WHO AM I AS LR
At what was perhaps the nadir of my career... only 2 years in... the 2014 strike taught me an incredibly valuable lesson when it came to teacher activism. No matter the power imbalance, no matter the lack of resources, never ever let them take your voice. in my previous two terms as an LR, and my hopeful return to that position, I hope to continue practicing that valuable lesson.
How I practice using my voice is also just as important. As a collective of 6000 teachers, issues around engagement, representation, equity, and both problem solving and problem posing are essential.
I hope to provide an inter sectional and anti-oppression lens with the aim of bringing solutions and much needed change to our organization.
As a representative we would be remiss to not bring all voices to the table when discussing the health and safety, working conditions, resources, and autonomy of our members. We have had members leave the profession because of the lack of representation, members who have had denigrating experiences in their own school sites of racism and discrimination, along with any number of other realities that could be addressed were we to seriously audit and rebuild our own positionality, practices, and structures.
I believe that teachers are the experts in the room, but have often felt like that wasn't the perception from district or governmental officials at multiple levels. We see this happening, right in the middle of a pandemic.. where supposedly a new normal is arriving, colour me unimpressed thus far.
My life is filled with experiences of activism, and community building across many issues engaging in everything from disrupting the status quo, helping provide free services like writing of resource guides, political activism, to building mentorship programs for youth to empower themselves in any direction they so dream.
I want to be a loud voice that cuts through the white noise, brings efficiency and equity, inclusion and a decolonized diversity that seeks dialogue rather than assimilation and compliance.
I am ready to work hard, advocate and represent you at the EC table to the RA room, always with an open heart, open mind, open eyes, and open ears.
Below is a fully fleshed out statement which includes priorities I see moving forward.
ello colleagues. I’m Annie Ohana a settler on the Unceded and Ancestral Coast Salish Territories identifying as a White-passing Sephardic Jewish woman.
We cannot remain stagnant or continue the status quo. From a provincial government unwilling to truly change class size and composition, unwilling to provide us fair compensation to more recent moves by the district in regards to remedy, and continuing health/safety concerns that many members don’t feel are being met, we as members deserve Local Representatives who are strong advocates in protecting members.
I humbly put my name forward as a candidate for LR as I do believe I have the strong voice, wide intersectional breadth of experience, and a lens of equity, inclusion, justice, and fairness. Some priorities I have:
Actively maintain strong avenues of dialogue so all members feel heard with respect and an eye to action rather than passive listening.
Implement systemic changes to increase member engagement such as establishing protocols for online processes connected to all decision making bodies.
Strengthen our communications to include providing more support for communications staff
Establish strong policies protecting us from district overreach ( ex: current remedy and accomadation realities)
Continue to create spaces and build capacity for our IBWOC who face discrimination and marginalization from within and still face significant barriers and obstacles due to our structures
Decolonizing our structures to bring more equitable, safe, and purposeful moves of truth telling, reconciliation and justice
Focus on wellness and safety addressing critical problems within our Health and Safety protocols that continue to emerge, including issues surrounding mental health and wellness.
Continue conversations around collective agreement as certain matters remain to be resolved, and to prepare us for next round.
Being financially prudent as we cannot ignore the precariousness of our financial situation and keep a sharp and equitable eye towards budgets
I have never been and never am afraid of tough conversations, and open dialogue about how we protect the interests of our members. Governance structures need to be flexible and responsive to its members. I hope to be a voice that can bring forward the incredibly innovative thinking of our members from online democratic processes, to improvements to work sites, to the continued focus on implementing systems that work towards social justice and anti-oppression for ourselves as members and for our students/families/communities. I have spoken at all levels of government from the Federal to the municipal from various federal/provincial task forces to my recent MP run, and within mobilization efforts to see change at the municipal level.
From being both a member of EC previously to doing work outside the structures, I understand more than ever the need to communicate so that we can alleviate, rectify, and build policies and practices which leave no teacher behind and remain vigilant as defenders of public education no matter what ministry/district winds may bring.
I hope you see yourself in myself as one of your six LR choices.