2011 Triennial Election Executive Board Candidates

Voting Information

Find out where and when you can vote: Voting Times and Locations

Information on Joint Council candidate elections and Sample Ballots for each Unit are in a separate post specific for each unit.

Below is a list of nominated candidates for UAW Local 2865 Executive Board.
Candidate statements are listed for each candidate per Article 14 of the Local Bylaws.


Executive Board

President (1 Position)

Cheryl Deutsch

A second year PhD student in Anthropology at UC Irvine, I’m running for President to continue reforming our union. Alarmed by the state’s budget cuts, the UC’s choice to balance those cuts on the backs of students and workers, as well as the weak presence of our union in those debates, I became a Head Steward last year when there was not a single elected union representative on campus. I phone-banked members to collect data on how the budget cuts were affecting them as workers. I organized departmental meetings to facilitate conversation about changes to our healthcare benefits, as well as a grade-in to make visible the work we do as Academic Student Employees.

It was during contract negotiations this summer and fall, however, that I realized the lack of union presence on my campus was not an anomaly but something of the norm statewide, and that our union suffered from something more than just a shortage of member participation. I believe the incumbent leadership has made only superficial and disingenuous efforts at organizing, relying on a handful of paid staff rather than empowering elected officers and members as organizers. The sum of these practices is a weak union poorly positioned to win anything but a weak contract.

At Irvine, we now have elected officers and informal stewards networks stretching across the social sciences, humanities, and physical and natural sciences. We have substantive monthly membership meetings, departmental meetings, and are in the midst of launching workload enforcement and affordable housing campaigns. I want to bring this kind of vibrancy to the union as a whole, and I’m running for President to ensure that no campus will ever go neglected by the union again.

In February I became a Trustee on the Executive Board in the hope of making institutional change towards empowering the rank and file. I made proposals to institutionalize orientations and organizer training for Campus Unit officers, to make elected officers’ contact information available on our website, and to prioritize Campus Units (rather than the statewide headquarters in Berkeley) as the primary points of contact for members across the state. The incumbent leadership blocked or voted down every one of these proposals.

I’m privileged to be running for President on a slate of stellar candidates from the large and growing statewide reform movement we call Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU). You can read more about our vision for reforming the union – including concrete actions we will take if elected – at awdu.org.

As an environmental, political, student, and labor activist, I bring to the table 10 years of organizing experience: I have managed and led a broad range of campaigns, media and member outreach, fundraising, as well as direct actions. As a student committed to a career in academia, I will work as President to put the union back into the hands of actual student-workers. I’m committed to open and honest communication and maintain a passionate belief that nobody’s point of view should ever be dismissed.

Daraka Larimore-Hall

I am running to continue as President of our local union as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice Team. I am a graduate student in Sociology at UCSB. I’ve been active in the union since my first quarter, when I got involved as a volunteer, helping to sign up my fellow members for the 2003 strike that led to a great contract for our union. Since then, I have been active in the union at every level, as a Head Steward, Unit Chair, a member of the Executive Board, Vice President and now as President.

I have organized on every campus in the UC system and have taken the lead on over 50 grievances – by individuals, whole departments and system wide. I’ve served on three bargaining teams, helping to win strong contracts. I’ve helped organize two new unions- for postdocs at UC and our fellow student workers at CSU. With your support, I’d like to continue to put that experience at the service of our local union.

I am a union activist for one simple reason. Unions create democracy in the workplace. Our workplace is the University of California- at every campus, in every classroom, every office, every laboratory. That’s why I believe strongly that we are a better force for democracy when we work together and speak with a unified voice. That means listening to and involving everyone, not just the most vocal.

I also believe in being active in my community. As a UAW 2865 leader, I’ve helped to pass an historic Living Wage law in the City of Santa Barbara. I’ve been a board member of PUEBLO, a community organization that fights for the rights of low-income workers. Working together with other progressive folks, I’ve been very active in local electoral politics, helping to elect pro-labor and pro-education candidates at every level, including one of our own local union members to the California Assembly.

