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Washington Education Association: Strengthening Washington's Public Schools

Elections, elections, elections
We are both steeped in elections work both far and near. With just a few days left, we know most of our members have already dropped off or mailed ballots as this genuinely feels as if it is the most important election in our lifetime.  We know how busy and how exhausted we all are with trying to support our students, whether it is remotely, hybrid or in person, AND we are reminding you to make sure your vote is counted. Please take a few minutes to vote and get that ballot out the door before Nov. 3.

Getting Out the Vote via phone banking, text banking, zooming

WEA members were asked to make 20,000 text bank connections to help re-elect Chris Reykdal for Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). We delivered some 57,000 in three hours Oct. 17. Thanks to everyone for giving extra time when you are already asked to do so much. It was great to have union sister and WEA-PAC-endorsed 5th Legislative District State Senate candidate Ingrid Anderson drop in at our WEA-PAC meeting this month.

National endorsements
While both of us are proud to stand with NEA on their endorsement for Joe and Kamala, it was exciting to see Janie featured in an NEA Facebook spot where she says, "During the (vice president) debate, Kamala Harris said, 'Joe Biden will be a president who brings us together and recognizes the beauty in our diversity and that we have so much more in common than what separates us.' We need national leadership that will work to unite us. That’s why I’m with Joe and Kamala."

Working with the labor council
Janie has been meeting regularly with the Washington State Labor Council where the subjects are far reaching including discussion about the role of unions after the election.

Action Coordinating Team and new local presidents' meetings
WEA's ACT brings ESP members together to tackle collective bargaining, job privatization and current pandemic issues. We brought some of our new ESP presidents on a "Zoom field trip" to meet ACT members since meetings were occurring concurrently this month. We both had the opportunity to chat with our newer presidents during a training session for them.

COVID work
We continue to work with the state Department of Health, the Department of Labor and Industries and Gov. Jay Inslee’s office to ensure that reopening guidelines are maintained. We continue to hear from local leaders whose districts are opting not to follow the guidance of public health officials and we will continue to support members as we continue navigating these chaotic times.

We went back to the office
We were at WEA way back in August, but stayed outside, to videotape a message in support of BIPOC students reminding members to be sensitive to the trauma they experienced this summer and may continue to experience daily.

WEA Board minutes
Here are highlights from our September meeting and minutes from the August meeting.

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