In the past week I have been contacted on my personal phone and at my personal email by incumbent members of SDEA leadership campaigning using contact information that I have provided only to SDEA (phone/email) and SDUSD (email).
By Gabriel Senteno, SDHS School of Media, Visual, and Performing Arts AR
On Sunday, November 3rd, I received an auto-dialer call from SDEA President Bill Freeman on my cell phone campaigning for the incumbent slate that he has endorsed. I have only ever shared my cell phone number with SDEA, as I do not want the District calling me on it. Click the media file below to hear the message:
In the recording, Bill Freeman goes out of his way to identify himself not as a teacher, not as the union president. The problem is, the only reason he has my cell phone number in the first place is because he’s the union president.
On Monday, October 28th, I received an SDEA election campaign email sent to my personal email from SDEA Board Member Scott Mullin, who is currently running for CTA State Council (see the email below). The email was signed by SDEA President Bill Freeman and SDEA Treasurer Manuel Gomez as well as Scott Mullin. I don’t know why this occurred. I do not believe SDEA Board members are supposed to have access to our personal email addresses for the purposes of campaigning. In fact, I remember Scott Mullin coming to my school earlier this year, introducing himself as a member of the SDEA Board and then stating that he was collecting our contact information to “turn out the vote” in SDEA elections, and made NO mention of using that information for campaign purposes — but I knew who he was, and didn’t give him my contact info. I have, however, provided it to SDEA for official union communications.
The campaign email promoted and asked me to vote for Scott Mullin, Lindsay Burningham, Kandi Nieto, Marc Capitelli, and Malykke Bacon. The nature and the format of the email give me the distinct impression that the candidates listed on the email are being endorsed by President Bill Freeman as well as the SDEA Board.
How is this any different than placing flyers in staff mailboxes? Why do some current SDEA Board members have my personal email address to campaign?
Receiving a phone call and an email from SDEA to promote certain candidates and not others seems to be breaking the spirit and essence of SDEA rules that were written to ensure that we, as union members, have a clear, fair, and equitable political race and vote within our union. This only serves to disenfranchise myself and other union members/teachers from believing that OUR SDEA union has our best interests at heart. These breaches of trust weaken our union before the district that we must hold accountable. If we cannot hold our own SDEA union leaders accountable, how will we hold SDUSD administration to that same level of ethics?
Here is the email I received: