Many members of the CEA-Retired spent another election season advocating for school board and city council candidates recommended by local units and the CEA. Races were contentious in many places this year due to the increased interest and involvement from various fringe organizations, who supported candidates who ran on divisive issues rather than issues that benefit Colorado students. Despite the many challenges, when we fight, we win!
In the Denver Public Schools Board election, CEA-R member Margaret Bobb spent time volunteering her support for the four candidates recommended by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Her hard work, along with many others, paid off and all four were elected. In Aurora and Cherry Creek, we saw the same positive outcomes. Their school boards will be represented by majority pro-public education directors. CARE members Eliza Hamrick and Marilyn Kemp canvassed tirelessly to bring their candidates to the finish line.
JCEA-Retired members pitched in in Jeffco to help Jefferson County Education Association’s recommended candidates win. Lorraine Bowen, Karen Coleman, Julie Friedemann, Dale Gatz, Andrea Luethge, Diana Bliss and Kris Kraft completed a wide variety of activities from phone banking, canvassing, and postcard writing to sponsoring fundraisers and donating money. Jefferson County has not forgotten what happens to a school board when the right people are not elected. BVEA-R supported the Boulder Valley Education Association’s recommended candidates by writing post cards.
Even though retired members worked hard in Greeley and Adams 12, the outcome was not so good. They will be faced with challenging school boards for the next few years. Despite the setbacks, we do not give up. We fight back and we fight back harder. Fighting for public education is what our organization is all about and it will be a fight for the foreseeable future. Those of us who spent years in schools know this, and even though we are no longer in the classrooms we will continue to fight for our friends who are still doing what is best for every child every day.
Lori Goldsein is a retired special education teacher and president of CEA-Retired.