2011 Triennial Election: Los Angeles Joint Council Candidates

 

Voting Information

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

Information on the statewide Local Executive Board election is here. 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 Los Angeles unit representatives to the Joint Council.
Candidate statements are listed for each candidate per Article 14 of the Local Bylaws.


Unit Chair (1 Position)

Jeremy Schmidt

I’m Jeremy Schmidt, a graduate student in the English Department who works on 20th-century poetry, and I’m running for Campus Unit Chair at UCLA. The union is the strongest institution we have at our disposal for fighting the changes being made to the UC system as a whole, but in order to put that strength to use we need to lower the barriers to getting involved. As an active member of UAW 2865 since Fall 2006; a Head Steward since February 2011; a former Vice-President of the English Graduate Union; and a leader of the art-advocacy group NewCLA during last year’s budget protests, I have a wide range of organizing experience. And as Unit Chair I will work to make being informed about and involved with the union easier by organizing introductory “Know Your Union” sessions focused on explaining how the union currently works, how it should work in theory, and how we can use it to keep the administration from making shortsighted changes to our University. You can learn about and endorse the larger movement to reform our union and empower academic student employees by visiting the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) website at awdu.org.

Michael Wartenbe

My name is Michael Wartenbe and I am running for Unit Chair at UCLA as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I am a fourth year doctoral student in the Department of Information Studies. I have been an active volunteer at UAW 2865 for two years and a Head Steward at UCLA since Winter Quarter.

I am running for Unit Chair at UCLA because I believe it is more vital than ever for all concerned students and union members to put aside disciplinary and political differences, pull together and emphatically assert our basic rights to collective bargaining and public education. These rights are are under attack from conservative lawmakers and giant corporations like the University of California. To win this fight, we must speak and act with a strong, unified voice.

I am proud to run with candidates from the group United for Social and Economic Justice. We have all worked hard for the gains UAW 2865 has won. We represent student workers from a wide array of backgrounds and academic affiliations, from chemists and mathematicians to historians and anthropologists. What we share is a history of success and commitment to continue building a strong union with maximum member participation.

Our team is one 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.

We have made continual gains in wages, protections, fee remissions, healthcare and childcare in the decade since we won our first contract. Recently, we have won a great contract in a dire budgetary situation, organized thousands of new workers and taken part in actions supporting the rights of carwash workers and pressuring University of California bookstores to sell apparel made in sweat-free factories. We are committed to continuing and expanding these activities in the future.

I have experienced firsthand the power UAW 2865 members have to make the union they want to see. As Unit Chair I will ensure that the UCLA unit and entire union are faithful to this history of grass -roots member participation. My priority is to actively involve student workers from every school and department in order to continue building a diverse and united movement that is capable of achieving the just, equitable university we want and deserve.

For more on our plans to continue strengthening UAW 2865, visit uniteduc.org. Your feedback and input is appreciated.

A full list of the United for Social and Economic Justice candidates is available online for you to print-out and bring to the polls.

Please vote for me and my fellow United for Social and Economic Justice candidates across the state. It will be a vote for a strong, effective and inclusive union.

Thank you for your support.

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Recording Secretary (1 Position)

Matthew Luckett

I’mrunningforSergeantatArmsasamemberoftheUnitedforSocialandEconomicJusticeteam. I’ma 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 forworkerstohavestrongrepresentation. NowIwanttofightforthesameopportunitiesandbenefits 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 andEconomicJusticecandidatesandbringittothepolls. PleasecastaballotforalltheUnitedforSocial and Economic Justice candidates – both here at UCLA and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Julia Tomassetti

My name is Julia Tomassetti, and I am running for Recording Secretary as part of Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU), a student- led reform caucus to democratize and reinvigorate our union. As a fourth-year Sociology Ph.D. student, I study labor law, industrial relations, and nonstandard work. This is my third year as a teaching assistant at UCLA, a job I much enjoy, and I have also worked here as a Graduate Student Researcher. Should you vote for me, I will bring to my position years of experience as a campus and union organizer, worker center activist, and employment lawyer. At UCLA, I have organized around the fee increases and with the UC service workers union. I will also bring an extensive knowledge of the university.

Last year I designed and instructed a freshman cluster course about the UC system, which included an examination of UC labor relations and the administration. My research, activism, and teaching experiences have convinced me that a union’s strength at the bargaining table is only as great as its membership is informed and mobilized. I run as an AWDU candidate, because I believe that our platform and dedication to creating a member-run union will restore this principle to Local 2865.

For more information about AWDU, I encourage you to visit our website at awdu.org. You can endorse our slate at awdu.org/endorse.

