At an hour of the morning that many of us might find unfamiliar, United Teacher of Los Angeles (UTLA) President Warren Fletcher walks to the corner and waits for a city bus to take him downtown.
As the unlikely leader of the Los Angeles teachers union for the past two years, Fletcher has changed the tone of the union to what he calls a more “low-key” approach to labor leadership. He prides himself on running things quietly, without bringing unnecessary attention to himself. He comes and goes without an entourage. He calls himself “dull.”
And yet, Fletcher is deeply opposed to what he believes are overzealous reform measures. His voice rises and his demeanor becomes animated when discussing the struggles his and other teachers’ unions have fought.
Fletcher sat down to answer some questions from LA School Report contributor Jonathan Arkin, talking about UTLA’s recent accomplishments, the district’s “top-down” approach to policymaking, and the union’s goals for the upcoming School Board election.
“The most valuable thing we have is our credibility,” said Fletcher. “When we say something is a bad idea, the public tends to trust us…as we come to this School Board election, it’s the same template.”