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Kevin Vick Begins First Term as President of the Colorado Education Association

Kevin Vick Begins First Term as President of the Colorado Education Association

 

Kevin Vick, former Vice President of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), has officially started his new role as president. His election marks a new chapter for CEA, which continues to advocate for the rights of students and educators throughout all four corners of the state.

Vick brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to education to his new role. With over two decades of experience in the field of education, primarily as a high school social studies teacher, Vick has demonstrated unwavering dedication to ensuring that every student in Colorado has access to quality education. Additionally, Vick served for six years as president of the Colorado Springs Education Association, where he advocated for better working conditions for his fellow educators. His leadership as Vice President of the CEA has been marked by significant achievements in securing better wages, fairer workplace conditions and a crucial first step towards a fully-funded education system in Colorado.

“I am deeply honored to start my first term as President of the Colorado Education Association. This opportunity fills me with immense pride and a profound sense of responsibility,” said Kevin Vick, an educator with 20+ years of experience and president of CEA. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the learning conditions for all students in Colorado, ensuring they have the resources and support they need to succeed.

“My commitment to advocating for the rights of educators remains resolute, as I believe that empowering and supporting our educators is crucial to the success of our education system. Additionally, I am dedicated to championing public education across Colorado, working tirelessly to promote policies that create an environment where every student can thrive, and every educator is respected and valued.”

As President, Vick aims to build on this foundation, focusing on strategies to address the challenges facing educators and students in the current educational landscape. Vick’s vision for the future is one where educators’ voices are at the forefront of the conversation about education, where partnership and collaboration flow freely, where there is sustainable long-term funding for public education in Colorado, and where a career in education is not a vow of poverty, but one of prosperity.

 

By Bethany Morris, CEA Director of Communications

 

 

Colorado Education Association Applauds Primary Election Victories Amidst Dark Money Influence

The Colorado Education Association today released the following statement about the results of the 2024 primary elections:

“We extend our sincerest congratulations to Kathy Gebhardt (State Board of Education CD2), who won her race despite unprecedented amounts of corporate-backed, dark money that flooded the playing field. Gebhardt’s triumph is a testament to the power of people-powered organizing and the strength of a campaign built on genuine connections with constituents. It highlights the resilience and determination of voters to uphold democratic principles and support candidates who truly represent their interests and values.

“Mike Weissman (SD28) and Yara Zokaie (HD52) should also be commended for winning their races in districts where dark money, fueled by corporate interests, ran rampant. It’s disheartening to see the amount of money that came into play during this primary season; voters, not corporate interests with deep pockets, should be deciding who best represents the future of Colorado. We are incredibly disappointed to see so many labor and public education champions lose their elections last night because of the corporate money and influence on their races. Ensuring that elections remain fair and transparent is essential for maintaining the integrity of our democracy and empowering voters to make informed decisions about their future.

“Looking forward, we’re hopeful that these winning candidates will be champions of bettering Colorado’s education system and the broader labor movement. We look forward to working with them in subsequent sessions to pass legislation that will address the pressing needs of our students and support the rights and welfare of workers across the state,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and President of CEA.

 

Workers Rally to Challenge Gov. Polis to Protect Their Rights

Workers Rally to Challenge Gov. Polis to Protect Their Rights

Workers, community and labor advocates, and legislators rallied at the State Capitol this afternoon to commend the legislature for standing with workers by passing legislation to ensure workplace protections and quality jobs and to express disappointment with the Governor’s failure to sign them.

man standing at rally with shirt that says Polis Failed Workers

Last Friday evening, Governor Polis vetoed three bills that would have helped working Coloradans. Rally attendees will call on the Governor to take steps to stand with workers going forward -including engaging with workers this summer and fall to learn of the challenges they face- and to commit his final two years in office to signing policies that support worker rights and well-paying jobs.

HB24-1008 The bill would have protected workers in the construction industry who are victims of wage theft by requiring general contractors to ensure all workers are paid on the projects they build and that their subcontractors take responsibility for paying workers.

“Wage theft happens every single day at job sites across Colorado,” said Jonathan Morales, an impacted worker. “I’ve been a victim of wage theft and I know many, many others who have been. Governor Polis failed us with his vetoes. But there is a way to make it right and we hope he’ll finally meet with us and work with us in a meaningful way so all Colorado workers have the protections they deserve.”

Senator Jessia Danielson speaking at Stand with Workers Rally“The legislature passed HB1008 with strong majorities because it recognized that victims of wage theft need more protections and better ways to get the wages they earned,” said Jordan Jones, a Representative for the Western States Regional Council of Carpenters. “A lot of those workers are paycheck-to-paycheck and they needed the Governor to support them. He failed and now he owes it to those workers to meet with them and adopt real fixes so folks aren’t missing rent and mortgage payments, aren’t forced to skip meals, and can take care of their families.”

HB24-1260 The bill would have prevented employers from retaliating against workers who choose to opt out of mandatory political or religious meetings in the workplace.

“These vetoes let down Colorado’s working families.” Said Sephanie Felix-Sowy, President of SEIU Local 105. “Workers across our state were counting on Governor Polis to sign these historic protections into law, including HB 1260 which would have protected workers from being forced to listen to religious, political or anti-union speech from their employer, and in failing to do so, he missed an opportunity to stand with workers. Moving forward, our members will continue to fight together every day to expand workers’ rights and protections, and to ensure that no worker in Colorado is left behind.”

Aurora Education Association member Bryan Lindstrom speaking at Stand with Workers Rally“I’m so disappointed in our Governor. Workers across Colorado put so much time into helping elect him because we believed he would be our champion.” said Bobby Schreiber, a life skills manager at Urban Peak and SEIU Local 105 member.  Seeing him veto historic protections like this is incredibly disappointing. Workers, especially those without a union, need to be protected from employer retaliation for simply not attending a meeting not related to their job, and he failed us.”

