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By CCA President Eric Kaljumägi

June is the start of a new year for much of what CCA does. Our new board members take office on the first of June, we have a planning session shortly after that and we look forward to ending the month with new goals, new direction and if all goes well, a new State budget. We just finished our annual board planning session, and the comments from the board this year were particularly insightful and have generated a clear direction for CCA for the coming school year.

The board is proud to have successfully brought back in-person conferences, and we are working to ensure that all levels of local union leadership, whether they be president, treasurer, PAC chair, negotiator, grievance officer, equity team member, membership chair or local director, have community college appropriate training available to them on a regular basis. We are proud to have enhanced our communication efforts, including the new “Monthly Scoop” email, dedicated leadership Zoom meetings and increased social media. We are proud of our legislative efforts, particularly our ongoing efforts to support part-time faculty and our improved processes by which we make recommendations to the CTA State Council. However, the item most listed by the board when they were asked what made them feel proud was “service.”

Your CCA Board is proud to serve you as they work beyond the local level to build relationships, enhance connections and make decisions that benefit each CCA member.

Like most organizations, CCA has some challenges. The board will need to devote more time to the human rights training as we strive to improve the equity and diversity of CCA. We also must reach beyond the board to bring more CCA members into positions where they are empowered and heard. With several long-time leaders nearing retirement and much recent CTA staff retirement, CCA has a larger than usual capacity to consider new ideas and involve new people. Furthermore, we have a need to expand our relationships with CTA and NEA leaders, introduce ourselves to a considerable number of new state legislators and build a working relationship with whomever replaces Chancellor Oakley in Sacramento.

As for this coming year, the board’s changes to the CCA goals foreshadow some of the actions that you can anticipate seeing this next year. Although we have long had a goal to engage our membership, we now have added that we will strengthen the support structures necessary to keep our members engaged with their union. We will continue to strengthen our relationships at the state level, but have also added work at the national level with NCHE and NEA. While advocacy is one of the four verbs in our mission statement, it is just this year that “advocacy at the state and national level for our members” became a specific goal of CCA. Therefore, direct advocacy will become a greater portion of our efforts. Finally, we have added the goal “[to] communicate the relevance of CCA’s work by promoting the challenges, priorities, and successes of its members.”

As you read the remainder of this issue of The Advocate, I hope that you will get a sense of the state-level work we do through CCA and that you will be inspired to volunteer for one of the six CCA Council committees. Information about these committees can be found at https://cca4us.org/about/committees and you can volunteer by emailing me at president@cca4us.org. If you’re not quite ready for state-level work, please consider volunteering for some event or committee at your local, and mark your calendars for Oct. 14 -16, when CCA will hold its fall conference in Northern California. You’re invited!

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