November 4, 2020Statement
LOS ANGELES — Educators are joining a Saturday action in downtown Los Angeles to defend democracy and demand that all votes are counted in the presidential election. Click here to find out more.
For months Donald Trump has signaled that he will try to steal this election — and now he is doing what he threatened by calling the vote a fraud, declaring victory before all votes are counted and filing legal challenges to stop tallying legitimate votes in battleground states.
“We must all recognize what time it is in America and in the history of our democracy,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “There is too much at stake not to rise up together to demand that all votes be counted.”
In local election results, ballots continue to be tallied in yesterday’s election, but UTLA educators and our schools expect to be hit with some tough losses.
As of now, Prop. 15 is trailing, but with many ballots still to be counted, we hold out some hope. Prop. 15 faced unprecedented opposition from mega-wealthy investors and corporations, which spent more than $40 million on an avalanche of advertising riddled with intentional lies and scare tactics.
“California schools were already criminally underfunded before the pandemic,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz says. “Now with COVID, we face a sizable state budget deficit and the critical need for more resources to reopen schools safely.”
Measure RR, the $7 billion LAUSD bond measure, is still on track to pass easily. The funding will be used to modernize aging school facilities, update technology, and address facilities inequities — crucial needs in this time of COVID.
In the School Board races, Scott Schmerelson in District 3 is triumphing over a spending juggernaut by privatizers like Reed Hastings of Netflix and the Waltons of Walmart who funded a smear campaign against the incumbent. Schmerelson is leading his opponent, a charter school administrator, 54% to 46%. In the District 7 race for the seat currently held by Richard Vladovic, Patricia Castellanos is behind her opponent, 42% to 58%.
It is gratifying to return Scott Schmerelson to the school board, where his decades of experience in LAUSD schools inform his leadership every day. We commend Patricia Castellanos for the community-focused work that is the hallmark of her career, and we look forward to continuing to work with this amazing leader.
“These are tough losses but our movement for public education will win,” Myart-Cruz says. “Voting is just one lever of change — now we double down on organizing and direct action to keep pushing for the change we need. Educators can be the hope and leadership needed in these trying times.”