Friday, September 29, 2006

LA Teachers Endorse Proposition 89

UTLA Proposition 89In sharp contrast to the CTA message, UTLA has come out strong for Proposition 89:

United Teachers Los Angeles Endorses Prop. 89
Nation's Second Largest Teachers Union Local Says Prop. 89 Will Benefit Democracy and Working People

The United Teachers Los Angeles, the second-largest local teachers union in the country, Wednesday night endorsed Proposition 89, a November initiative that would reduce political corruption and establish a more level playing field in California elections.

UTLA, with 44,000 members, is largest National Education Association local in the country and the largest union in Los Angeles County.

"We hope that UTLA's endorsement of Prop. 89 will send a strong message that teachers are fed up with a system of political corruption that has put big donor demands ahead of fulfilling our state's commitment to excellent schools and a top quality education for our children. Prop. 89 will end big money control and allow us to take back our government so that its accountable to the needs and concerns of California teachers and families," said Leonard Segal, member of the UTLA Board of Directors and a substitute teacher, after the vote.

"We need to make it possible for candidates who don't have massive corporate backing to participate in the political process. That's really what Prop. 89 is about," said Paul Huebner, vice chair of the 44,000-member UTLA's Political Action Council of Educators, and a second grade teacher.

"We can never outspend the big corporate donors and millionaires and political action committees. But we can get our members more involved in politics for the benefit of our democracy. That includes enabling more teachers and more working people to be able to run for office and win," Huebner said.

Notice how UTLA focuses on increasing their members' participation in democracy, not preserving power.