Teachers Union Should Support Prop. 89

By Jean Rains, Letter to the Editor

As a public school teacher and CTA member, I was deeply disappointed to read that a CTA spokesperson announced that CTA was opposing Prop. 89, the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act.

I frankly do not believe that the CTA is failing to support the proposition because it is "poorly crafted." The CTA, like any other power player, doesn't want to take the chance that it would lose power if a fairer, more inclusive, less corrupting political system replaced our old pay-to-play system.

I'm a union member, and a union supporter. I'm on the phone with the rest of the teachers when we have to work against legislation that would be harmful to students and teachers. But by opposing Prop. 89, the CTA is jeopardizing an opportunity to bring some fairness into our political process.

The California League of Women Voters and the California Nurses Association support this proposition. Arizona and Maine have adopted Clean Money reforms, and since then Maine has been the first state to adopt a form of universal health care. Majorities of candidates in both states are now running as "clean" candidates, because the public does not want to vote for candidates who are obligated to big money donors. Clean Money reforms have already proven that they support a more equitable political process.

Today, in Arizona and Maine, more women, minorities, and working class people are running for office and winning. We teachers cannot let the CTA make up our minds for us on this important issue. Go to http://www.CAclean.org to get informed and to see a 14-minute special report by Bill Moyers. And contact the CTA to ask them to rethink their decision. They could make or break it. Don't let them break it.

Jean Rains, teacher
Longwood Elementary School

See the article on Oakland Tribune website

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