Santa Clara County Board of Education candidates: Claudia Rossi, Peter Ortiz, and Kathleen King are the OGEA and CTA endorsed candidates who will defend Santa Clara County from encroaching privatization and charter schools. Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction will fight for increased levels of funding for public education in California and see that our teacher voice is heard in state and national government over the importance of a free and quality education for all students.
The time is now to support our candidates and be part of making our district stronger and better for our students and ourselves. Stand together now and stand up for public education like our students’ futures depend on it.