You are probably pretty tired of hearing about the upcoming election. I don’t blame you. Between the steady stream of TV commercials urging yes or no votes and the telephone “robo” calls, it seems we can’t escape the issues.
Can we, however, fully understand the issues?
This is what we know as educators:
- Our jobs have gotten increasingly more difficult in the last two years. The Michigan legilature has passed over 600 different bills that impact our students, our evaluations, our pensions and insurance, and our district’s funding.
- Proposal Two is the biggest ballot issue for Michigan’s teachers. If you have been teaching for five or more years, you have gotten used to the provisions of our contract. And, you have noticed that some things in that contract disappeared last year. Why? Because the legislators decided they knew our needs better than we did.
- Everything in your contract was placed there after both sides — teachers and administrators — negotiated together to arrive at an agreeable compromise. Both sides knew the community, the students, the local issues, and what was best for Parchment. Now, Lansing thinks they know what is best for us.
Proposal Two restores our right to bargain things locally — without interference from Lansing.
I hope you are planning to vote YES on Proposal Two, and encourage your spouse, child, parent, cousin, sibling — even neighbor — to also vote yes.
The Kalamazoo County Education Association has endorsed local candidates. These are individuals who have responded to requests for “screening” and have given education-friendly positions. We feel that they will support us in our increasingly difficult jobs if they are elected. These are Kalamazoo County positions only.
U.S. 6th Congressional — Mike O’Brien (not endorsed by MEA)
60th House Seat– Sean McCann
63rd House Seat –Bill Farmer
Kalamazoo CountyProsecuting Attorney – Jeffrey S. Getting
Kalamazoo County Clerk & Register of Deeds– Brian Johnson
Kalamazoo County Treasurer – Grace Borgfjord
Kalamazoo County Commission
District #2 — Dave Buskirk
District #4 — Michael Seals
District #5 — Julie Rogers
District #6 — Tom Novak
District #7 — Leroy Crabtree
District #9 — Robert Kildea
Local School Board
Gull Lake – Lin Marklin
The Michigan Education Association PAC has endorsed the following state and national candidates:
President – Barack Obama
Michigan Supreme Court – Connie Marie Kelley, Bridget Mary McCormack, Shelia Johnson
State Board of Education — Michelle Fecteau, Lupes Ramos-Montigny
MSU Board of Trustees – Joel Ferguson, Brian Mosallan
U of M Board of Regents — Mark Bernstein, Shauna Ryder Diggs
WSU Board of Governors – Sandra Hughes O’Brien, Kim Trent
U.S. Senate –Debbie Stabenow
U.S. House (some endorsed candidates are outside our area)
John Conyers, Jr.
STATE HOUSE CANDIDATES (this is a partial list of nearby districts — Click this link to find which House District you live in)
62nd House District – Kate Segal
63rd House District – William Farmer
66th House District – Richard (Dick) Rajkovich
70th House District – Mike Huckleberry
71st House District – Theresa Abed
74th House District – Rob VerHeulen
76th House District – Winnie Brinks
87th House District – Mike Callton
MEA Recommendations on the Ballot Proposals
Proposal One (emergency manager) – NO
Proposal Two (collective bargaining) — YES
Proposal Three (affordable home care) — YES
Proposal Four (clean energy) — YES
Proposal Five (2/3 supermajority) — NO
Proposal Six (bridge) — (no position)
I have 10 Yes on Prop Two yards signs. The first ten PEA members to e-mail a request can have them. Let me know ASAP!