June 13, 2021

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California’s largest teachers’ union votes to oppose Newsom recall – SF Gate

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California’s most powerful teachers union voted to oppose the recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to a statement released Friday. 

The California Teachers Association President E. Toby Boyd applauded Newsom’s commitment to the state’s public schools  amid the coronavirus pandemic and called out the Democratic governor’s prioritization of vaccines for educators and school staff that has contributed to the state having the lowest COVID-19 transmission rate in the nation.

“For the past year, each one of us has grappled with the challenges and losses posed by the pandemic and there’s no denying it has been tough,” Boyd wrote in a statement. “Among the many lessons we’ve learned is that when decisions are values-based and focused on the greater good, we can confront even the toughest of challenges. California educators stand in strong opposition to the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom. From our classroom vantage point during the pandemic, we didn’t always agree on approach, but we’ve never questioned his commitment to California’s students and public education.”

Boyd also noted Newsom’s track record with transparency around corporate charter schools, his budget plan that “proposes historic increases for the restart and recovery of our school and college campuses,” and his “plan to expand transitional kindergarten to all four-year-olds.”

The California Teachers Association has more than 300,000 members and is affiliated with the National Education Association. Its top governing body comprised of nearly 700 educators voted against supporting the recall. 

The teachers union support came after a smattering of other labor unions representing workers in manufacturing, retail, grocery stores, hospitality, health care and other businesses announced their support Tuesday for Newsom as he faces a likely recall election.

The California Labor Federation delivered the endorsement on behalf of 2.1 million workers and 1,200 affiliated unions on the steps of the Capitol, blasting the recall and Newsom’s competitors as “anti-worker.”

Recall supporters have their own army of volunteers. Organizers with little to no formal political training successfully gathered more than 1.7 million valid signatures to place the recall on the ballot, relying on volunteers across all 58 counties who stood on street corners and in parking lots collecting signatures throughout the summer and fall.

Orrin Heatlie, the leader of that movement, said recently that his volunteers were taking a much-needed break but they would soon be back out campaigning.

“They’ll be handing out fliers and educating the public as to the reasons behind the recall, the need for a yes vote,” he said.

A date for an election hasn’t been set. People who signed a recall petition have another week to withdraw their names, then the state Department of Finance and Legislature must conduct and review cost estimates for an election. Then the lieutenant governor, also a Democrat, will set an election date.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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