2024 Spring Elections

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March 6, 2024

The purpose of the Kenosha Educators Politically Active Committee (KEPAC) is to create a process through which political candidates can be thoroughly assessed by a committee of educators who can, with confidence, make an endorsement recommendation to the general membership of the Kenosha Education Association (KEA). The endorsement process includes a questionnaire, as well as an interview. KEPAC does not take the endorsement process lightly and takes into consideration many factors before making a recommendation. 

Key factors evaluated by the Committee include whether a candidate has a clear vision for our Kenosha public schools they can effectively carry out; strong fundraising ability, particularly with the ability to receive a majority of donations from small-dollar donors, and an excellent campaign strategy that includes a clear path to win. We also know public servants are more effective when they reflect the diverse range of backgrounds and experiences of the community they are looking to serve and represent. 

As a union, our goals and values are centered around seeing Kenosha Unified School District be the best environment for all students to learn and for educators to teach. When candidates seek our endorsement, we want to ensure their values, policy beliefs, and posture do not cause us to deviate from those goals and values. 

We want school board candidates who share our values and are willing to take bold, necessary steps to change policies and practices that will have a radically positive impact on the students and educators of our district. We want school board candidates who have the courage and willingness to do everything within their ability to ensure students receive the highest quality public education in Kenosha.

For the KEA, an endorsement is primarily three things: 

  • A public, definitive, stated preference. Once we endorse, we must stand behind our candidate. Historically, KEA has made endorsements despite disagreements we may have had with particular candidates and/or to extend olive branches and make good faith efforts to develop relationships with individuals we may not have otherwise. We do not feel this has served our membership.
  • A distillation of our union’s values. We have to evaluate how our values line up with different candidates and their campaigns. KEA prioritizes the improved working conditions of educators, which is a reflection of and deeply impacts the learning conditions of students. The current incumbent candidates have failed to address nearly all of the most distressing teaching and learning concerns voiced by educators, with fair and competitive compensation as well as increased and protected preparation and planning time being at the top of that list.
  • A formal commitment of tangible support. An endorsement comes with a commitment from our members to actually do something meaningful in support of the candidate. Support not only means money (if the candidate is seeking such support), but a promise of concrete actions by our members (making phone calls, knocking doors, attending events, etc). We cannot, in good conscience, mobilize our members to expend limited capacity and energy supporting candidates we do not have full confidence in as a committee. 

With these factors in mind, we cannot, with confidence, make an endorsement recommendation of any of the candidates. While there are candidates who, in theory, are more closely aligned with the values of KEA and who appear to have the right posture for a school board member, the viability of their campaigns and their ability to follow through on their visions for the district is uncertain.

We wholeheartedly encourage our members to continue being voters, and KEA will provide resources and endorsement recommendations from other organizations leading up to the election to help members make the most informed vote possible.