This spring, several of Texas AFT’s local unions have run extensive campaigns on behalf of endorsed candidates for their district school boards. On Saturday, May 6, their hard work paid off, with a series of sweeping wins for educator-endorsed candidates.
As the legislative session comes to a close, these victories are all the more important; while policy may be made in Austin, it’s implemented in our districts statewide. Who we put in those decision-making seats really matters.
Three of four candidates endorsed by Northside AFT won their races for the Northside ISD Board of Trustees:
- David Salcido, District 1
- Gerald Lopez, District 2
- Karla Duran, District 3
How? A group of 36 Northside AFT volunteers knocked on 6,365 doors, made more than 3,000 phone calls, and sent more than 20,000 text messages to voters.
“What we managed to accomplish in this election has never been done in this district before,” said Wanda Longoria, president of Northside AFT, after the election win. “The ground beneath these long-time school board members shook underneath them tonight!”
San Antonio Alliance
The May 6 elections included many more races than just those for school board.
San Antonio Alliance members succeeded in pushing their endorsed school board candidate, Stephanie Torres, over the finish line, securing her a seat on the San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees.
But they also helped re-elect two staunch allies of education and labor to the San Antonio City Council: Jalen McKee-Rodriguez for District 2 and Teri Castillo for District 5.
Just last month, San Antonio ISD provided a remarkable example of why electing school employee allies to local office is so crucial; in a unanimous vote in April, San Antonio ISD passed its largest employee compensation package in over 25 years, guaranteeing raises from 4-9% for district employees, depending on years of experience.
Socorro AFT went three for three with their endorsed school board candidates, electing:
- Alice Gardea, District 1
- Marivel Macias, Trustee At-Large
- Michael Najera, Trustee At-Large
Notably, one of the incumbent trustees at-large, David Morales, lost his reelection campaign despite major campaign contributions from charter school backers. Kids First PAC poured a lot of money into several school board races in Socorro ISD and El Paso ISD.
El Paso AFT
All eyes in El Paso ISD now turn toward a June 10 run-off. El Paso AFT endorsed two school board candidates. Alex Cuellar, the endorsed candidate for District 2, was the highest vote-getter and will move to a run-off.
In District 6, El Paso AFT has endorsed Jacqueline Martinez for the run-off. Martinez is a current teacher running for a spot on the school board.
Early voting runs from May 30-June 6. Election Day is June 10.
And down in the Rio Grande Valley, it was a school board sweep in McAllen ISD. All four of McAllen AFT’s endorsed candidates won their races:
- Lizzie Kettleman, Place 1
- Lucia Regalado, Place 2
- Erica de la Garza-Lopez, Place 4
- Aaron D. Rivera, Place 5