As the UTLA strike neared, Exec. Board voted unanimously to adopt a UTLA School through CA Eductaors Rising. Our "adopted" school was Sotomayor Center for Art & Sciences in N. Los Angeles with approximately 50 UTLA members. Sotomayor is a magnet high school known for scientific, mathematic, linguistic, artistic, and culturally literate instruction about the world through Pathway Outcomes of Communication, Contribution, Critical Thinking and Creation. The school also has a farm. We knew the educators would be outside for many hours in the wind, rain and cold temperatures so the plan was to send them hot lunches. Pizza was delivered on day two after a march to downtown LA and was literally eaten in the cold rain out of the trunk of one of the teacher's cars. Towards the end of the strike we ordered from a local favorite burger joint, Dave's Chillin' & Grillin' with a choice of grilled cheese, burgers, hot dogs or bean burritos. MIT teacher, Ms. Alvarado, reached out to provide everyone with bagels one morning- a great way to start off another cold and rainy day picketing outside. Aside from nourishment, we sent messages of solidarity in the form of cards, texts and social media posts every day of the 6 days strike. Members of DUEA sent photos of everyone wearing red and posing with signs in front of our schools on the two CTA Statewide Red4Ed Walk-in/Walk Out Days to ensure our UTLA colleagues that we support them 100%. Our first event was a Walk In on January 11 with more than 3/4 of our educators participating across the district. Royal Oaks and Beardslee Academy teachers had the most participation on January 18's Walk-Outside at dismissal.
As Oakland Education Association prepared to strike, CA Educators Rising began organizing to get every Oakland school "adopted". We were matched with Greenleaf School, a small, tk-8 school in the heart of East Oakland, just recognized as 1 of 13 schools out of 126 for Academic Progress and serves as a model for teacher leadership, professional learning communities, values-based school culture and data-driven instruction. While the first few days were jam packed with activities and rallies to attend, this week will be more picketing at the site and we will have an opportunity to send our Greenleaf sisters and brothers lunch just as we did for Sotomayor. On February 15, Royal Oaks, Beardslee and Valley View came out strong although it was cold and rainy. Yesterday, the 22, a Negotiations Day for us, we participated in another Walk Outside with Royal Oaks having more than half their staff supporting in solidarity at dismissal.