UTLA Election Results
At The Schools With Audrey Linden
There were all of ten candidates running for President of UTLA including the incumbent President, Warren Fletcher. The strongest in the running were Alex Caputo-Pearl, and UTLA Secondary V. P. Gregg Solkovitz. The first round went to Alex Caputo-Pearl with 48 percent of the votes and Warren Fletcher with 21 percent. If Caputo-Pearl had 2 percent more votes, he would have won. Some votes went to next in line, Gregg Solkovitz. There is a run-off between Caputo-Pearl and Fletcher for UTLA President. The ballots have been mailed to the teachers for the second run of this election.
It is interesting to note that Alex Caputo-Pearl ran under the Union Power Team and all six members of the team except him were voted in during the first round. Betty Forrester, incumbent, Juan Ramirez, incumbent, Arlene Inouye, incumbent, aligned with the Union Power team will be doing their second term as UTLA officers and Cecily Myart-Cruz, Daniel Barnhart, and Colleen Schwab are the newly elected officers from the Union Power Team.
All the Board of Directors who were supported by the Union Power Team also were elected. It was a new concept to have an entire team run. And, the team members had been working for a year, meeting and planning to come up with a game plan which , hopefully will turn UTLA around in the power struggle with LAUSD’s, Superintendent, John Deasy. It was a new concept to have an entire team of people, who get along and can work together, run on the same ticket.
The teachers spoke for a change with their votes. They wanted a team who could make headway against LAUSD. The current leadership has been stalemated since the January 29th Demand letter for a raise, classroom reduction, hiring of teachers, etc, was sent. Deasy has not replied.
President Fletcher announced to teachers and to the L A Times, as reported by Howard Blume, that he is not actively campaigning. He felt the teachers had voted in the first round for a change in leadership, and with only 21 percent of the vote, he would have a major challenge in winning the race. If he were to withdraw, there would still have to be a run off, which would be between Alex Caputo-Pearl and Gregg Solkovitz, who was in third place. If Fletcher does win, he said he would be happy to serve another term and would work with the officers on the Union Power team.
The Union has been divisive and that has been reflected in the House of Reps Meetings in which many times, the quorum has been called leaving unfinished business. Time had been taken discussing pro and con issues and teachers had left the meeting in frustration.
To Fletcher’s credit is the recent court decision to fund the understaffed schools affected by the Reed decision. UTLA had a long, protracted fight to win this for the schools and this is a big win.
The ballots will be counted at the end of April and the second round of election results will be known by the beginning of May.