I believe that this combination of on-the-ground organizing, pragmatic, progressive political engagement and community action is what we need right now. I’m running for President as part of a team of union members that has built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

·  wins great contracts;

·  recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;

·  plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;

·  works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher education against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls.
Thank you for your support.

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Northern Vice President (1 Position)

Xochitl Alicia Lopez

I am running for Northern Vice President as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a second year law student at UC Davis, and have been a graduate student at Davis and Santa Cruz.

I am running for Northern VP because our union is known across the country as an effective union that achieves great rights and economic benefits for workers, and I want to contribute to that. I believe I have the skills and passion strengthen our northern campuses. I have organized members on all our northern campuses, Davis, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Merced. When I say organizing, I don’t mean making speeches and blogging, I mean one-on-one, face to face talks with workers of diverse backgrounds and beliefs about the importance of signing up for the union, paying dues, and going on strike.

Before coming to Davis, I worked as a lead organizer in a campaign that won a union for TAs, Gas and Graders on 23 CSU campuses across California. I helped organize the first strike e ver held in the CSU system. Later, I worked on successful organizing drives elsewhere- with casino employees, postdoctoral researchers, and auto workers. I have organized all over California, in New York, and New Jersey. I have learned to recognize a good strategy and a winning team- the United for Social and Economic Justice team has that!

At many universities around the country, student employees have already lost their legal right to have a union. There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack. And we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC.

We’re part of a team of union members that built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

·  wins great contracts;·  recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
·  plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
·  works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher education against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls. Please cast a ballot for all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates – from this campus and for all statewide offices.
Thank you for your support.

Sara Smith

I am running for Northern Vice President of UAW 2865 as part of the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union slate. Our websites: www.awdu.org and slugorganizingcommittee.wordpress.com. As a student of U.S. labor and social movement history at UC Santa Cruz, I take my inspiration from past and current struggles for racial, gender, and queer justice, and from the history of workers’ struggles. I’m running because I want to help democratize our union so that it can be a force for social change.

  • Experience: I’ve been active in efforts to reform and democratize UAW 2865 since I began graduate school six years ago. As part of a reform-minded minority on the bargaining team during contract negotiations a few years ago, I helped push for greater transparency and democracy in the negotiations process. I’ve helped to lead many individual and collective workload grievances, organized union presentations in departmental and campus-wide orientations for several years, organized departmental meetings, helped to lead campaigns to fight cuts to graduate student healthcare, and on and on. I’ve worked hard to strengthen the rights, pay, and benefits of UAW 2865 members.
  • Participatory Democracy: If elected, as Northern Vice President I’ll support membership empowerment at the campus level, while coordinating across the UC to increase our power. This is in sharp contrast to the practices of the current leadership (many of whom are running against AWDU in this election), which promotes a hyper-centralization in which the ten-person Executive Board and the President make nearly all of the decisions for 12,000 members
  • Quality of Education: For the past several years I’ve worked to push our union leadership— with much pushback—to take seriously the need to fight ballooning class sizes. As educators, we must take seriously our mission to protect and improve the quality of education at the University of California
  • Defend, Reclaim Public Education: For the past couple of years I’ve been centrally involved in the movement against the budget cuts and the fee hikes. Our union should be taking a leading role in this movement.
  •  Fighting Discrimination: When on the bargaining team, I was active with a group of reformers, which promoted queer labor rights and the rights of international students, and fought for the childcare subsidy and paid leaves. When the majority of the bargaining team gave in on the issue, I worked with activists at UCSC to fight for, and ultimately win health insurance that did not discriminate against transgender students at UC Santa Cruz. I’m also actively supportive of the struggle to establish Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Our union must prioritize struggles against institutionalized oppression.

If you vote for Academic Workers for a Democratic Union slate, we’ll continue to take direct action, to mobilize to defend and strengthen our own rights, as well as organize in solidarity with other workers, students, and the community.