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Head Steward (9 Positions)

Alexandra Apolloni

I’m running for Head Steward at UCLA as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice
team. I’m a fourth year Ph.D. student in Musicology, with a concentration in Women’s Studies, and I work on the politics of race, class, and gender in the music of girl pop singers in 1960s Britain. I have been a TA for Music History classes at UCLA since 2008, and have been a member of UAW 2865 in good standing since 2007. I decided to get more involved with the local following our recent contract ratification vote: I was impressed by the dedication and hard work that union members put into negotiating such a strong contract, and wanted to take part in the union’s efforts to enforce our rights as employees and continue to work for social justice, both for our members, and beyond our campuses.

I have held numerous leadership roles in my department. I served as the department’s elected grad student representative in 2009-2010, advocating for grad student interests to our faculty. During that time, I also represented the students in my department on the Dean of Arts’ Student Council. I am currently co-editor of Echo: a music-centred journal, a grad student-run, peer-reviewed publication. I recently accepted a Head Steward position in our union, and, in that position, I have been active in organizing and advocacy efforts. If re-elected, I will continue my record of strong leadership: I am committed to defending our rights, to defending public education, and to working towards unity and strength in our local.

I’m very excited to be working with the United Social and Economic Justice Candidates. We’re a group with a strong record of winning great contracts for our members, of recruiting a diverse group of leaders from a wide range of departments from every UC campus, in helping new groups of workers unionize, and working in coalition and collaboration with other student groups, unions, and progressive allies to fight for public education in the face of budget cuts and privatization.

At a moment when public higher education and the right of public employees to unionize and bargain is under attack in Sacramento and Washington, for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. When you cast a ballot for United for Social and Economic Justice candidate s, you are casting a ballot for statewide unity for all of our members. This unity gives us the power to continue working for your rights.

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.

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.

Sam Baltimore

I’m running for Head Steward at UCLA as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a fourth-year PhD student in the Musicology department, studying musical theater’s persistent appeal for sexual and social minorities. I have served my department as the coordinator of our guest lecture series (2008-2009), and an editorial board member of our graduate student journal (2007- present), and have gathered signatures for UAW, attended various membership meetings, and voted in every union election in which I was eligible to vote.

I’m running because I want to make sure that in our current anti-union political climate, both in California and across the nation, workers’ ability to have a say in our rights and responsibilities isn’t eliminated or in any way curtailed. I have been a UAW member since I began my program here, and was a member of USAW of Rhode Island before that, and I believe that collective bargaining is the key to maintaining a strong voice for every worker both in her workplace and in the political sphere. Both of my parents were union organizers, my father of the faculty at Adelphi University and my mother of the attorneys and staff at Legal Aid of Suffolk County, on Long Island. They taught me that workers only have rights when they have a strong union representing them, and I am proud to be a part of this strong union that has kept us so far ahead of so many other public employees during this recession.

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 organize is under attack. The private sector has long been almost completely de- unionized, and we face a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take-aways by UC and by the elected officials in Sacramento.

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. 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 andEconomicJusticecandidatesandbringittothepolls. PleasecastaballotforalltheUnitedforSocial and Economic Justice candidates – both here at UCLA, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Jacob Burstein-Stern

It is with much excitement and a strong sense of purpose that I am running for the position of Head Steward on the UCLA campus as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. Having been a graduate student TA in the theater department for three years, I know firsthand the importance and necessity of the rights and benefits that we have won as a result of collective bargaining.

To that end, I view the position of head steward as an opportunity to educate my peers on the importance of collective bargaining, and more importantly, to work to swell the ranks of those who viscerally understand that we are the union, and should be thus compelled to become actively engaged in union activity.

I believe wholeheartedly that in a time in which our collective bargaining rights are under attack both in Sacramento and in Washington, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to keep the union strong and unified, and to protect our rights and benefits against take -aways from the UC.

I’m running as part of a team of union members who have 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 UCLA, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Sayil Camacho

Greetings! It is with a tireless sense of purpose and a strong belief in our inherent right to collectively bargain, that I, Sayil Camacho, announce my candidacy for the Head Steward position at UCLA. As a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team, I am a first year PhD candidate within the School of Education and the Higher Education for Organizational Change program. I look forward to focusing my graduate studies on economically disadvantaged UC students and employees, identifying oppressive policies and systems, and strengthening the student and labor community.

I would be honored to be UCLA’s Head Steward. My commitment to upholding Labor contracts, affording accessibility, and organizing the unorganized, has been exemplified within the last two years as an Organizer for AFSCME Local 3299; serving UC’s service and hospital employees.

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.

