With the PLSEA teachers union endorsement at play, you will begin to see more of a presence of the union endorsed candidates in the district. There is a deep desire for the teachers union to maintain control of who occupies those precious seats elected to serve our children and our community.
It is important to take note of how this process typically takes place.
First, the union held a forum for all candidates to interview and allow all union teachers an opportunity to have a voice in the endorsement process. This Facebook live streamed interview process was almost immediately muddied by online comments from both candidates Michael Nelson and Jonathan Drewes, which means they were able to watch the other candidates interview and adjust their responses accordingly. This live streamed video was the only opportunity for all union teachers to watch candidates speak on important topics (other than the two Lakers4Change hosted forums that incumbents Nelson, Drewes and Enrique Velazquez declined to participate in) prior to submitting their candidates of choice by 9pm that same night, only 30 minutes following the last candidate interview. The video was promptly removed from the PLSEA Facebook page and has not been accessible to the public since (therefore, comments are also no longer visible). Numerous sources asked the union how many surveys were submitted as a representation of almost 500 district teachers and were all told a number less than 15 total surveys.
Next, the union made the endorsement announcement of three incumbents and one new-comer, Jessica Olstad (leader of the TECH YES campaign in 2021 supporting a $35M technology levy on district tax payers). The endorsement announcement was made the day following the interviews with less than 5% of union teacher voices heard in this process. The also union left out the fact that these incumbents held up teachers’ contract negotiations for over 7 months (image 1) and that this same union asked for one of these incumbent’s resignation following racist remarks against a teacher.
Next up… likely an expensive mailer that hits every household, paid for by none other than those same unionized teachers that were not allowed to voice their opinions during the endorsement process. $30 from each teacher’s annual dues is directed straight into the union PAC to be used for purposes of influencing elections. This mailer may even identify other state and/or local candidate names that the union supports in the upcoming election, like the one distributed in 2018. Image 2
Finally, phone calls will likely be made to reach voters in the district to make sure that voters are informed of “which candidates our district teachers support.”
Tonight, Lakers4Change endorsed candidate Amy Bullyan, Bill Markert, Geoff Zahn and Lisa Atkinson will participate in another candidate forum at Savage City Hall, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Dakota County and will be live streamed on Savage TV.
Be informed, inform others and remember…
YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE!
If you would like to donate to Lakers4Change to help this important information reach more voters in our community, you can donate online here or by mail to PO Box 474, Prior Lake, MN 55372.