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Southern Vice President (1 Position)

Jorge Cabrera

I am a first generation graduate student in Latin American and Iberian Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and I am running for Southern Vice President with the Social and Economic Justice Team. I believe in a strong and united UAW Local 2865. Over the last few years I have served as Unit Chair at UCSB and Vice President for the Southern UC campuses. I have been a relentless leader in our collective fight for our rights as graduate students and public employees of the UC system. I have signed up thousands of new Academic Student Employees (ASEs) to be members of our union, organized and participated in some of the largest demonstrations we have seen in decades, and led the victory for more collective bargaining rights for us as ASEs. I have also participated in the certification of the union for 6,500 Post Doctoral Scholars at the UC system- the first union of its kind nationwide.

I believe that a strong union leader is actively engaged in the improvement of our communities. For over ten years I have hit the streets and protested, knocked on doors and urged people to vote. I have lobbied our electorate, and mobilized our neighborhoods toward being agents of change in the issues that affect us as graduate students and as members of this society. The issues that I have been most involved with are police brutality, immigrant rights, the Dream Act, racial profiling and injustices in the criminal justice system, as well as having equal access to a good public education. I pledge to continue to work tirelessly toward building on this record, as well as increasing the diversity of our membership and making sure that our leadership ranks reflect our diverse student population. I ask that you join me and the rest of our Social and Economic Justice Team to fight together as a strong and united union.

There has never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack, we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by the UC system.

We are part of a team of UC graduate student union members that have built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years. We are committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

·  wins great contracts;
·  recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
·  plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
·  works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public highereducation against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

Elliott Kim

I am a second year graduate student in Public History and Latin American Studies at UC Riverside. I was raised in an activist-academic household and have been actively involved in various forms of community and labor organizing for most of my life but more so in the past ten plus years. In addition to participating in academic and organizing work, I currently serve as a public affairs programming director at KUCR, the university and community radio station at UCR.

Since the most recent election I’ve been working as a steward in my department to help with coalition building between graduate and other students, staff and faculty at UCR, and I see this as a necessary step in fostering statewide, national as well as global solidarity between unions, social justice movements and the communities they serve in the UC system and beyond.

I’ve also been involved in organizing with Social Justice Alliance-UCR for different days of action, forums, teach-ins, and other organizing work particularly around the budget cuts over the past two years.

I welcome the opportunity to continue to work with other members of UAW, members of the Executive Board, Joint Council and others in the critical efforts to nurture and enact participatory democracy, strong collective bargaining principles and cross-campus and community solidarity building in UAW Local 2865 and beyond.

To echo others points, we are at a critical juncture and have a worthwhile opportunity to contribute to the creation of a more equitable and just future for those who inhabit the UC public school system and by several degrees of extension this planet. In this context, I feel privileged to be working with groups such as Academic Workers for a Democratic Union and running for the Eboard position of Southern Vice President or Campus Unit Chair at UC Riverside with the AWDU slate. I look forward to continuing to help organize for quality and accessible public education in any capacity.

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Financial Secretary (1 Position)

Charlie Eaton

All of us will have to do more to stop devastating cuts and fee hikes at UC. Deeper cuts will leave graduate and undergraduate education at UC nearly unattainable except for the privileged. UAW 2865 could be a major force to reverse the cuts and empower students and workers at UC — but only if we make major positive changes to our union. That is why I am running for Financial Secretary with Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU). More information about our movement to reform our union from the bottom up is available at awdu.org. To support us, please consider endorsing our slate at awdu.org/endorse.

I have worked in the labor movement for 10 years – experience that has helped prepare me for the role of Financial Secretary can play in changing our union. With SEIU – United Healthcare Workers, I helped develop a grassroots committee of homecare workers and hospital employees to decide on how to spend hundreds of thousands of their dues dollars and donations to mobilize for better wages and benefits. The campaign won a union contract in 2006 with a 20% wage increase over two years, helping lift 10,000 homecare workers out of poverty.

