Faculty to bring campaign to campuses statewide
For the first time ever, CCA is organizing its own campaign for the November election with the anticipated participation of faculty on campuses around the state.
“With so much at stake, we want to make sure this campaign is carried to our community colleges,” said CCA President Ron Norton Reel. “We want to engage both faculty and our adult-aged students.”
With new and younger voters having made a difference in the 2008 presidential campaign, CCA plans to focus on voter registration of students on its campuses.
“It really is a no brainer,” said Vice President Lynette Nyaggah. “Unlike our K-12 colleagues, our students are mostly over 18. Hopefully, having voter registration tables on campus will help get them involved in the November election.”
Under the CCA plan, each chapter will be asked to choose four or more members to work on the campaign locally, with each designing its own campaign during training sessions held this summer.
“We know that usually summer is for rest and rejuvenation, but this summer is different,” Reel said. “We are faced with the most serious challenge to our professional lives and to our students’ welfare that we have ever had. The elimination of class sections and student fee increases have been bad over the last few years, but they will be disastrous if the Governor’s funding initiative does not pass.”
CCA will also join CTA and a coalition of labor and community groups to defeat “Prop. 32, the Stop Special Exemptions Act,” heavily financed by a group of Orange County millionaires and corporate interests, the initiative is a deceptive attempt to silence the voices of teachers, nurses, firefighters and ultimately, the Middle Class, by eliminating the use of payroll deductions for unions and corporations. However, the only groups that will be curtailed are unions and the Middle Class they represent, since corporations largely fund their causes through their profits. Since corporations already outspend unions 15 to 1 on politics, the initiative tilts the scales of power even more toward the top 1 percent.
“What Prop. 32 will do is effectively prevent educators from using their political voice to protect students and improve our community colleges. It will erode our ability to advocate for our profession, and is possibly the first step to eliminate collective bargaining.”
CCA/CTA will be curtailed from being a strong advocate for increasing funding for schools and colleges, preserving adequate salaries and secure retirement plans, and even taking a stand on local school board races and ballot measures.
“The passage of this initiative will erode our ability to advocate for our students and our profession. Really, what we are talking about is the future of public education,” Reel said.
The initiative has already been defeated twice before by California voters and is destined to be defeated again, once voters understand what it’s about, according to Reel.
“Union members already have the right to opt out of having their dues money spent for political contributions,” Reel said. “This proposition attempts to fix something that doesn’t need fixing in order to hide its real agenda — to keep educators and unions from speaking out.”