Statement of Candidacy
My name is Erika Meza and I am running for CTPF Teacher Trustee. I teach Computer Science at George Washington HS. With a strong foundation in personal finance education, a fervent dedication to research and investment, and a resolute commitment to advocating for retirement benefits, I offer a comprehensive set of skills and experiences that make me an ideal candidate for pension trustee. As your CTPF Trustee, my goals are to:
- Strengthen Member Communication and Education: Enhance communication channels to keep members updated on fund performance, market trends, and any changes in policies or investment strategies, fostering trust and transparency.
- Empower school pension reps with financial knowledge to share with members.
- Diversify Investment Portfolio: Aim for a balanced approach utilizing Low Cost Passive Index Funds ensuring that members' funds are maximized and unnecessary costs are minimized.
- Enhance Transparency: Implement measures to increase transparency regarding the pension fund's investments, fees, and performance, ensuring all members have clear insights into their retirement savings.
- Advocate for Ethical Investments: Advocate for the inclusion of ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible investments in the fund's portfolio, aligning investments with members' values and contributing to positive social impact.
- M.Ed in School Leadership from Concordia University (2003)
- B.A. in Secondary Education in History from UIC (2000)
- CTU Pension Committee Co-Chair (2022 - Present):
- Advocating for pension fund protections and improvements, especially for Tier 2 members
- Pension Advocacy Group Co-Chair (2020 - Present):
- Attend CTPF meetings and keep union members informed about pension-related matters
- Investigate and educate on pension related issues
- Regional “Super Advocate” for 403b Wise:
- Advocated for lower-cost investment options among CPS supplemental retirement vendors such as VALIC and raised awareness about the impact of fees on long-term retirement savings
- Personal Finance Educator (2011 - Present):
- Deliver comprehensive personal finance courses to high school students and community members, equipping them with essential financial knowledge.
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