As a Sociology graduate student at UC Berkeley, I have adapted some of my experiences for our fight against fee hikes and budget cuts. In February, I was elected as a reform candidate to oversee the union’s finances as a Trustee. Since then, I have helped connect graduate students across campuses in a new campaign to preserve funding guarantees for GSI, TA, Reader, and GSR fee remissions at UC Berkeley UC Davis, UC Riverside, and UCLA. Already, we successfully forced a delay and concessions on the policy at UC Berkeley, but we need to reverse such policies statewide. To do so, we must put our union’s resources back in the hands of members. That’s why I also helped develop a process adopted by the union this Spring for membership meetings to review and reprioritize our union’s budget.

Thousands of us will have to step up to accomplish much bigger changes. Hundreds of volunteers and over 60 candidates for Executive Board and Head Steward positions have joined AWDU’s movement to change our union. If you believe that we need a stronger, bottom-up union to reverse the cuts and empower students and workers, please stand with AWDU by voting for our entire reform slate.

Donna Fenton

I’m running for Financial Secretary as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I became a member of UAW Local 2865 as a graduate student in Linguistics at UC Berkeley, and in February 2009 was elected to the position of Financial Secretary. During the two years I have held this position I have worked hard to make our financial records more orderly and transparent, and to simplify and improve many of our accounting procedures. I have also made efforts to cut costs by eliminating unnecessary administrative expenses and sharing resources with our sister UAW locals. I have always had an open-door policy for members who have questions or wish to discuss our financial operations.

I’m running for reelection as Financial Secretary because I believe our union needs someone in this position with my experience and proven track record of being a responsible, trustworthy and hard- working financial officer. If elected I will continue to work with other members of our team to strengthen our financial position through strategic budgeting and financial planning, and as always will welcome member participation in these processes.

There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack. And we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC.

We’re part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

·  wins great contracts;
·  recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
·  plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
·  works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public highereducation against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls. Please cast a ballot for all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates – both here at Berkeley, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

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Recording Secretary (1 Position)

Mandy Cohen

I am running for the position of local Recording Secretary as part of the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) slate. I am a third year doctoral student in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, where I’ve been a member since 2009 and a head steward since 2010. For the past two years I’ve been actively organizing against the budget cuts and to defend the rights of academic student employees through our union and in coalition with student and faculty groups and other employee unions.

AWDU exists because our union has failed to take leadership in this fight, has failed to engage and educate our members in the issues, and in fact has demobilized regular members when we have tried to organize through the union. This was demonstrated to us last fall during the contract negotiations when hundreds of members at my campus were ready to fight for a stronger contract, only to watch the union leadership settle for a weak contract. I was part of the “Vote NO” campaign that built upon the departmental organizing we had been engaged in for over a year and succeeded in turning out almost a thousand members on our campus alone to participate in that vote. Before AWDU began organizing at Berkeley we had never seen that level of participation.

At Berkeley I have helped to organize departmental meetings to discuss and involve our members in the budget cuts fight and our contract negotiations, I have helped to organize the days of action in defense of public education, educational events for our undergraduate students, public forums with administration to debate the cuts, as well as creative protest measures like “The UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP).” I believe that education and direct, collective action are our best tools to defend and expand our rights.

As part of the AWDU slate, I would work to return control of our local to our members, because an active and democratically run union is the best means to fight for our rights as workers and students. We believe the members must come together and decide the union’s role, because the union is only as strong as our involvement. This is the kind of union I’ve helped to build here at Berkeley, and which I want to support on all campuses. To find out more about AWDU’s positions on reforming the union and our commitment to fighting for an equitable university, check out awdu.org.

Rachel S. Vandagriff

I’m running for Recording Secretary as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice
team. I’m a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at UC Berkeley and have worked with this union at a local, state, and intra-union level and have been involved with social activist organizations throughout my life.

