97th Annual Conference recap
Members gather for 97th Annual Conference
By Brad Washburn
More than 1,800 CSEA members gathered in July for the Association’s 97th Annual Conference in Reno, NV.
Representing hundreds of chapters throughout California, member delegates put CSEA’s democracy into action, electing new Association Officers, voting on resolutions, approving the union’s annual budget and much more. During the weeklong event, members engaged with their union at the highest level, reaffirming their commitment to CSEA and its mission to improve the lives of our members, students and community.
“We practice the belief that by working together we can achieve far more than we ever could on our own,” Association President Adam Weinberger told delegates in his State of the Union Address. “Let us carry that spirit of unity to our union siblings back home to show them, and the world, that we are ‘Empowered, Courageous, and we are Enduring!”
Weinberger was elected by conference delegates to serve his first full term as Association President. He will be joined by Letetsia A. Fox, who was elected 1st Vice President; Jerry White, who was elected 2nd Vice President; and Joshua Leiman, who was elected Association Secretary.
CSEA members showed a record outpouring of generosity at this year’s conference, donating $123,197 in chapter and personal contributions to the Dorothy Bjork Assistance Fund. These donations will be used to help members recover from disasters or financial hardship due to circumstances beyond their control.
“Hope is such a wonderful and powerful gift to give,” said Weinberger. “To be able to help pull someone out of their darkest day and into the light, back on their feet and moving forward once again. Because if not us, then who?”
During Education Days, delegates attended classes in different Learning tracks focused on education, inclusivity and strengthening chapters. Class topics ranged from “How Understanding the District Budget Can Improve Negotiations” to “Generational Change.” These workshops provided local leaders with an opportunity to gather information and exchange ideas.
Throughout the conference, several major awards were presented, and CSEA members were recognized for their contributions to CSEA.
Bambi Mayfield was posthumously inducted to the CSEA Honor Roll – one of the union’s highest honors. Mayfield, who retired from Butte College Chapter 511 and belonged to Oroville Council 5045, passed away last year and was remembered for her decades of service to CSEA and her selfless efforts to help others.
The William P. Schwartz Humanitarian of the Year Award, which was presented to Jennie Curto of San Luis Obispo COE Chapter 444. Curto is a tireless volunteer who serves as a donation recruiter for young women surviving sex trafficking and contributes her time to providing meals for the homeless and volunteering at her local food bank.
Video tributes celebrated CSEA’s 2023 Members of the Year: Gene Baker of Fairfield-Suisun Chapter 302, Julie Glenn-Juuko of San Lorenzo Unified Chapter 692, Dana Moyer of Ocean View Chapter 375, Diana Ochoa of Azusa Chapter 299, and John Sullivan of La Mesa-Spring Valley Chapter 419.
The future looks bright for CSEA with many first-time delegates participating in the conference, including Rony Armas of Mt San Jacinto College Chapter 767
“Being my first time here, it’s been quite an experience,” Armas said. “To see the love, the camaraderie and true solidarity between everyone has been a heartwarming, life-changing experience.”
CSEA's next annual conference will be held July 28 - Aug. 1, 2024 in Phoenix, AZ.
New delegates gather on stage to be recognized.
Delegates voted on four resolutions brought to the floor for consideration.
Resolution No. 1: Modernizing CSEA Governing Documents
Adopted as amended
Resolution No. 2: Pay Equity for Association President Full-Time Work
Adopted as amended
Resolution No. 3: Chapter Officer Elections
Resolution No. 5: Retiree Unit Executive Board Nominations for Life Membership and Honor Roll Awards
Labor advocates provide inspiration to CSEA members
Keynote speaker Chris Smalls, founder and president of the Amazon Labor Union reminded CSEA of the challenges new unions face when trying to provide basic protections for their members.
"They asked us, 'how do you defeat these corporations and these trillion-dollar companies and these billionaires?' Easy,” Smalls said. “With love and solidarity. It’s free, and no amount of money in the world can amount to the power of people when we come together.”
Members received additional inspiration from actor Danny Glover, who stopped by the conference Welcome Party to show his support for CSEA. Glover grew up in a union household and wished CSEA well in its conference.
“It’s an honor for me to be in the service and presence of union members,” he said.
Empowering Essential Women
CSEA’s inaugural Women’s Conference, “Empowering Essential Women” was held on July 28 – July 29 in Reno.
The weekend kicked off immediately following CSEA’s annual conference with a keynote address focused on cultivating empowerment in our communities.
Throughout Saturday, 150 CSEA members participated in presentations, trainings and engaged in conversations about topics that impact women. Presentation topics included women’s empowerment, financial success, resume and interview skills, self-defense, work-life-union balance, emotional intelligence and social media safety.
Association President Weinberger joined attendees throughout the weekend.
“Our decision to host this first-of-its-kind conference evolved from our recognition of women’s unique challenges in our society and a deep-seated desire to celebrate women's incredible progress over the years. It is a testament to our commitment to providing a platform for women to share, grow, and thrive within CSEA and beyond.”
Photos by Elite Photography Group