AFT Vice President
Jessica Tang was elected president of the 10,000-member Boston Teachers Union, Local 66, in June 2017. She was elected as an AFT vice president in July 2018.
Tang began teaching middle school social studies in Boston Public Schools in 2005 and served as the first director of organizing at the Boston Teachers Union from 2013 to 2017. She has served as a vice president for AFT Massachusetts since 2016 and is also currently a vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. In addition, she is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s Massachusetts chapter and was appointed as the AFT representative on the national APALA executive board in 2017. She is the first person of color, first openly LGBTQ leader and first woman in more than 30 years to serve as president of the BTU.
Throughout her years in Boston Public Schools, she served in many teacher-leader positions, including on Gov. Deval Patrick’s Teacher Advisory Board, on the BPS Teacher Diversity Work Group and as a BPS history and social studies fellow. She is a co-founder of the Teacher Activist Group Boston, a former co-chair of the Massachusetts Asian American Educators Association and a board member of Citizens for Public Schools. As a teacher activist, she has been involved in many different community organizations that are working to advance racial, social and economic justice. She earned her bachelor’s at Harvard University and holds a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Tang began working in Boston public schools during college as a volunteer tutor and became the tutoring program director at Mather Elementary School in 2000. She began her teaching career as a student teacher at McCormack Middle School in 2004 before teaching at Gavin Middle School and the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School. As the founding director of organizing, she spearheaded both internal and community organizing efforts at the BTU. These efforts included the co-founding and creation of the Boston Education Justice Alliance and the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, which led the "Save Our Public Schools/No on 2" campaign to defeat the charter expansion ballot question in 2016. In addition, she has successfully led the "Everyone Is Welcome Here" campaign, BTU's Annual Back to School Fair, the "Less Testing, More Learning" campaign and the creation of BTU's organizing committees.