Volume 45 Number 2
ABC funding proves valuable
Several college boards of trustees in Southern California will be bolstered by the election of eight faculty-friendly candidates during the recent November elections.
CCA local affiliates, including faculty associations at College of the Canyons, Rio Hondo College and Mount San Antonio College made use of political action funds they obtained through the Association for Better Citizenship (ABC), CTA’s political action committee, to help make a difference in their local elections.
The Rio Hondo Faculty Association played a crucial role in the re-election of incumbent Angela Acosta-Salazar, as well as the election of two new board members, Norma Edith Garcia and Madeline Shapiro.
“We put an incredible effort into this election. Along with our classified staff, we probably had 100 people working on it,” said Adam Wetsman, president of the Rio Hondo Faculty Association.
Wetsman said many volunteers became involved when they were told the campus was facing a financial crisis just six weeks after the board of trustees had given the president a big increase in his compensation package.
“We weren’t happy with the board and the administration and we thought it was important to change that,” Wetsman said.
Rio Hondo was able to add $15,000 from its own political action fund to the $5,000 it received in ABC funds for campaign mailers and other materials.
“The funding definitely helped,” Wetsman said.
Mount San Antonio College faculty used ABC funds to help re-elect Judy Chen Haggerty and Dr. David K. Hall to the board for another four-year term.
“With a presidential search possibly coming up in the future, we wanted to keep a board that works well together and supports the students and the faculty. Both of these candidates were endorsed not only by the faculty association, but also by our CSEA units and the Associated Students,” said Jennifer Galbraith, president of the Mount San Antonio College Faculty Association.
At College of the Canyons, the faculty association worked to re-elect two board members, Joan MacGregor and Michael Berger.
Over the past six years, CTA’s ABC committee has provided funds to CCA faculty associations 37 times in varying amounts that total $223,650, according to Chaumonde Porterfield-Pyatt, the higher education representative who advocates for community colleges on the ABC Committee.
With only a few elections in the fall, the dispersement of ABC funds to the CCA chapters amounted to $15,000, a smaller amount than usual. In a major election year like 2008, nearly $82,000 was distributed to 10 CCA chapters.
Funds from the ABC Committee are not intended to finance a campaign, but rather to provide “seed” money for printing and mailing costs, which in many cases, is substantial.
For faculty associations considering supporting candidates, bonds or parcel taxes, the time to prepare is now. Once an association selects a candidate or ballot issue, it needs to organize a budget and send Porterfield-Pyatt a letter of intent that it is going to apply for ABC funds. Letters of intent must be submitted at least 50 days before the election, while the application deadline is at least 35 days before. The ABC Committee then reviews the applications and makes its decisions. The link for the ABC Intent/Application is found on the CCA website for an easy download. Contact Porterfield-Pyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org. or by cell phone: 559-300-2677, or home fax at 559-734-9465.