California Educator

October 2012

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2012 ELECTION SPECIAL | ADVOCACY IN ACTION Lodi's Jeff Johnston juggles infant triplets and advocacy By Dina Martin JEFF JOHNSTON HAS A LOT TO JUGGLE L ATELY. He's using his Google calendar to ensure he gets out to 50 school sites, collecting voter commitment cards from members of the Lodi Education Association, planning upcoming phone banks, and, oh yes, fathering the triplets born to him and his wife Nanci a few months ago. The babies are doing great, Nanci's gone back to the classroom, and so far, the campaign is going well, too. Johnston devotes hours to Campaign Jeff Johnston 2012. In addition to the many site visits he's undertaken, Johnston is counting on LEA members to show up for a Friday night social at a local Mexican restau- rant, where he hopes to recruit some for phone banking. Then it's a matter of continuing to get out the word, calling in the commitment cards, and phoning up members who plan to vote Yes on 30 and No on 32. With all that going on, Johnston sounds disappointed there isn't a local school board race going on this fall. "I would have liked a school board race so we could have dovetailed it into the campaign," Johnston says. "That way, our members could have seen the tie-in more directly." Johnston is reminding colleagues about the two school bonds they helped pass in the last 10 years, and the legislation CTA has worked on, and pension benefits that have occurred, and the curbing of the growth of non-unionized charter schools in Lodi. Much that has been achieved by the advocacy of CTA and local chapters could be threatened should Proposition 32 pass. "People are getting the message," Johnston says. Lodi teachers are also getting the message about the impor- tance of passing Proposition 30. "We've been on a layoff merry- go-round the last four or five years, and we've had salary cuts. The loss of instruction days is a threat," Johnston says. He and the LEA are reaching out to the public in the next weeks. They plan to have a booth at a community fair taking place in early October. "We're going to do voter registration there and explain to par- ents what it's going to mean if they have to fund 15 more days of day care after instruction days have been cut," he says. 16 California Educator October 2012 Three new reasons to be an advocate – Jeff Johnston juggles new parenting and advocacy responsibilities. Oceanside Superheroes VOTE for students Photo by Bill Guy " YOU ALL ARE HEROES, but, will you be superheroes who help save public education? Be a superheroes and vote YES on Prop 30 and No on Prop 32," said Oceanside Teachers Association President Terry Hart. During the OTA back-to- school association meeting he thanked all of the public school employees and school board members for being heroes to students and public education.

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