I’m running for Recording Secretary because I believe in all that this union (and the activists who worked toward building our UC-wide union) has worked for over the past decade. The strong contracts we have won, the legislation we have helped to pass, the new workers we have helped to organize, and the constant fight that we wage for our and other workers’ rights are extremely important to me, and not just because they have impinged on my day to day life for the past five years. Rather, these things are important to me because I am a student, a teacher, a worker, a scholar, a colleague, a member of my department, a member of the UC Berkeley community, and a lifelong resident of California.

Our country, this state, and the UC system are all in transition on many levels. Now is not the time to say it is all too much, all is going to hell, and it’s time to fold our hand of cards. Now is the time to build on the union we have built, the bonds we have forged, and join together our diverse opinions and backgrounds to make this union even stronger.

I have worked with this union for a number of years now in various capacities. I was the UC Berkeley Unit Recording Secretary, a head steward for the UC Berkeley campus, served as a UC Union Coalition liason, and I worked on the successful campaign to unionize the postdocs of UC. I believe that the Recording Secretary for the Executive Board of UAW 2865 is a great job and is one I can do, one I can do well, and holding such a position will allow me to make a tangible contribution to this great union.

There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack. And we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC.

We’re part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

·  wins great contracts;
·  recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
·  plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
·  works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher education against budget cuts and privatization.
A complete description of our plans to

 

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Trustee (3 Positions)

Arash Arfaee

I’m running for the state wide eboard trustee as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a 4th year graduate student in computer science and engineering.

I’m running for eboard trustee position because I personally encountered a situation in one of my TAship’s appointments at UCSD which has been resolved with strong support of our union. This event motivated me to get more involve in the union activities. During the time that I’ve been engaged in our union activities, the necessity of a strong union became more and more clear to me.

There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack. And we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC.

We’re part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

·  wins great contracts;
·  recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
·  plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
·  works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher education against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also
want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls. Please cast a ballot for all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates – both here at UCSD, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Kyle John Arnone

I’m a fourth year graduate student in the Sociology Department at UCLA. Like most graduate students, I struggle with working with my current funding and worry about my prospects for future funding. And as efforts to dismantle public education in CA multiply, these worries become more real. To date, our union has not been very active in protecting and advancing the interests of academic student employees. This is why I am running for Trustee on the Executive Board and Head Steward at UCLA with the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) (for more about AWDU, visit www.awdu.org), a reform-minded caucus of graduate students interested in transforming our union into a movement to preserve the integrity of public education, which fundamentally includes protecting the rights, wages, and benefits of student-workers.

I bring three years of experience in the labor movement with me to my candidacy. I have worked as a consultant-researcher on a campaign to organize port truck drivers in CA over the last three years, where job insecurity is a persistent reality for workers, not unlike graduate students. As part of my academic research, I also study the historical development of strategy and tactics in labor organizations. I have well-developed sense of how important it is for our union to carefully devise strategy to put us in the best possible position to protect and advance our interests—as workers, as students, and as student-workers.

Since being elected to Head Steward in February, I have helped develop a workload survey, fight against UC efforts to eliminate funding guarantees for graduate student instructors, and make our local unit more democratic. I encountered entrenched resistance within our union, and I now recognize the need for a change in leadership and practice. In order to expand the scope of our influence and to make these campaigns more effective, we need to revitalize local units—to make them more democratic, more inclusive, and, in doing so, more effective forums for creative and critical decision-making.

I ask that you support me and the entire AWDU slate of candidates as an essential first step toward involving our union in becoming an effective force in preserving the integrity of public education.

John Gust

I’m running for trustee as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a 5th year graduate student in anthropology.

I’m running for trustee because I want to help continue the important work of this union. I helped bargain and fully support our current contract and wish to be at the fore of making sure that it is not only enforced but that ensure that the Local is poised to use it as a launch pad in the future. As a trustee I will continue to work to make the University of California a better and more rewarding place for TAs, tutors, and readers to work. I believe that this must be done in no small part by also making California a better place to live and work for all.

There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack. And we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC.