To be part of a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union, won great contracts, and brought wage increases to the membership after the economic crisis, speaks of our collective potential. I, with my members, am committed to continue to build a strong, grassroots, member-run union.

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.

Mindy Chen

My name is Mindy Chen and I am running for Head Steward in the UAW. I was an organizer for SEIU United Health Workers in LA and the Bay Area for six years, and more recently, I worked with LA College Faculty Guild to help mobilize community college students around access to quality public education. During my time in the field, I observed that effective organizing challenges people to choose action over apathy through encouraging meaningful participation. Now, as a PhD student in Social Welfare, I am studying the importance of involving union/community members in all aspects of policies, programs, institutions, and decisions that impact their lives.

I am running for Head Steward because I believe in participating in the UCLA community I belong to myself. As a Head Steward, I will draw on my experience to engage more students and allies through groundwork, recruitment, strategic analysis and action that foster democratic participation and union capacity. 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.

Erin Conley

I’m Erin Conley, and I’m asking for your vote for a Head Steward position at UCLA. I’m a first year student in the Department of English, and I’ve been a member of UAW since December, 2010. Previously I taught at the University of Kansas where I completed a Master’s in English and participated in the Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition. As the UC system faces a precarious economic future, I believe that greater direct member involvement at the campus level is vital to building our student- worker power. I stand with other reform candidates in advocating for a more democratic union through increased transparency and large-scale member education/mobilization. To learn more about our movement to reform our union and empower academic student employees, you can visit the website of Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) at awdu.org.

Yu-ting Huang

I am Yu-ting Huang, third year PhD student and teaching assistant in Comparative Literature, and I am requesting your support for one of the Head Steward positions at UCLA. I have been a member of UAW 2865 in good standing since Fall 2009. Running for this position, I wish to help create not only a democratic union, but also a union with a culture of community and activism.

Since Fall 2009, I have been active in organizing all and leading some of the protests against the cuts to public education. As I worked closely with the union coalition in many of the actions, I am profoundly aware of the impacts of the cuts on both students and workers. However, while UAW members suffer tremendous impacts from both fronts, we have not been as vocal and mobilized as we must be to fight for our rights and security.

Having observed how a union may relentlessly act to defending their workers’ livelihood, I am firmly convinced of the power of a strong union. As the country moves to defend public education and public service, a reform is sorely needed to change the opacity and passivity in our union. I will work to foster connection and understanding, allowing the union to be a first arena where all members may directly and actively participate in creating a vision of public education.

Renee Hudson

I’m Renee Hudson, a fourth year Ph.D. student in the English Department, running for Head Steward at UCLA. I’ve been a member of UAW 2865 in good standing since the Fall of 2008. While at UCLA, I have served as a graduate student representative on two senate committees, the Committee on Diversity and Equal Opportunity and the Faculty Welfare Committee. I have worked as a TA in the English Department as well as the GE Cluster.

As a graduate student invested in increasing union participation and transparency, I would like to implement “Know Your Union” introductory sessions and office hours as a way to increase dialogue between union leadership and union members. I strongly believe that as a union we need to increase our involvement in the decision-making processes that affect us as workers in order to protect our rights as laborers and ensure the quality of public education at the University of California. You can learn about and endorse the larger movement to reform our union and empower academic student employees by visiting the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) website at awdu.org.

Albert Lowe

I’m running for office as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I am a returning graduate student in Information Studies and I am from the bargaining team that won our first contract in 2000. I believe in a strong rank and file membership and I want to share my twelve years of union experience with graduate and undergraduate student WORKERS. I am running in this election becauseI know from experience that a strong and unified collective bargaining unit is essential to preserving the rights and benefits which we have fought for and won over the past eleven years.

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 are 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 UCLA, and for all statewide offices.Thank you for your support.

Lisa Millora 

[No candidate statement]
Alexei Nowak

I am a TA and second-year graduate student in Comparative Literature, studying social and cultural responses to neoliberalism in China and the U.S., the steady attack on the benefits won by generations of workers’ struggles. UCLA is the second UC campus at which I have worked and been actively involved with our union.

Many of us at UCLA have been involved as students in the statewide mobilization over the past two years to support public education and fight austerity measures, but few of us have done so explicitly as workers. As the university depends on us in this capacity, our work is our strongest leverage point, and the union is an institutional tool that can be used to support our actions in the larger fight for social justice. Two months ago, several of us joined together as a reform caucus and ran uncontested in the election for the vacant spots among UCLA’s Head Stewards, positions that had not been filled to capacity for six years. We have worked to coordinate the everyday organizing that is already taking place separately in different departments, in order to cooperate across the campus, with the goal of setting up Stewards in every department with academic student employees. We have met with activists from across the state to try to build a truly member-run union from the ground up. It is only through a participatory democratic structure, where rank-and-file members themselves are empowered to decide on priorities, that we can win better working conditions and a qualitatively improved contract and salary. This is the goal of the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU). To learn more about our movement or to endorse our slate, please visit awdu.org.

