Labor weighs in on May school board and bond elections

PORTLAND, Oregon — Local labor unions and councils are taking sides on candidates and ballot measures in Oregon’s upcoming May 16 elections. Most of the endorsements are for education boards and school bond measures that will appear on ballots. Candidates seeking the endorsement of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC) must complete a questionnaire, and most candidates interview with the Executive Board. Following is a breakdown of endorsements that have been announced by various labor councils and union locals:

Portland Public Schools

Three incumbents on the current school board are stepping down, and 10 candidates have filed to run. The Portland Association of Teachers and the Portland Federation of School Professionals Local 111 are supporting Rita Moore in Zone 4 representing North Portland; Scott Bailey in Zone 5 covering Northeast Portland; and Trisha Parks in Zone 6 in Southeast Portland.

The Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council (CPBTC) also supports Bailey in Zone 5, but it endorsed Jamila Singleton Munson in Zone 4. The Northwest Oregon Labor Council has endorsed Moore, and is still in the interview process in Zones 5 and 6.

Moore is a school activist and parent of a PPS student. She is co-chair of the Community Budget Review Committee. A former university professor, she works as a policy analyst in the Office of Health Analytics of the Oregon Health Authority.

Munson is a former teacher and principal at a charter school in Houston, Texas. A graduate of Grant High School, she is a senior managing director for Teach for America, a non-profit that recruits college students to teach in a public or public charter K–12 school.

Bailey is a school activist who has organized with parents against school closures and served on the district-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee. An economics teacher at Clark College, he played a key role in passing the 2012 school bond.

Parks is a teacher in Beaverton and a former union leader there. She wants to bring more teacher voices into the decision-making processes at PPS. She has children in the district, and has served as president of the Atkinson Elementary PTA.

Candidates are elected district-wide, but they must live in the zone in which they are running. Terms are four years.

NOLC and CPBTC both endorsed Portland Public School Bond 26-193. The measure is a $790 million construction bond. If passed, Benson and Madison high schools would be remodeled, Lincoln High and Kellogg Middle School would be demolished and rebuilt, and nearly every Portland school would get safety hazards fixed. (A story in our March 17, 2017, issue gives further detail about the projects and the likely jobs impacts.)

David Douglas School District

Four of the seven seats on the School Board are up in May. Only registered voters of a particular area may vote for a particular seat in the “by-district” election.

NOLC, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, and the Oregon School Employees Association have endorsed Ana del Rocio for Position 1. The former teacher and mother of two is employed as a public policy professional. del Rocio is challenging incumbent board member Cheryl Ancheta.

Gresham-Barlow School District

NOLC, CPBTC, UFCW Local 555, and IBEW Local 48 have endorsed Jason Dugan for School Board, at-large. Dugan is a member of IBEW 48 and has been an active parent in the school district for many years. He has volunteered as a coach, as well as on several committees for the school district. He worked on the successful bond measure, and was co-chair of the Political Action Committee. Two other candidates have filed to run.

Lake Oswego School District

CPBTC endorsed Bond Measure 3-515. LO School District is seeking $187 million to rebuild Lakeridge Junior High, perform maintenance repairs, and implement safety and security upgrades on existing schools.

NOLC, Portland Community College Local 2277-American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and PCC Local 3922-AFT have endorsed Rob Wagner for School Board, Position 2. Wagner, an associate vice president of college advancement at Portland Community College, is a former employee of the American Federation of Teachers. He is running unopposed.

Portland Community College

NOLC and CPBTC have endorsed Moses Ross for the PCC Zone 5 Board seat. Ross is a small business owner and single dad. He is being challenged by Valdez Bravo, a Democratic Party activist and Army veteran. Bravo is endorsed by PCC Local 2277-AFT and PCC Local 3922-AFT. Bravo, who holds master’s degrees in health care administration and business administration from Baylor University, works at the Veterans Health Administration.

Multnomah Education Service District

NOLC has endorsed Mary Botkin for re-election to MESD Position 3. Botkins is a retired lobbyist of Oregon AFSCME Council 75.

City of Portland

NOLC has endorsed Ballot Measure 26-189 put forth by the Portland City Council. The measure amends the City Charter by increasing the City Auditor’s independence from audited agencies, and adds other duties.

5 Comments on Labor weighs in on May school board and bond elections

  1. Oregon Working Families Party has given endorsements in several school board elections. We also endorsed Ana del Rocio in the David Douglas district as well as Andrea Valderrama and Stephanie Stevens. For Eugene District 4J we endorsed Jerry Rosiek and Evangelina Sundgrenz. PCUN, In Woodburn, Oregon’s Farm Workers Union has endorsed Gustavo Gurierrez, Laura Isiordia, and Anthony Median. In Salem/Keizer School District PCUN is backing Kethleen Harder, Sherrone Blasi, and Levi Herrera-Lopez. Working Families concurs with PCUN’s recommendations.

    • Is this labor organization supporting candidates who would favor the current teachers contract continuance allowing records to be wiped when teachers transfer from one school to the next? This is in reference to the Whitehurst sexual mis-conduct investigation written about in The Oregonian.

  2. As an update, Moses Ross for PCC Zone 5 has also now been endorsed by UFCW Local 555, Sheetmetal Workers Local 16, Laborers Local 483.

  3. As a former member of three different unions (Teamsters, AFSCME, and AFGE), I am proud to have the endorsement of the AFT PCC Locals and I appreciated the opportunity to present my candidacy to the NW Oregon Labor Council.

  4. I endorse Valdez Bravo for PCC Zone 5 – veteran, former labor union member, VA Administrator, father, former national Bernie Delegate, current Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, PCC graduate himself. Hard to find a better person for this office.

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