Joshua Pechthalt is president of the California Federation of Teachers. Josh has been active in his local, United Teachers Los Angeles/AFT 1021 in every capacity for more than 25 years. He was elected union rep at his school, and since 1985 he has served as a member of the union’s House of Representatives, Board of Directors, regional Area Director and since 2005 as the AFT President of Local 1021. Josh currently serves as the chair of the CFT’s Fight for California’s Future Task Force as well as co-chair of the Southern California Public Education Coalition representing a broad spectrum of education-related unions in the Los Angeles area.

A Tale of Hope & Caution: How Three Latin American Nations 
are Defending Public Education

Josh Pechthalt

As part of AFT’s ongoing effort to build alliances with educators and trade unionists around the world, President Randi Weingarten led an AFT delegation in May to meet education union leaders and other unionists in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. I joined them as we looked at their multi-year effort to defend and expand public education, and to develop a response to attacks.

California Has One Option Left to Stop The Bleeding

by Rick Jacobs, Joshua Pechthalt & Anthony Thigpenn

When we think of California, we imagine the state that allowed the three of us to be who we are, a state that gave us the California Dream. For years now, that dream has been quickly slipping away and now it's in danger of being lost forever.

California is not in crisis; crises are sudden and acute. California is in a chronic, grinding decline and it's providing a window into America's tomorrow.  Here we have the richest and poorest, the most diverse population, high technology centers which lead the globe. And yet, here with 38 million people – 20% of the United States – we cannot find a path to leave the bounty that invigorated us for the next generation.

The answer will not come from Sacramento, just as on the national level it cannot come from Washington. It needs to come from all of us. It's simple: government has a central role in providing the basics of civilization, and that costs money.