Today we are excited to announce a team of candidates who will be running for seven of NYSUT’s At-Large Director positions in the upcoming NYSUT election. We do so only after having given the situation very careful consideration.
Running for these positions allows us to challenge incumbents for the opportunity to sit on NYSUT’s board of directors and affect policy on the statewide level that represents both the needs and desires of the rank and file membership who we represent. At the same time it allows us to continue the work we are doing in the schools we currently work in and the communities in which they serve. Our candidates are a diverse collection of working classroom teachers, representing a variety of certifications within our profession and an even greater array of students they serve.
An important part of our decision to announce our candidacy now is that it is after the deadline to seek endorsement from the statewide Unity Caucus. We want to make it clear that we are not seeking Unity Caucus endorsement as we oppose one party systems that limit democracy within our statewide union. We believe in an active and informed rank and file. We believe in true democratic, bottom up, member driven unionism. We stand for social justice unionism that not only fights for teachers and our working conditions, but simultaneously our students and their learning conditions.
We believe that this declaration is not just the beginning of our candidacy for the positions we seek, but also the beginning of a movement towards a new direction for the statewide union that we all love dearly.
Our candidates for the At-Large Director positions…
Beth Dimino, President of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association, Middle School Science Teacher
Mike Schirtzer, UFT Delegate- MORE Caucus, High School Social Studies Teacher
James Eterno- UFT Chapter Leader- MORE Caucus, 2010 candidate for UFT President, High School Social Studies Teacher
Lauren Cohen- UFT Delegate- MORE Caucus, 5th Grade General Education Teacher
Julie Cavanagh, UFT Chapter Leader- MORE Caucus, 2013 candidate for UFT President, Elementary Special Education Teacher
Francesco Portelos, UFT Chapter Leader- MORE Caucus, Intermediate School Science and Technology Teacher
- Jia Lee, UFT Chapter Leader-MORE Caucus, Earth School Elementary Teacher