Saturday, February 08, 2014

My UTLA Endorsements for 2014

public sector unions are the last bastion against the plutocracy crushing the last of the public commons under their well-heeled jackbootsI typically stay out of UTLA internal politics. Unlike the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC), and our own government, unions are intensely democratic institutions where the members really demonstrate self governance. However, with the forces of neoliberalism on the verge of privatizing the remains of public education, I realize that public sector unions are the last bastion against the plutocracy crushing the remains of the public commons under their well-heeled jackboots. In the past year I've watched sectarian groups rise up in UTLA. The divisiveness and disruptiveness of their tactics have undermined UTLA's ability to serve as a buffer between the ravages of finance capital and our community. In the light of this, I decided to compile a list of people that have proven themselves as activists and champions of public education. They are people who have worked hand in hand with the community to stave off neoliberal policies, fight privatization, advocate for underrepresented students like ELLs and Special Needs, and more. I may revise this list slightly, but for the most part, it is complete. I've kept the names in the same order they appear on UTLA's roster.

UTLA President
There are many people running for this position, too bad José Lara, Sean Abajian, and Lisa Karahalios' names aren't among them.
UTLA NEA Vice President
M. J. (Mary Jan) Roberts: a tireless advocate of children. She really should be the LAUSD Superintendent, then we'd see some real changes.
UTLA AFT Vice President
Lisa Karahalios: smart, savvy, and indefatigable. There's rarely an event she is not a participant in. The depth and breadth of her policy insight exceeds even mine. Honestly she should have run for UTLA President. Moreover, she was a Classics major!
UTLA Elementary VP (multiple endorsement)
Juan Ramirez: champion of ELLs and luminary in Spanish speaking community. Co-founded La Educación radio and newspaper.
Robin Potash: articulate and savvy organizer. Her work on Prop 39 issues, on exposing CCSS faults, and with Jackie Goldberg on Transparency, Equity, and Accountability for Charters (TEACh) is crucial.
Fernando Bravo Ledezma
UTLA Secondary VP (dual endorsement)
Colleen Schwab
Francisco R. Martinez Avid immigrant rights supporter, and all around activist. We had great conversations during OccupyLAUSD
UTLA Treasurer
Tim Delia
UTLA Secretary (dual endorsement)
Tomás Flores: an excellent supporter of bilingual programs, and active member of Raza Ed.
David Lyell: was instrumental in the struggle to save LAUSD Adult Education, and contributed to my school board run.
UTLA Board of Directors - North Area
Matthew Kogan: (FOR AREA CHAIR) his organizing capabilities have proven time and again that we can energize the community for real change.
Anne Zerrien-Lee: there is no better activist, writer, or advocate for children than Anne. She is one of those very special people that one feels privileged to know.
Jeff Pott
UTLA Board of Directors - South Area
Ingrid C. Villeda: (FOR AREA CHAIR) has led the fight on many key social justice issues and isn't afraid to take on billionaire backed right-wing organizations like the vile Parent Revolution.
Maria Miranda
Ayde Bravo
Ayesha Brooks
UTLA Board of Directors - East Area
Ingrid Gunnell
Mila Lopez
Gloria Martinez
Gillian Russom (FOR AREA CHAIR)
Amelia Velasquez (FOR AREA CHAIR)
Adrian Tamayo
UTLA Board of Directors - West Area
Daniel Moran: perhaps the most unsung hero in our communities, Dan has worked tirelessly on behalf of students and does tremendous research for those of us that write about education issues.
Noah Lippe-Klein
UTLA Board of Directors - Central
Kelly Flores: incredible educator and activist, really should be on the list of presidential candidates. We need Kelly's voice advocating for those who need representation in our district.
Zulma Tobar
Paul Uchenna Ngwoke
Jose Lara: (FOR AREA CHAIR) hands down the best organizer in UTLA, maybe even in Los Angeles! Board Member of the El Rancho Unified School District. José should be running for UTLA president, but we'll have to settle for him as area chair.
UTLA Board of Directors - Valley East
Linda Everhart
Bobby Vinas
Victoria Casas
Alex Orozco: (FOR AREA CHAIR)
UTLA Board of Directors - Harbor
Ginger Rose Fox: (FOR AREA CHAIR) when you think arts advocacy, think Ginger Rose Fox.
Donald A. Willis
Jennie Duggan
Philip A. Gross
UTLA Board of Directors - Adult Ed
Ernest Kettenring
UTLA Board of Directors - Bilingual Ed
Cheryl Ortega: we're fortunate to keep our most experienced, dedicated individual at the helm of UTLA Bilingual Education.
UTLA Board of Directors - Early Childhood Education
Juanita C. Garcia: another person whose contributions to our community and students goes without the praise it deserves.
UTLA Board of Directors - Substitutes
Fredrick “Rick” Bertz: we don't always agree, but Rick works hard and is passionate about education. He will do the substitutes proud.


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