President's message

New year brings new opportunities to show our unity

Greetings CSEA siblings,

Once again, we find ourselves beginning a new year with new pandemic challenges, but we all know that no challenge is too big for classified employees. By practicing the safety measures we know all too well, Omicron will soon be just another hurdle in the many we’ve faced in the past two years. Until it’s in our rear-view mirror, however, all CSEA statewide events are either on hold or being held virtually. One event that must go on is our Paraeducator Conference, now in its 25th year! We were all set to welcome many of you to Southern California for the in-person conference, but have changed it to be held virtually so that we can safely gather to learn new innovations and share ideas. We’ve become experts at holding virtual conferences, so you know it’ll be great! You can register for it at: Speaking of great events - we’re still planning to hold our Annual Conference in person this year and, if you haven’t yet heard, we’ve moved it from Sacramento to Las Vegas! I am so excited to see all your smiling faces this summer as we gather to conduct the business of our union, celebrate a year of accomplishments and reconnect after two years apart. I have an important update about an item I mentioned in the last issue of Focus Magazine. The ballot initiative that would have made CSEA illegal and taken away all our hard-earned rights is officially dead for the 2022 election. Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper told the Los Angeles Times on January 25 that he is pulling his effort, at least for this election. This is wonderful news, not only because it was a threat to our very existence, but because it means we can focus our time, our resources and our Victory Club funds on electing lawmakers who support working Californians, rather than defending ourselves from billionaire attacks. The importance of electing pro-labor lawmakers is perfectly illustrated by the budget just proposed by Governor Newsom, which makes a second year of increased funding for public education in California. Read more about how he wants to invest in our students and our schools in the “From the Capitol” section of this issue. Make no mistake, this will still be a very busy election year. We must constantly fight to not only elect, but keep labor friendly lawmakers who will protect and expand public education and workers’ rights. I’ll be sharing more information on the election very soon and in the meantime, please be sure to join the Victory Club if you haven’t already so we have the resources we need for this election cycle. I am proud of what we accomplish when we stand together.

In Solidarity,

Matthew "Shane" Dishman, Association President

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