We’re part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

· wins great contracts;
· recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
· plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
· works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher education against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls. Please cast a ballot for all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates – both here at Riverside, and for all statewide offices.Thank you for your support.

Nick Kardahji

I’m a graduate student in the History Dept. at UC Berkeley, and I have been an active member of UAW Local 2865 since I came to study in California four years ago. For the past twelve months I have been Recording Secretary for the Berkeley campus, and I was on the bargaining team during the contract negotiations that took place last year. I believe passionately in a member-run union and in rank-and-file democracy, and I believe that the only way our union can be the fighting force that it has the potential to be, is by transforming it into a grassroots organization governed by participatory democracy. I have also been active in the public education struggle for the last few years and I am committed to the fight for free, genuinely public education for all, and I believe our union can play a much stronger and more effective role in helping to make that happen. As my experience during the bargaining process underscored for me, our rights at work remain fragile and far too limited, and our compensation is far from commensurate with the time and energy Academic Student Employees invest in their teaching. Our union must take a more assertive attitude to defending members’ rights, and must begin preparing for a far more effective contract campaign in two years time. I am also an international student, of mixed Arab-British ethnicity, and i’m committed to helping to ensure that the issues affecting the many international students and ASEs at the UC, both documented and undocumented, are given a high priority in our local. It is for all these reasons that I am a member of Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, a caucus committed to the practice of real democracy in our local and the labor movement more broadly. Check out our ideas for transforming UAW 2865 into a real social justice union at www.awdu.org. Please vote, and recruit all your friends to vote; you can add your name to our endorsement list at www.awdu.org/endorse.

Brenda Medina-Hernandez

I am a second year graduate student in the History Department at UC-Davis. I am running for Trustee as part of a collective reform group with Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU)—a union activist caucus that has fostered an increased participation of rank-and-file members since January 2010.

I became an active union participant as a rank-and-file member in the fall of 2010 during our last round of contract negotiations with the UC administration. As a union member, I helped organize informational sessions for Academic Student Workers to educate members about the contract and push for increased transparency at the bargaining table. Since then I have continued my work with union mobilization by increasing the presence of AWDU at UC Davis and increasing participation in our monthly unit membership meetings.

Now is the moment to reinvigorate our union. As graduate students across the UC system, budget cuts pose a direct threat to our livelihood: TA’ships and readerships. I will work to increase our power as students and as workers. We are 12,000 strong and a force to be reckoned with. If elected along other AWDU candidates, we will continue to transform our union and fight for higher wages, for better working conditions, and to protect higher education. Join us by voting for a new leadership.

You can learn more about our movement to reform our union and empower academic student employees by visiting the website of Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) at awdu.org. And to help support our movement, please consider endorsing our slate at awdu.org/endorse.

Teresa Rinaldi

I’m running for Unit Chair for UC Merced and Trustee for the UAW2865 Executive Board as member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a 2nd year student in World Cultures, Literature.

I’m running for Unit Chair and Trustee because I want to keep serving as Unit Chair for Merced (as I have been doing it for the past year) and also as Trustee. I believe maintaining a strong communication with the rest of the campuses and being aware of the UC Merced reality, while keeping close contact with the members creates awareness and allows to have a panoramic idea about the issues in this small campus. I want continue serving as Unit Chair as I am qualified to support the growth of UAW2865 on campus through that close contact with members and the rest of UC campuses.

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Sergeant At Arms (1 Position)

Jordan Brocious

My name is Jordan Brocious; I’m a second year physics student working in the chemistry department at UC Irvine.

I have been organizing against the budget cuts and for social justice issues in the UC system since my first day of class with the Fall 2009 Walk Out. Much of the fight against austerity was done as students, and not explicitly as workers, which is why I am running on the UAW reform caucus slate, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU).

Our union has relied on a top-down, bureaucratic structure, but there is more strength in active and democratic member participation. As the Irvine Recording Secretary I helped promote direct member involvement in solidarity actions with other campus and community student groups and unions, where previously our leadership had interest in absently collecting dues.

