By Candi Peterson, WTU General Vice President
Statements or expressions of opinions herein ‘do not’ represent the views or official positions of DCPS, AFT, Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) or its members. Views are my own.
Disclaimer: I am not a member of the WTU Contract Negotiations team.
I’ve watched WTU President Liz Davis’ dictatorial style alienate the Chancellor and poison contract negotiations; deceive and keep the Executive Board in the dark about major financial obligations like the union head quarter’s real estate taxes; and systematically stymie WTU boards and committees with her election obstruction and staff treachery, which is why I want to take a moment to showcase the Peterson/Thompson Slate officers including Dr. Brajendra Sharma, WTU Treasurer candidate and Dee Ward, WTU Secretary candidate.
First, I must address what has transpired in the last week of the campaign. President Davis worried that I will likely torpedo her chances of winning the WTU presidency has dedicated several campaign newsletters about me, which attack me with lies, distortions and half-truths. Shame on her.
This is the oldest trick in the book to try to sow the seeds of mistrust and doubt by selling, “campaign lies”. One thing is for sure Davis didn’t write her recent campaign newsletter (s). These definitely aren’t her original words. It is clearly ghost authored by someone other than her.
Davis has been less than honest with the rank and file not only about the multiple teachers’ contract proposals but also about her own efforts to stymie the 2015 elections committee elections and 2016 officer elections. On several occasions, Davis’ obstruction has caused the Executive Board to compel her to hold elections and direct her to comply with providing a membership list and guarantee of payment to the independent Ballot company so that elections could finally be scheduled, albeit delayed.
Not to mention, Davis is now making excuses for why the union headquarters is on the July 2016 tax sale auction list and why we still don’t have a contract after her 3-year term as the Chief Contract Negotiator. Someone is always to blame for Davis’ failures.
Davis lacks credibility and when she speaks, it is hard to discern where truth begins and fiction ends. Can you really trust her to tell the truth about me, the union, the chancellor or anything for that matter?
Leadership is built on trust, credibility and integrity. Don’t be fooled by President Davis. You simply can’t trust anything she says. Everything that she reports must be fact-checked.
In order to restore “RESPONSIBLE” governance and financial controls I took over six months to thoroughly vet the following officers and I feel fortunate to have Dr. Brajendra Sharma as Treasurer and Deirdia “Dee” Ward as Recording Secretary, and I would like you to hear in their own words, their vision for joining GeLynn Thompson and me in helping return the WTU to ACCOUNTABLE, COLLABORATIVE & TRANSPARENT new leadership.
CANDIDATE FOR TREASURER
Youth Services Center
“In democratic societies people get the government they deserve. They VOTE for their future governments.
This year provides an opportunity for DCPS teachers to vote for the Union they deserve and desire. So VOTE! And vote for the right team.
I am a candidate for the post of ‘Treasurer” in the current Union elections on the Peterson Slate. I have given substantial thought before accepting this offer of ‘treasurer’. And I want to affirm that this team will work ‘in unison’ to get the best CONTRACT possible; and do everything possible to ensure expansion of teacher benefits.
I feel that I am uniquely qualified and experienced to take over this job and perform it with excellence. My terminal PhD. degree is in economics, and one of the three master’s degrees I have is in accounting, with specialization in Taxation, so I can assure you that the Executive Board will get regular financial reports and important matters such as paying real estate taxes and avoiding penalties and interest will be a priority under my watch.
I also possess over twenty years of practical experience in the profession as an accountant and treasurer of a variety of non-profit and faith-based organizations. Furthermore, I have the distinct privilege of collecting, accounting and managing all collections at my church since 1992.
Those who know me well will confirm that my experience is genuine, modus operandi is professional and actions come with full honesty and integrity. So I will also make it a priority to order a forensic audit of the last administration in my first 100 days as Treasurer.
I am a firstborn of a union leader in his own right. My father was an elected Staff Welfare Officer (Union Officer) in the Northern Railways for over a quarter century until his retirement. Pro-activism is in my blood.
As your Treasurer, I promise to work tirelessly by keeping your best fiduciary interests in mind and assure to be the proverbial ‘Guardian Cobra’ for the optimum utilization and safeguard of our funds
I am asking the wonderful DCPS teachers to accept this challenge, take action and VOTE; honor the best team on the Peterson Slate with your valuable vote to care for and guarantee your best interests.”
CANDIDATE FOR RECORDING SECRETARY
Wilson High School
“As a DCPS Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher for more than 25 years, I am looking forward to working with Candi Peterson and the WTU. The ability to give an account of what just happened or bear witness to what transpired at a meeting or an event must be done by someone with credibility, professional integrity and transparency – all values that the Peterson/Thompson Slate stand for.
As teacher of business, record keeping and recording is what I do. My reputation for stating the facts accurately, precisely and professionally in both a verbal or written format precedes me.
In the past under the Davis administration, the Recording Secretary was not given the resources to properly provide audio backup tapes but I have been reassured that instead of spending valuable union resources on food and trinkets that the position of Recording Secretary will be properly resourced so that a professional and timely set of Executive Board minutes can be kept.
I have also been reassured that the President Candi Peterson will demand the type of collaborative cooperation among Executive Board and Committee members to assure that random changes and revisions to the official actions of the board are not made by unauthorized staff as has been the practice in the past.
There are many things being said about Candi Peterson and you may not care for her straightforward personality, but you must respect her. Candi is a straight shooter who believes in transparency.
Respect the fact that she is by the book and follows the contract to the letter of the law. Respect the fact that she follows parliamentary procedures.
Respect the fact that she is transparent about the operations of union business. Respect the fact that she wants the body of teachers to know what is being offered as a contract and make the decision to vote it up or down.
Respect the fact that she has remained professional in her campaigning and has not used her WTU position to campaign through your work email nor hinder the WTU Executive Board or Election Committee in their effort to run a more timely WTU election.
Respect the fact that she has a slate of new faces that is culturally diverse with young innovative teachers. Whatever your issue may be, transparency is the best quality for leadership; put some RESPECT on Candi Peterson.
Vote for Accountability, Collaboration & Transparency. Vote the Peterson slate.”
WTU Presidential Candidate
In closing, will you join us in demanding fundamental change in our union? The Peterson slate has a slate of activists who will stand up for what we know to be right. We always promise to tell you the truth, no matter how painful. That’s why we are proud to be running. Vote for a long-needed new direction in our union. Vote Peterson slate. We are #1 on the ballot.