Educator efforts pay off in funding gains, more favorable boards

PART 3: LOCAL SUCCESSES

Local elections directly impact schools and colleges. The grassroots work of CFT members in their communities not only secured funding and elected strong, labor-friendly local candidates, but will also help shape the political landscape in California.

Successful ballot measures

Across the state, teachers and classified employees made the difference in passing municipal and county measures that will bring much-needed funding to their districts though parcel taxes and bond measures.

  • Some key victories for K-12 school funding include Measure E1 in Berkeley, Measures A and B in Santa Cruz, and Measure T in Daly City.
  • In Southern California, facilities bond Measure GC will modernize campus infrastructure at Glendale College.
  • In San Francisco, voters handily passed Proposition W, which will tax the sale of ultra-luxury properties over $5 million to fund the Free City College program.
  • Local unions in San Jose worked with the South Bay Central Labor Council to pass Measure E, the Opportunity to Work Initiative, which will provide stability to low-wage workers in the city by requiring businesses to offer extra hours to part-time workers before hiring new ones.
  • Voters in Monterey County passed Measure Z to protect the coastal environment by banning fracking. Monterey County becomes the first major oil-producing county in California to pass such a ban.

Successful candidates

Many locals successfully elected union-endorsed and educator-friendly members to the governing boards of schools and colleges. Highlights with the names of the local union and the candidates elected are listed below.

  • Berkeley Federation of Teachers: Judy Appel and Beatriz Leya-Cutler
  • Jefferson Elementary Federation of Teachers: Juslyn Manalo
  • Rescue Union Federation of Teachers: Stephanie Kent
  • Cerritos College Faculty Federation: Sandra Salazar and Martha Camacho-Rodriguez
  • Carpinteria Association of United School Employees: Rogelio Delgado
  • Cuesta College Federation of Teachers: Mary Strombridge
  • Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers: Rosemary Komei for Santa Clara County Board of Education
  • Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College: Jeffrey Hall
  • United Educators of San Francisco: Matt Haney, Mark Sanchez, Stevon Cook
  • Peralta Federation of Teachers: Karen Weinstein

With California yielding a solid bloc of Democratic electoral votes in the presidential election, CFT members and staff traveled to battleground states to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton. 
A total of 39 retirees, members, and staff campaigned in Las Vegas and Reno for Secretary Clinton and Catherine Cortez-Masto, who voters elected to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Harry Reid. Member action made a difference in Nevada, helping to elect the first Latina to the U.S. Senate and securing the state for Clinton. Farther afield, retirees canvassed in swing states Ohio and Florida for extended periods. 

— By Jessica Ulstad, CFT Political Field Director