Current Officers

Warren Fletcher
Warren Fletcher

UTLA President

UTLA President Warren Fletcher

Background: Born and raised in L.A., son of a union cab driver.

Education: His entire education was obtained in one zip code: he attended El Sereno ES, El Sereno JH, and Wilson HS and earned an English degree at Cal State L.A.

Teaching career: Started with LAUSD in 1978 as a teachers' assistant; began as a classroom teacher in 1983.

UTLA activism: First elected to the Board of Directors in 1986; also served on the House of Representatives and as the UTLA Election Committee co-chair. Chapter chair at City of Angels from 2001 to 2011.

On the next three years: "Our schools are being bombarded with wave after wave of harmful, dangerous policies. We are the classroom professionals, and we will fight all decisions that hurt our students or disrupt their access to a quality education. Together we will assert our power: the power that comes from being right and from unapologetically advocating for our students and for ourselves. Building a strong, united UTLA will require that 'UTLA Central' better serve you and give you the tools you need to deal with these real threats. At the classroom level, at the chapter level, and at the citywide level, our members can know that a united, disciplined, and credible UTLA will have your back."

M.J. Roberts
Mary Jan "M.J." Roberts


UTLA/NEA Vice President Mary Jan (M.J.) Roberts

Background: Raised in Compton by two social justice parents: father Joffre, a probation officer, and mother Jewel, a public school librarian.

Education: CSULA, M.A., Educational Leadership and Organizational Transformation. CSUDH, M.A. Cross-Cultural Studies, California Teaching Credential, CLAD Certificate. Bachelor of Arts, Political Science/Public Administration, Whittier College.

Teaching career: Pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and substitute teacher; higher education instructor.

UTLA activism: Served as chapter chair for numerous years at 99th Street ES; LEARN Lead Teacher at Angeles Mesa ES; Beginning Teacher Support Provider (LD7); South Area Board of Director. NEA Representative Assembly local delegate and CTA State Council delegate with appointments to several committees. Sworn delegate to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

On the next three years: "We are under siege and being demoralized organizationally as well as individually. Our hope for a better tomorrow lies in the collective implementation of strategically planned actions and policies that align the historical values of our union with the progressive educational and social justice consciousness of our present. We must champion our mutual platforms for defending a quality public education as the civil right of every student."

Betty Forrester
Betty Forrester



UTLA/AFT Vice President Betty Forrester

Background: Born and raised in Lynwood, California.

Education: BA from Pepperdine University (L.A. campus on 79th and Vermont) with Standard Elementary and Standard Early Childhood credentials.

Teaching career: Taught 33 years in South and Central area schools: pre-K through 9th grades. Before being elected to UTLA office, the last 25 years were spent at South Gate Middle School, focusing on literacy intervention.

UTLA activism: Chapter chair, co-chair, and vice chair at South Gate Middle School; member of the House of Representatives three terms for South Area. South Area Secretary and steering committee member (2000-03). South Area Board of Directors (2003-08) and South Area Chair (2005-08). AFT 1021 Vice President (2005-11), California Federation of Teachers (CFT) Vice-President (2009-11), and delegate to the County Federation of Labor. UTLA Secretary (2008-11).

On the next three years: "I believe that we need to use proven organizing strategies to connect all our members to their union, their affiliate unions, other labor organizations, and their communities to build the power for the fight to protect and improve public education."

Juan Ramirez
Juan Ramirez

UTLA Elementary VP

UTLA Elementary Vice President Juan Ramirez

Background: Born and raised in Mexico before moving to L.A. Attended Nimitz Middle School and Bell High School.

Education: B.S. in accounting from Cal State University Los Angeles. Received teaching credential through the District Intern Program at LAUSD.

Teaching career: Began teaching in 1997 at Fishburn Elementary. Has taught kindergarten and grades second through fourth. Also taught adult education at the Wilson Lincoln Adult School for nine years.

