This morning teachers at my school in Sacramento received the following email from two teachers in Southern California. How did they get our addresses? Not that I mind, so much, because I agree with their message, but I'd be pretty incensed to get political propaganda email--at my school address--from, say, the CTA. So I think it's wrong of them to reach out this way, but I'm not sure I have a better way for them to get the pro-Prop 75 message out. Bottom line: This was the right thing to do only if you believe the ends justifies the means. And I don't.
But since I agree with the message, I'll repost it here, in its entirety.
From the Desk of: Lillian Perry, Fontana Teacher
From the Desk of: Larry Sand, Los Angeles Teacher
October 12, 2005
Dear California Teacher:
We are also California teachers and are writing to you because we're concerned about what the leaders of our union, the California Teachers Association (CTA), are doing to our union and with our hard earned dollars that we send to them in Sacramento every month.
Here's the bottom line: Our current leadership is on the verge of bankrupting the CTA to fund a political agenda that many of us do not support.
Every year, union leaders in Sacramento take more than $100 million dollars from California teachers' paychecks. This is approximately $300 per teacher per year. Much of this is used to fund a political agenda over which individual teachers have little control. Even worse, this is taken from our paychecks without our permission.
Earlier this year, the CTA leadership decided it still didn't have enough money to spend on politics, so the union leadership decided to take an additional $60 each year from our paychecks for the next three years. This forced assessment gave the union leaders an additional $50 million or more of our money for their political agenda.
According to court documents filed last week, the CTA has at least $34 million in outstanding loans. Now, these same union leaders are trying to borrow ANOTHER $40 million through a line of credit.
When will enough be enough? Where has the money gone?
To dozens of consultants and political firms (getting paid millions of dollars), pollsters, television and radio advertising, direct mail firms and the list goes on and on.
Much of this "Sacramento slush fund" has been used to oppose Prop. 75 - a very simple measure that says the CTA must ask our permission before political campaign funds are taken from our paychecks.
Why would CTA be so opposed, and spend tens of millions of dollars, to having to ask our permission?
Could it be that union leadership is concerned that we might not agree with their political agenda - like spending millions to qualify a measure that would have raised property taxes and millions more for measures that have nothing to do with education?
Proposition 75 will give teachers a choice, a voice and a say. It will bring accountability to the CTA. Please read the measure for your self. If you agree with us, please join us in voting "YES" on Proposition 75.
Prop. 75 is about union democracy, a voice for teachers and guaranteeing us the right to choose how our money is spent. Visit www.organizenotpolitics.org to learn more.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Paid for by Teachers, Firefighters, and Law Enforcement for Paycheck Protection, Yes on 75, A Coalition of Taxpayer Associations with funding by Robin P. Arkley, II and Frank E. Baxter, 1500 W. El Camino Avenue, Suite 113, Sacramento, CA 95833.
[The blue hyperlinks didn't transfer well, so I hope I was able to delete them while also showing where in the text they were--Darren.]