I affirm that the AWDU slate would work to return control of the local to where it should be: the members and the stewards. From there we can all fight more effectively for better workloads, affordable housing, and public education!

You can learn more about our movement to reform our union and empower student-workers by visiting the website of Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) at awdu.org.

Matthew Luckett

I’m running for Sergeant at Arms as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a third-year PhD student in history at UCLA, where I study the American West.

As a first-generation college graduate from a blue collar family in Missouri, I know how important it is for workers to have strong representation. Now I want to fight for the same opportunities and benefits that my family had access to thanks to my father’s membership in the Pipefitters Union. Like my father, we all work very hard for what we make here at the UC as teaching assistants, tutors, and readers. So why shouldn’t we earn a living wage and have access to better health care? You deserve a union that fights as tirelessly for your rights and welfare as you do for the students you teach, mentor, and inspire every day at the University of California.

There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Public higher education is under attack in Sacramento and Washington. Our right – and the right of all public employees – to have a union is under attack. And we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC. After all, if Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin could successfully strip collective bargaining rights from public worker unions in one of the most pro-labor states in the country, then what is to prevent that kind of thing from happening here?

We’re part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that wins great contracts, recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus, plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions, and works together with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher education against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.

I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls. Please cast a ballot for all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates – both here at UCLA and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

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Guide (1 Position)

Blanca Missé

I am GSI and a fourth year graduate student in the French Department at UC Berkeley and I have been an active member of our union since 2007. I am currently serving as a Head Steward in our local.

For the past 2 years I have been working within our union to defend our rights and also to seek rank- and-file input to win a better contract for our local.

But I have also been organizing against the budget cuts to public education and for budget transparency in our University, and around other social and economic justice issues, always representing the needs of academic student employees as members of our union.

I am running for the position of Guide on the Executive Board because I believe we need a union that is more open to the members, transparent and democratic and that can win a better contract and more rights and protections for its members. My experience is that the more we implement participatory democracy in which members are provided with accurate information and have a say in which decisions are made and how they are made, the better rights and benefits we manage to win with their participation. Participatory democracy is the best way to insure accountability of the union leadership and we want to establish that in our local.

Many of us, as graduate students, TAs, readers and tutors, also feel our union should not only represent us as academic workers during the months we work, but also should have a long-term vision and plan to protect and improve the future of our profession.

In this situation of crisis, I believe we should start building stronger alliances with other social forces to put forward concrete solutions to improve our universities and education system.

For all these reasons I am running with the reform slate Academic Workers for a Democratic Union which I helped create at UC Berkeley. Check out our ideas for transforming UAW 2865 into a real social justice union at www.awdu.org. Please vote, and recruit all your friends to vote; you can add your name to our endorsement list at www.awdu.org/endorse.

Marie van Staveren

I’m running for Executive Board Guide and Recording Secretary for the Irvine campus together with other members of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. As a graduate student and TA in the chemistry department, I have been a member of our union for three years. Because our working conditions are the students’ learning conditions, we must fight to ensure that academic student employees receive a living wage and fair working conditions. Our union is a member of the campus community, and we must be aware of the needs of the other students and workers on campus. We must also empower our members to enforce their rights under the current contract so that the gains we win are actually being implemented.
I’m part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and won great contracts over the past ten years at UC. We’re committed to continue building a strong, grassroots, member-run union that:

· wins great contracts;
· recruits diverse leaders from a variety of departments on every UC campus;
· plays a leading role in helping new groups of workers form unions;
· works in coalition with students, unions and other progressive allies to defend public higher
education against budget cuts and privatization.

A complete description of our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865 is at: uniteduc.org. We also
want your feedback and input on how we can continue strengthening our union.
I would be honored to have your vote. Please make sure to print-out this list of all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates and bring it to the polls. Please cast a ballot for all the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates – both here at Irvine, and for all statewide offices.
Thank you for your support.
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