President's Message: Your Voice, Your Vote

"There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter." 

- President Barack Obama

Election season is in full swing! In fact, it’s difficult to escape the media coverage of the 2020 Presidential election sometimes.

What’s too often overlooked is the fact that there are a number of other important races closer to home which will have an impact, not just on Portland, but the entire state. 

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the impact elections can have, both nationally, and here in Oregon. This year, more than ever, we need to work together to help elect individuals who support educators, public education, and the students and communities we serve.

We know most people across the state—and across the country— support public education and share our broader values. But if they don’t get involved, or get to the polls, the people intent on undermining our public institutions will win. 

The National Education Association has been hard at work helping members get involved in the Presidential election. If you haven’t already, we recommend checking out the NEA's Presidential election website. 


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PAT Nominations & Elections Committee Report

On February 10th an email will be sent to PAT members’ PPS email accounts, which will include a link to their ballot,  candidate statements, photos, and a videotape of their speeches from the January 29th PAT Rep Assembly.

The following are the candidates for all of the major offices in this election:

President (vote for 1): Elizabeth Thiel

Vice-President (vote for 1):

  • Madeleine Allen
  • Al Rabchuk
  • Gwen Sullivan 

Secretary (vote for 1): Alisha Chavez-Downing

Treasurer (vote for 1): Diana Collins

Executive Board (vote for 5):

  • Mike Bauer
  • Chris Buehler
  • Greg Burrill
  • Vincent Chirimwami
  • Jacqueline (Jacque) Dixon
  • Rachel Hanes
  • Jacob Jonas-Closs
  • RaeAnn Thompson
  • Tanan Woods

Please remember to vote by Monday, February 24, 2020, by 5:00 PM, outside of your work hours.

We’ve received a number of questions regarding candidates’ use of the PAT Discussion Group Facebook page for their campaigns. Our committee discussed this at length at our December 2019 meeting. The PAT Discussion Group page isn’t monitored frequently, unless someone reports an offensive post. No one on the committee is an admin for the page either. We decided not to change the status quo. Candidates have posted about their candidacy on that page in the past. Of course, this may change for future elections.

Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action: February 3rd – 7th

The Portland Association of Teachers is proud to celebrate Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, Monday, February 3rd through Friday, February 7th.

We encourage educators to sign the Pledge to Participate and check out our website for lesson plans, resources, and events.

This year, we are hosting the following events. We hope you will participate in some or all:

  • Monday 2/3: Curriculum Exchange. 4:30-6:00 PM at Atkinson Elementary. Come learn about BLM @ School Week of Action and share curriculum. 
  • Tuesday 2/4: Black Out. Wear your Black Lives Matter at School T-shirt or sticker! Take a photo and post it using #BLMWOAPAT.
  • Thursday 2/6: Building and Supporting Student Affinity Space. All students, teachers, and community are invited to hear from students and BSU advisories about the importance of safe space and student affinity.  4:30-6:30 PM at PAT, 345 NE 8th Ave.
  • Friday 2/7: Film Screening of “Another Day,” Followed by Student Panel. This locally-made film offers the perspective of a Black student at a predominately White school. Hear from students and join in the discussion.
    6:30-8:30 PM, da Vinci Middle School auditorium.


  • Saturday 2/8: Open Mic with features from POETLAND, 6:00 PM @ Marrow PDX, 7025 N. Lombard St.
  • Sunday 2/9: Feature Performance “Who I Am: Celebrating Me” 2:30 PM at the IFCC Theater, 5340 N. Interstate Ave.

Please RSVP for Week of Action events here and take the Pledge to Participate. 


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OEA PAC Convention: March 6th and 7th

Join us for the 2020 OEA-PAC Convention on March 6th and 7th to help decide Oregon's future leaders and the direction of public education! Meet the candidates for federal and state offices, discuss your priority issues with them, and help determine which candidates OEA PAC will support.

OEA PAC works to elect pro-public education candidates to public office. The OEA PAC Convention consists of OEA PAC contributors from across the state who convene every two years to endorse candidates running for statewide offices. This year we will hear from candidates running for Secretary of State, Attorney General, Labor Commissioner, and all Congressional seats.  

All OEA PAC contributors are invited to the OEA PAC Convention: Friday evening, March 6th, and all-day Saturday, March 7th at the Benson Hotel, in downtown Portland.

If you are an OEA PAC contributor, registration is free. Register here!

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Happy Retirement, Kathi Koenig!

Kathi Koenig, who has been representing PAT members as a Uniserv consultant for 13 years, has officially retired. Her advocacy will be missed, but we expect her to come back around and help from time to time! Your Executive Board conducted interviews with 3 candidates to fill the vacant position.

We’re pleased to report that Cynthia Campos has accepted the position, and we will introduce you to her when she starts full-time in March. We are very grateful that Marty Pavlik, our recently retired staff person, will be here full-time serving Kathi’s schools until Cynthia starts work.

Want to Know More about LETRS Professional Development or the Oregon Kids Read Petition?

Please join us at the IPD (Instruction and Professional Development) committee meeting on Wednesday, February 5, 4:30 - 6:30. The Oregon Kids Read Petition organizers have asked for PAT’s support. This meeting will be a chance to ask questions and get answers so we can decide whether or not to support the petition as an organization.   

Please RSVP here and select "IPD” as your committee.

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OEA Workshops: Helping Students Take the Lead in Assessments

Register NOW to attend sessions covering a variety of assessment topics including the guiding principles that support assessment quality and practical ways to get your students involved. Seminars are facilitated by local classroom teachers and teacher-leaders. The first workshop starts February 10th. Find out more here.

SSA Community Conversation: Latin@ Students and Families

The Portland Association of Teachers is excited to partner with MEChA Students, MELENIO, LATNET and Colegio de Padres to hold a forum to discuss what our students need, and how our schools can better serve them.

The recent passage of the Student Success Act (SSA) means that additional resources are coming to our schools, with the specific purpose of improving outcomes for students of color. In our forum, we will center Latinx/Chicanx student and parent voices, to inform PAT’s work in bargaining, and to give feedback to the district on their SSA plan.

We hope to build lasting partnerships between the community groups, parents, and the Portland Association of teachers, to better advocate together for our students. Thursday, February 20 6:30-8 pm Jefferson High School RSVP Here.

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Join Us for These Upcoming Events!

Wednesday, January 29th

  • 4:30 PM: PAT Rep Assembly

Wednesday, February 5th

  • 4:30 PM: Advocacy Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: Bargaining Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: IPD Cmte Mtg

Thursday, February 6th

  • 4:30 PM: Building and Supporting Black Student Unions Round Table Discussions
  • 4:30 PM: Legislative Committee / PAT-PAC Board Mtg

Monday, February 10th

  • 4:30 PM: Substitute Committee Meeting

Tuesday, February 11th

  • 9:00 AM: District BCT Meeting

Wednesday, February 12

  • 4:30 PM: Black Lives Matter Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: Membership Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: Racial Equity Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: SJCO Cmte Mtg

Thursday, February 13th

  • 9:30 AM: PAT-Retired General Mtg

Friday, February 14th

  • 1:00 PM: Contract Administration @ PAT

Wednesday, February 19th

  • 12:00 PM: PAT Executive Board Mid-Year Retreat

Wednesday, February 26th

  • 4:30 PM: PAT RA

Wednesday, March 4th

  • 4:30 PM: Advocacy Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: Bargaining Cmte Mtg
  • 4:30 PM: IPD Cmte Mtg