This victory was won for our students
By the CCA Officers
President Ron Norton Reel
Vice President Lynette Nyaggah
Secretary DeWayne Sheaffer
Treasurer Jim Weir
Thank you CCA members! Because of your work over the past few months, we won a great victory this November, and so did our students.
This was grassroots campaigning at its finest. Because of your involvement, Prop. 30 was passed and Prop. 32 was defeated. The passage of Prop. 30 will prevent devastating budget cuts to our colleges and schools and will begin addressing the continual budget shortfalls that plague California. By asking California’s wealthiest to pay a bit more, Prop. 30 may also be the first step in creating a more fair approach to taxes.
Californians want fairness
We also were successful in exposing the real agenda of the corporate special interests behind Proposition 32. Because of our collective voice, voters rejected by the largest margin ever a well-funded “paycheck deception” measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.
These victories did not come out of nowhere. They were hard-fought and hard-earned.
All of you know how hard you worked on your campuses. You made phone calls, you rang doorbells, you talked to your friends and relatives. You carried signs and attended rallies. You wore buttons and attached window clings to your car. You posted on Facebook and tweeted. You showed up at the polls, and you got your friends there, too.
We thank all of our CCA members for educating your students about the issues, conducting voter registration drives on campus, generating student discussions and forums, participating in numerous news conferences and reaching out to colleagues. We estimate that several thousand new voters were registered in CCA-sponsored drives, which added to the thousands of new voters registered in other drives as well. Not only did students register but they voted and they actually got to see the fruits of their labor. (Don’t tell them it doesn’t always work like that!)
A special thanks to CCA campus leaders Elizabeth Maloney, Ed Gomez and Michael Smith for their leadership. They designed the grant application for campaign funding, created our “Your Education, Your Money, Your Vote” motto and made sure our materials were distributed on campuses. They also provided a model for some of our campus and community events.
In addition, a majority of the candidates supported by CCA and CTA were elected to office. These include faculty-friendly trustees and new legislators in the Capitol. You did this, CCA! We didn’t get everyone elected but we saw what a difference our participation makes. Again, we thank you and we salute you for the contributions you’ve made to this campaign.
Of course, you know we cannot stop here. This was a tremendous win, but our work continues. We all saw new alliances being made during this election and communities coming together. Higher education faculty worked alongside K-12 teachers, school employees, students, and local labor federations. We need each other to move forward.
Rebuilding our state
Our task now is to build on our success. We have a reprieve from budget cuts, but we must be part of the conversation in rebuilding our education system and our state. We must invest in our colleges and schools to keep our economy moving. Our community colleges, CSUs and UCs have been the engine behind California’s prosperity and we must continue to strengthen them for the future.
And we must strengthen CCA/CTA. Over the next year, CCA/CTA will be involved in a strategic planning process to prepare for the future. From this, we hope to build an even stronger, more responsive organization. We want the involvement of our affiliates, our chapters and our members along the way. As we move into the process, we will be asking for your opinions, ideas and observations so that we can move into a new direction. CCA is already a part of that process and will continue to be.
Our election victory was important in so many ways, not the least of which is knowing that we can do great things when we come together. That’s where our strength lies.