UTLA activism: Chapter chair, Bilingual Education Committee chair and co-chair, member of South Area Steering Committee, member of the House of Representatives, NEA Representative Assembly delegate, CTA State Council delegate, and South Area director.

On the next three years: "I want to be sure that local school issues are a priority and that all our chapter chairs and members are equipped with the tools to address them. We must also continue to maintain our salary and benefits, as we transform UTLA into an organizing union."

Gregg Solkovits
Gregg Solkovits

UTLA Secondary VP

UTLA Secondary Vice President Gregg Solkovits

Background: Born in Minneapolis; raised in San Fernando Valley by two teachers and charter UTLA members.

Education: Attended Darby Avenue, Nobel Junior High, and Granada Hills High; bachelor of arts in Political Science at Cal State Northridge (cum laude). Credentialed in four subjects and holds a CLAD.

Teaching career: Taught 38 subjects or so at Monroe High, including eight years as journalism advisor and eight years as AP teacher.

UTLA activism: 20-plus years as Monroe co-chair or chapter chair; 24-plus years as member of UTLA House of Representatives; 20-year member of UTLA Board of Directors; nine years as UTLA Valley West Area Chair; three years as Secondary VP. He also served as a member of California Superintendent Tom Torlakson's transition team and chaired the California Federation of Teachers Educational Issues Committee.

On the next three years: "Working with my colleagues, the other six full-time officers, and the UTLA Board of Directors, I will help to win tax fairness, so schools can be adequately funded; work hard to compel the Board of Education to work WITH Los Angeles's professional educators, not against them; and continue to be a go-to officer for any member who needs my assistance. Working together, UTLA and its members cannot be defeated."

Arlene Inouye
Arlene Inouye

UTLA Treasurer

UTLA Treasurer Arlene Inouye

Background: Born and raised in Los Angeles. Attended Clover Avenue, Webster Junior High, and University High School. Grandparents immigrated from Japan to Boyle Heights. Education: BA and MA in communicative disorders from San Jose State University and Long Beach State University.

Teaching career: Spanish bilingual speech and language specialist for 18 years in the East and North areas. Adult education teacher, multicultural and human relations specialist, school reform trainer, and an education director of a nonprofit organization.

UTLA activism: House of Representatives member, CTA State Council member, NEA delegate, CFT Education Committee member.

On the next three years: "I consider it a privilege and heavy responsibility to be your treasurer at this critical time. UTLA, as well as our state and national affiliates, are faced with fiscal challenges like never before. It is my mission to bring transparency, austerity, efficiency, and fiscal responsibility throughout UTLA so that we can function to our capacity. As a team member I will work for a unified and strategic approach that engages and organizes our members so that we all rise as leaders. I believe in public education and public sector unions as the bastion of our democracy."

David Lyell
David Lyell

UTLA Secretary

UTLA Secretary David Lyell

Background: Born in Columbus, Ohio; grew up and attended public schools in Palo Alto, California, where 90 percent of students graduate from college—all accomplished without ever having tied teacher pay and/ or evaluation to student performance on standardized tests.

Education: B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara with a focus in journalism and an M.F.A in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Teaching career: Joined LAUSD in 1998 and has been teaching ever since. Also taught as a substitute teacher for two years in PAUSD.

UTLA activism: Member of the House of Representatives, Substitute Teacher Steering Committee, NEA Substitute Teacher Caucus vice president, NEA RA delegate. The March for California's Future: Marched 352 miles over 48 days from Bakersfield to Sacramento from March 5 to April 21, 2010.

On the next three years: "The current School Board majority is mired in maintaining the status quo—tired cliches, fuzzy math, a bloated bureaucracy, and self-righteousness marketed as reform. There will be three contested seats in the 2013 School Board election. We need to recruit leaders capable of honoring current District policy who can also make informed decisions rather than simply embracing the agenda of corporate-backed interests. I'm here to fight. Please contact me with your concerns. Thank you."