One year ago today, teachers packed the board room to protest Mike Dunn's failure to place the Opt Out Policy developed by a teacher committee on the agenda. There had already been a year of contention over bathroom policies, the FAIR Act policies and moving Conejo Valley High School. We continued wrangling with the board this past year. Name calling, bickering, lack of focus, disregarding the rules of governance, and other shenanigans, interfered with the board completing their business. It was time for a change.
In the spring, Randy moved us forward with an extensive interview process with all candidates who had declared at that time. The committee made their choice. It was forwarded to the Executive Board and then to the Rep Council for ratification. The campaign began. As the field narrowed, we focused on electing Jenny Fitzgerald, Bill Gorback, and Cindy Goldberg. A coalition of parents, community and business members, Conejo Together was formed to elect the same three candidates. While our campaigns were separate, UACT and Conejo Together moved forward with the same goal of restoring our school board with members who will work transparently and cooperatively and re-focus on our students.
Last night, all three of our endorsed candidates were elected. We succeeded in flipping the board. It happened because people stepped up and went outside their comfort zone to make this happen. We passed out 5,000 flyers at back to school nights. We wrote 1400 postcards and made 1400 phone calls to educators who lived within our voting district. We rallied on street corners and set up booths at the Pride Festival and Street Fair. Folks posted on Facebook and other social media. We purchased ads and sent out mailers. Many of our members also wrote many of the 17,000 post cards sent out by Conejo Together as well as walking neighborhoods and phone banking.
The success we are feeling today did not happen by accident or by luck. It was by each one of you who talked to neighbors, wrote postcards, made phone calls, rallied on the corners, and walked neighborhoods. Signs, conversations, window clings, and speaking up made the difference and I thank each and everyone of you who participated. We all owe you all a huge, huge thank you!
Change is made by those who show up! Thank you for all of your efforts.
ColleenColleen Briner-Schmidt, President, Unified Association of Conejo Teachers
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Supports/defends members' rights • Strives to improve working conditions • Monitors/enforces the contract • Represents members in mtgs that could lead to disciplinary actions • Maintains our association's bulletin board on campus • Presents views of colleagues to UACT's leadership • Serves as a site organizer by communicating information in person or electronically.
UACT needs your help! We are looking for pictures of teachers doing great things with their classes, student projects, and candid shots of our members to feature on our website. Please send photos and brief description to Karla Stevenson.