Local Elections (School Board, Bonds & Levies)

Whether it’s a school board race, levy, bond or local campaign impacting our members, participating in local election campaigns is a strategic way to have an impact on the issues that matter most to OSEA members – such as outsourcing, district funding and strengthening our relationships with decision makers.

OSEA’s endorsements in local elections are made at the local level by our 138 chapters, who conduct our election work in all corners of Oregon! Chapters have direct information about local needs, relationships, challenges and the best ways to improve our local districts. Making local endorsements also helps us become decision makers ourselves. As chapters continue to impact district board races, we will increase worker power statewide, regionally and at the bargaining table.

Each OSEA chapter’s executive board will determine which races support our members’ priorities. Chapters set their own local endorsement process timeline and what recommendations they will make for financial contributions from OSEA to their endorsed candidates and measures.*

Step by Step Guide for Chapters Making Endorsements in Local Elections

Step 1

Chapter leaders decide to invite candidates to seek endorsements.

Step 2

Chapter leaders identifies and agrees on a consistent endorsement timeline that covers all steps below. All candidates must follow the same process to receive an endorsement from the chapter.

Step 3

Email or distribute an invitation to participate in the endorsement process to all eligible candidates by the date established in the timeline. Include an outline of your endorsement timeline and the deadline to opt-in to seek endorsement.

Step 4

Distribute the endorsement questionnaire to all candidates who opted in by the scheduled date. Add clear instructions for candidates to return the questionnaire, including the deadline for responses and the email address where they can send the completed questionnaire.

Step 5

The chapter meets to review and discuss all questionnaires.

Step 6

Schedule and hold interviews with the candidates.

Step 7

Hold a chapter meeting to vote on endorsements. You will need the minutes of this meeting to request support from OSEA.

Communicate their endorsement status to all candidates who participated in the process. You can use OSEA’s template letter of endorsement (DOCX) and letter declining to endorse (DOCX).

Step 8

After the chapter formally endorses a local candidate or measure campaign, the chapter president may request in writing (email is preferred) for OSEA to provide support for that campaign by sending requests to Government Relations Specialists Susan Allen (email Susan Allen) and Bob Estabrook (email Bob Estabrook). This request should include:

  • Meeting minutes that document the chapter or executive board meeting where members voted on the decision to endorse
  • Any information about the endorsed campaign’s needs or requests for specific support
  • The local chapter’s request for financial support (the chapter may recommend more or less than the amount requested by the campaign)*

Step 9

Final decisions on financial contributions to campaigns are made by the OSEA Board of Directors. (The sooner the government relations office receives your request, the sooner the Board can determine contributions!)

If you need assistance or have any questions, email OSEA Government Relations Specialists Susan Allen (email Susan Allen) and Bob Estabrook (email Bob Estabrook).

*If you aren’t sure what to ask for, that’s ok. OSEA’s government relations office (GRO) can recommend amounts and types of support that are consistent with what OSEA has done for similar campaigns.

These resources can assist chapters in local election campaigns: