Topic: Elections

Council of Classified Employees looks ahead to 2020 political challenges
Top of the list: Qualify Schools and Communities First initiative

Members from classified locals across the state recently met in Glendale to swap organizing tips, celebrate victories, and strengthen political skills.

Participants engaged enthusiastically from Friday, October 18, when Council of Classified Employees President Carl Williams welcomed leaders to his first President’s Collaboration, to that Sunday morning, when Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond rallied the troops for coming electoral fights.

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What do you think about the presidential election?
The CFT wants to know

In November 2020, CFT members will join voters around the country to cast their ballots for the next president of the United States. While we know that every election day is an important one, the upcoming election will represent an historic turning point for our country. 

In the coming weeks CFT will run a series of brief surveys to better understand the issues that are important to California members in the presidential election. The information gathered in these surveys will be used to inform how CFT will weigh in during the formal AFT endorsement process.

California Teacher Up Front

A Blue Wave – but what next?

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

By all measures, this was a very successful midterm election. Democrats picked up 40 seats in the U.S. House, which they will now control, and more than 300 legislative seats nationwide. In California, we ran the table on statewide officers and elected a supermajority in both houses of our state Legislature. Most importantly for us, Tony Thurmond was elected superintendent of public instruction. 

California Teacher

Retirees stay true to the cause – keeping political, union skills sharp

AFT activists don’t stop being active when they retire. United Teachers Los Angeles retiree Jimmie Woods-Gray, for example, remains a whirlwind in the fight to stop the privatization of public education. UC-AFT Riverside’s Stephanie Kay, meanwhile, continues the daily fight for lecturers’ rights on University of California campuses.

Tony Thurmond wins SPI race!

Updated November 19, 2018

Following a hard fought campaign, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond has won the election to be California’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Across the state, teachers and school workers celebrated Thurmond’s election as a resounding call by voters to protect public education. Fighting the headwinds of unprecedented spending by a handful of billionaires and mega-donors in support of Marshall Tuck, Thurmond ran a campaign based on investing in all public schools and supporting all students.

California Teacher Up Front

A Blue Wave — only if we make it happen

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

Years back, my family took a trip to Hawaii. While there, Japan suffered a serious earthquake and we were told to prepare for a tsunami that never materialized. Like the one on my trip, the “blue wave” that could give Democrats a majority in the House and possibly the Senate, might be just as illusory as our Hawaiian experience. Unless we help make it happen.

California Teacher Endorsements
Teachers welcomed the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Tony Thurmond at an event hosted by the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers in Watsonville.

Choose True Blue on November 6
Vote Thurmond for state superintendent

It’s not every election cycle that California finds itself with critical, competitive races, but 2018 is not just any election year. California is a battleground state to take back the House of Representatives. Jerry Brown is termed out, so voters will elect a new governor for the first time in eight years. And the race for state superintendent pits charter schools against public schools.

California Teacher Endorsements

Q&A: Get to know Tony Thurmond
Meet the CFT-endorsed candidate for state superintendent of public instruction

In a race important to all educators, the CFT has endorsed Assemblymember Tony Thurmond for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. CFT President Josh Pechthalt said Thurmond, a former social worker, has demonstrated “time and again he is a champion of public education. His policy positions solidly align him with the needs of students, parents and educators.”

California Teacher asked Thurmond about his positions on education issues ranging from early childhood to higher education.

California Teacher Endorsements

CFT endorses Gavin Newsom for governor
Members heavily favor lieutenant governor in straw poll, opinion poll

2018 is shaping up to be a critical election for our nation and our state. With Gov. Jerry Brown being termed out, one of the most important elections for CFT members will be the race for governor.

After soliciting member feedback for almost two months, the CFT Executive Council on December 2 endorsed Gavin Newsom for the state’s top office.

California Teacher Up Front General Election 2016

Responding to election of Donald Trump: Reassess, Mobilize, Defend

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

I have been hearing from CFT members who supported Donald Trump and are not happy that the CFT is sticking its nose into politics. 

We would be looking at a much different scenario in our schools and colleges, our communities and unions, and in Sacramento, if the CFT had not led the way on the Millionaires Tax, which became Proposition 30 and now Proposition 55, and before that, led the way on Proposition 25, the Majority Budget Act.