Monday, November 18, 2019

Los Angeles Teachers Endorse Bernie, Chicago May Follow, Wither the UFT?

As union endorsements for Bernie come in he gains momentum. If CTU in Chicago joins UTLA then the second and third largest teacher unions endorse Bernie. James Eterno says it's a billion to one chance the UFT endorses Bernie and I somewhat agree. Maybe a million to one. I think they may settle on Warren if Biden falters. Imagine being faced with Bloomberg - thank goodness he has no chance - see my recent post: Bloomberg as President Would Be More Undemocratic than Trump.

I'm going to address the petition being put up by Labor for Bernie UFTers - pretty much MORE Caucus calling for a democratic poll - where I will point out that if they do actually hold a poll and it turns out not to be Bernie they will scream bloody murder and won't support the winner. But that's a story for another day.

Ravitch had a report on the LA endorsement (Los Angeles: UTLA Endorses Bernie Sanders) with a full statement on the process used 

timeline of UTLA’s endorsement.
  • Sept. 11 – UTLA Board of Directors votes 35-1 to begin exploring an endorsement process for Sen. Bernie Sanders.
  • Sept. 18 – UTLA House of Representatives votes 135-46 to confirm the process to explore endorsing Sanders.
  • Oct. 2 – School site leaders discuss and review endorsement materials.
  • Oct. 2-Nov. 12 — School site leaders engage members on consideration of a UTLA endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
  • Nov. 13— Membership advisory up or down vote at 9 regional area meetings. 72.5% of voters, representing more than 500 LAUSD schools, say yes to endorsing Sanders.
  • Nov. 14 — House of Representatives votes 80% to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Note the process was not a poll to see which candidate members wanted but an up and down on Bernie. But it looks like Bernie was pretty up. But if the numbers were say 50-50 it might be sticky.

James reported at the ICE Blog and James seems to be pretty open to Bernie - and James is a progressive but no open lefty which is interesting. I find pretty much all the ICEUFT people are pro-Bernie.

UNITED TEACHERS OF LOS ANGELES ENDORSES BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT

Teacher union news from Los Angeles, California:

LOS ANGELES — United Teachers Los Angeles, the second-largest teachers’ local in the country, is proud to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for US President in the 2020 Primary Election, making UTLA the first teachers’ union in the country to endorse a presidential candidate.

Tonight, the UTLA House of Representatives – the elected leadership body of the 34,000-member union — voted 80% in favor of endorsing Sen. Sanders, capping the most comprehensive member engagement process that UTLA has ever conducted for a political candidate.

Thursday’s House vote followed a six-week discussion at school sites. Following that member engagement, on Wednesday at nine regional meetings, more than 500 elected site representatives voted 72.5% yes to the presidential endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Wednesday’s vote was opened up to allow any member who attended to vote alongside elected chapter leaders.

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl said: “Why now, and why Bernie? Because we want him to win in the primary election and because we need an unapologetic, longstanding ally of progressive policies to make public education a priority in the White House. Sanders is the first viable major candidate in 25 years in the Democratic Party to stand up against privatization, the charter billionaires, and high-stakes testing and to stand up for a massive redistribution of wealth to schools and social services. Critically, like UTLA, Sen. Sanders believes in building a national movement for real, lasting change.”

Alex led a successful strike in LA earlier this year.  I take this union out in LA seriously. We can only dream that our Union will follow.

Do you see a process like UTLA had before endorsing Sanders going on in the UFT?

For anyone who has not seen Bernie's education and labor plans, please read them. They are worth your time.

Diane Ravitch covered the story and there are some interesting comments there.

The largest nurse's  union also endorsed Bernie this week. We will see where labor goes. 
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I'm including this report from September from the right wing critic Mike Antonucci who does make some interesting points:

UTLA Begins Process to Endorse Bernie Sanders


United Teachers Los Angeles isn’t waiting around for the field of Democratic presidential candidates to be winnowed down. The union’s representative bodies took steps last week to endorse Bernie Sanders.
It’s unclear who introduced the motion, but the UTLA board of directors voted 35-1 on September 11 to “initiate a process of exploration to endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United States in the Democratic Party primary.” On September 19 the union’s house of representatives concurred by a vote of 135-46.
The process involves “engaging” chapter leaders in a discussion of Sanders’ qualities that will culminate in an advisory vote for or against an endorsement of Sanders on November 13. The UTLA house of representatives will then take up a formal endorsement vote on November 14.
It’s not unusual for state and local teacher unions to endorse primary candidates on their own when a clear front-runner hasn’t emerged. But even UTLA calls this process “unique.”
What isn’t unique, judging by the evidence so far, is that the process isn’t really about determining whom chapter leaders (or rank-and-file members) want to endorse, but about selling them on Bernie Sanders.
“Sanders is shaping up to be the candidate with the best chance not just to win the White House, but to actually change the conditions of massive inequality and underfunding of public education,” said UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl.
We’ll see how this approach plays with those in UTLA who support one of the other dozen or so Democratic presidential candidates. The desires of Republican UTLA members can safely be ignored.
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