Colorado Education Association at Stand with Workers rally.

HB24-1307 The bill would have ensured high-road contractors are completing HVAC improvement projects in Colorado schools and ensuring those schools get the grants they need.

“Investing in school infrastructure is essential not only for the immediate well-being of our students and educators but also for the long-term success of our educational system,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and President of the Colorado Education Association. “This decision represents a missed opportunity to make a significant positive impact on the quality of education in Colorado, and it sends a troubling message about the prioritization of our state’s resources and the importance placed on the educational environment.”

Colorado Education Association Announces Recommendations for 2024 Primary Elections

Colorado Education Association Announces Recommendations for 2024 Primary Elections

CONTACT
Bethany Morris
Colorado Education Association
bmorris@coloradoea.org
432-553-8747

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2024 

Colorado Education Association Announces Recommendations for 2024 Primary Elections 

DENVER, CO — The Colorado Education Association (CEA) today released its recommended candidates for the 2024 primary elections. After a legislative session in which the legislature took historic steps to fully fund public education by buying down the Budget Stabilization Factor to $0, CEA and its nearly 40,000 members are looking forward to continuing the momentum by electing pro-public education candidates across all four corners of the state.

“After a historic legislative session where educators showed up at the Capitol weekly to ensure that students, educators and public education were a priority this legislative session, the nearly 40,000 members of CEA are now concentrating on electing officials who are staunch supporters of public education,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and President of CEA. “Our students and educators deserve to learn and work in schools that are adequately resourced and supported. The recent efforts to reduce the Budget Stabilization Factor were a significant initial step toward addressing the funding gaps, but this is only the beginning. We need our elected officials to boldly pursue permanent, sustainable and equitable solutions to ensure our education system is fully funded and capable of meeting the needs of future generations. This is essential for creating an environment where both students and educators can thrive and for maintaining the quality of education that our communities expect and deserve.”

CEA RECOMMENDED CANDIDATES 

State Board of Education 

  • State Board of Education CD 2: Kathy Gebhardt (D-Boulder)

  • State Board of Education CD 8: Rhonda Solis (D-Greeley)

State Legislature 

  • House District 4: Tim Hernández, CEA Member (D-Denver)

  • House District 10: Tina Mueh, CEA Member (D-Boulder)

  • House District 31: Julia Marvin (D-Thornton)

  • House District 36: Bryan Lindstrom, CEA Member (D-Aurora)

  • House District 52: Yara Zokaie (D-Fort Collins)

  • Senate District 18: Judy Amabile (D-Boulder)

  • Senate District 28: Mike Weissman (D-Aurora)

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About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents nearly 40,000 Colorado education professionals. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education. By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

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Bill to Safeguard K-12 Education, Lower Property Taxes for Coloradans to be Signed!

Bill to Safeguard K-12 Education, Lower Property Taxes for Coloradans to be Signed!

CONTACT
Bethany Morris
Colorado Education Association
bmorris@coloradoea.org
432-553-8747

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2024 

Bill to Safeguard K-12 Education, Lower Property Taxes for Coloradans to be Signed!

DENVER, CO — This afternoon, Governor Polis is set to sign SB24-233, Property Tax, a bill that safeguards funding for K-12 education while also providing property tax relief for Coloradans across all four corners of the state. The bill was drafted and debated after months of bipartisan effort from the Commission on Property Tax of, which the Colorado Education Association Vice President, Kevin Vick, served upon.

“After months of hard work on the Commission on Property Tax, a bipartisan, long-term solution to the ever-rising property taxes in the state has been signed,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and President of CEA. “This piece of legislation will reduce property taxes on hardworking Colorado home and business owners while also protecting school funding.”

SB24-233, sponsored by Senators Chris Hansen and Barbara Kirkmeyer as well as Representatives Chris deGruy Kennedy and Lisa Frizell, will ensure that homeowners in Colorado won’t have an increase in property taxes this year as well as reduce statewide local taxes by more than $1 billion.

Additionally, starting in 2026, the bill provides progressive property tax relief by reducing assessed value by 10% for homes valued at $700,000 or less. The bill would also reduce the commercial property assessment rate from 29% to 25% by 2027. Finally, the bill would also cap local property tax growth at 5.5% starting in 2025. To protect K-12 funding, the bill increases the school rate for residential properties to 7.15%.

Before SB24-233 was introduced, Initiatives 50 and 108 loomed over Colorado, threatening to bring devastating cuts to our schools and local communities. These measures would recklessly cut $3 billion per year from local community budgets, delivering big tax cuts to wealthy homeowners and big corporations but doing very little for seniors, the middle class, small businesses or rural Coloradans. Plugging funding gaps that large would require major cuts to state funding for education, healthcare and transportation. Coloradans need property tax relief, but Initiatives 50 and 108 are the wrong way to do it.

“Unlike Initiatives 50 and 108, SB24-233 brings a balanced approach that demonstrates our commitment to both economic stability and educational excellence in our state. By implementing this legislation, we are ensuring that our homeowners and entrepreneurs receive much-needed relief without compromising the quality of education for our students,” said Baca-Oehlert. “In addition to Initiatives 50 and 108 delivering catastrophic cuts to our communities, we know that voters are confused and are not sold on these measures.”

A recent survey, conducted by Aspect Strategic on behalf of the Colorado Education Association, demonstrates that if the election were held today, fewer than four in ten likely voters would be inclined to support either Initiative 50 or Initiative 108. Read more about that survey in our polling memo.

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About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents nearly 40,000 Colorado education professionals. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education. By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.

Follow CEA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram