End of update
Sources tell me that Jonathan Knapp resigned last week as the president of the SEA. He also stepped down from the King County Labor Council Board as well. I don't know why and I have not seen a notice about an interim head.
I am being told there will likely be a special election in April to find a new leader.
Dear SEA Sisters and Brothers,
Nearly four years ago we embarked on a common journey when you elected me to be your SEA president. I know that some of you may not have had big expectations about that event. At the time, many of you did not see SEA as an entity that was particularly relevant to your lives. I immediately started working to change that. Compared to where we were four years ago, today we are in a very different place. Together we have built tremendous power; we have engaged members at unprecedented levels; we have pioneered new approaches to bargaining that put forward the common good; we have changed the discourse in this city about the purpose and value of public education; we have discernably changed the landscape of public education in this state and across this country. We have had successes that were unimaginable to some of you. They are, nevertheless, the kinds of successes that I had always imagined we could attain.
The stories about how those successes came about have yet to be widely told, but the successes did not come about by chance. Some people think that if people just get fed-up or beat down enough, collective action somehow just spontaneously happens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Organizing is the fruit of hard work, of careful planning, of steadfast commitment, of strategic decisions, of passionate argument. SEA is in a good place today because of that work. There will always be new and important challenges to face. As you go forward, please don't lose sight of the promise for a fair society that unites us all: Every child in America deserves a high-quality public education.
It is time for me to take my leave of the organization. The limits of my last term are fast approaching. The SEA board and I have agreed that I will take my unused comp time from the last six years to finish the remainder of my term on leave. In my years of service to the union I have observed that it is very difficult for an outgoing president to find a good place to land if s/he waits until after the end of the term to work on next steps.
This time off will give me the chance to find and apply for job opportunities that will engage my skill set and challenge me in the future. Spring time is when the bulk of these hiring decisions are made. If I hire into a new job before the end of my term on June 24th, of course I will resign the presidency at that time. The SEA budget will realize the savings of any unworked weeks or months.
There are many people for me to thank for their special contributions to our success, but it is a tender regret for me that I cannot thank each of you personally. Thank you for believing in yourselves as the voice of public education in Seattle; thank you for accepting the premise that we can build our capacity for collective action; and thank you for becoming a united force for the common good that must be reckoned with. Together, you are unconquerably strong.
Farewell and good luck!