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By Ed Sibby

Committee members were intentional in this year’s R-4 conference theme, “The Power of Connection: Knowledge and Organizing Unites Us.” It underscores a simple yet foundational belief that building strong local unions and school site structures through nuts and bolts organizing, including Member and Community Engagement, is the key to a stronger Union.  

CTA President David Goldberg echoed that importance with his account as a young school site representative tasked with confronting an administrator’s violation of their agreement-and holding the other side to account. “Knowing I was speaking on behalf of our entire staff forced the principal to honor our agreement. Building that power at the school site level is critical to our work.”  

Conference training courses reflected that focus, with multiple electives on building local chapter and site organizing power. Offerings included: 

  • Strategic Planning and Leadership Development 
  • Building Community Schools 
  • Messaging for Engagement and Advocacy 
  • Organizing Using CTA’s 360 App 
  • Strategy and Tactics for Local Organizing 
  • Member Recruitment and Engagement 
  • Organizing for Racial and Social Justice 
  • Special Education Advocacy 

Developing organizing and leadership skills with like-minded educators and support personnel can have lasting impact on local chapters and communities.   

“Spending a weekend with fellow southern California educational leaders and advocates energizes our chapter and reminds us that fighting for better working conditions leads to improved student learning conditions.”  

Glenda Bartell, Brea Olinda Educators Association President

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