President's Perspective
Our healthcare, our students, our schools, our future

We live in trying times. We have witnessed tremendous natural disasters, surely exacerbated by global warming, and incredible human violence, which tears at our souls. With each passing day, the importance of schools is reemphasized, the importance of engaging young people and helping to instill confidence in navigating a complicated world.

President's Perspective
Schools LA Students Deserve campaign: Unapologetic about what students, educators need

At the core of UTLA’s strategic plan is a very basic concept: If public education is to survive and thrive in Los Angeles, it is time for us to call the question on why our schools are being starved. It is simply not acceptable that California, as the fifth largest economy in the world, stands at 46th among the states in per-pupil funding.

President's Perspective
Gearing up for an epic year

Summer is an essential time for relaxing and recharging—but the reality is that many UTLA members find ways to keep working. From teaching summer school to retooling lesson plans or taking learning vacations at historic sites, the whole “summers off” thing may be an outdated concept.

President's Perspective
Resilience, Hope, Movement

Educators are wonderful, you are wonderful. Congratulations on completing another academic year. Every year that you finish, you have touched that many more lives, have shaped the future more indelibly, and have strengthened our profession for the long-term through your accomplishments.

President's Perspective
Three Walks to Victory

I am asking you to pause your reading of the UNITED TEACHER for five minutes right now and sign up for three precinct-walking shifts in the School Board election campaign. Quite simply, if we all walk three shifts, we will win on May 16. Protecting our health benefits and winning a contract for the Schools LA Students Deserve depends on us electing Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla to the LAUSD School Board.

President's Perspective
UTLA’s Modus Operandi: Coalition Building for Power

It was an inspiring scene in front of Arminta Street Elementary School in the East San Fernando Valley on March 16. I was marching and chanting with Arminta Street teacher Debbie Schneider-Solis, her co-workers, and a great group of Arminta parents to protest a potential Prop. 39 co-location by Celerity charter.

President's Perspective
The Fight of our Lives

February 10 marked the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Build the Future, Fund the Fight (BFFF) initiative. Last year, I spent a lot of time in our BFFF phone-banking room, often with member stalwarts like Vince Fazzi, a health and human services leader. Calling our members, having great dialogues about the need for the dues increase, full merger, and Group Legal Services, in support of the strategic plan, seems like only yesterday.

President's Perspective
Organizing our School-Site Strength in 2017

As with every year, our priorities in 2017 will be driven by the school site and classrooms. January re-connections with two people I hadn’t spoken with for years — way too long — reinforced this for me.

President's Perspective
Rejuvenation — then action

You have reached winter break, and you deserve every moment of rest and rejuvenation that you will get. You are the backbone of our schools, our service to students, our communities, our union, and our profession. Enjoy this time.

President's Perspective
Our School Site Fights Have National Implications

I met Channing Martinez in 2001 when he walked into my Life Skills class as a ninth-grader at Crenshaw High School. He developed an interest in the history of social movements and efforts to address inequality ...