James Owen Sizemore

I’m running for head Steward as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a fifth year PhD student in the mathematics department.

I’m running for head steward because with the current attack against public sector unions, now is a critical time to remain organized and protect the rights those before us have fought for. Through my organizing I hope to maintain a high membership percentage at UCLA, and thus put us in a better bargaining position.

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 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.

Keith Stevens

I’m running for Head Steward at UCLA as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. If you’ve ever seen a tall, lanky white guy wearing at hat in the Computer Science Department, then you’ve probably seen me. I’ve been a PhD student at UCLA for the last three years, and initially transfered in as an undergrad many years ago. Over the year’s I’ve gotten to know the campus and several departments in great detail. Since starting my PhD, i’ve been working with the UAW and other engineering groups to make graduate life awesome and fulfilling, and by continuing my role as a head steward, i’ll be even more effective.

As a head steward, I’ll be able to represent and organize the graduate students in the various engineering departments, something that is currently missing from the union at UCLA. It’s my hope that more people in engineering departments will take an interest in UAW 2865, make their votes, and make sure that we keep making great progress with our contract and our social causes.

With public higher education under attack by Sacramento and Washington, it’s imperative that we speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. Our right–and the right of all public employees- to have a union is under attack. We’re facing a constant struggle to preserve our rights and benefits against take- aways by UC.

We’re a team of union members that’s built the strength of our union and we’ve won great contracts over the past ten years in the UC system. We’re committed to 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 UCLA, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Hadley Suter

I am a third-year PhD student and Teaching Associate in the UCLA department of French and Francophone Studies. I have been a UAW 2865 member in good standing since Fall 2009, and have served as an interim Head Steward since February 2011.

Since Fall 2009, UC students, faculty and workers have made clear their opposition to educational cuts and fee hikes. Yet while funding for classroom instruction and student services is slashed, the number of administrators with bloated salaries and negligible merit continues to grow. For the Academic Student Employees of the UC system, this translates into overcrowded sections, contracts that lag behind the rates of inflation, and cuts to our healthcare and benefits. To be truly effective against this corrupt system of governance, led by those who, like Dean Christopher Edley, readily admit to being “craven scum,” we need to maximize our union leverage by putting power back into the hands of UAW 2865 members. This is the goal of the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU). To learn more about our movement or to endorse our slate, please visit awdu.org.

Locke Welborn

I’m Benjamin Locke Welborn, and I am running for Head Steward as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a 3rd year graduate student in social psychology. I’ve decided to run for Head Steward because I am convinced of the importance of the work that the union does on behalf of teaching assistants, readers, and others at UCLA. Moreover, I have faith that our actions speak to broader concerns and more universal causes than those affecting our immediate rights and well-being in the context of university education. I believe that the recent assaults on collective bargaining at both the federal and state level represent only the most blatant manifestations of an ongoing effort to abrogate the rights of working individuals across our country. There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with a powerful, unified voice as a union. It is absolutely crucial that we stand together in solidarity in the days to come.

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 that tradition in the days to come, 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 UCLA and for all statewide offices.Thank you for your support.
Zachary Williams

Hello, my name is Zachary Williams. I am a third year student in Political Science, specifically Political Theory, with research interests roughly concerning questions of power and justice. I have been a member of UAW 2865 since 2008. I am running as part of the AWDU slate.

I believe our union is an important place to fight for public education in the state of California, because our interests, as teachers and tutors responsible for the bulk of instruction hours here on campus, are inseparable from those of our students and our society. As such, the quality of our working conditions help determine the quality of our students’ education and our state’s future.

I align myself with AWDU because the membership involvement generated and pursued by AWDU is a necessary part of any effective action by our union in the face of an increasingly dire environment. In my role as a Head Steward, I looking forward to acting as a point of contact and a conduit of ideas between our union’s elected administration and its active membership; a membership without which such an administration cannot hope to effectively wield power in those situations where we have the opportunity not simply to speak up, but also to act out, in service of our educative mission.

All I have to offer are whatever modest abilities I have to listen, think, speak, and act critically both with you, and on your behalf, as the situation permits. For more information about the AWDU movement, and our aspirations for our union, visit awdu.org. Please consider endorsing our movement at awdu.org/endorse.

Alexander Zevin

My name is Alexander Zevin, and I’m a graduate student of modern European history who is running for head steward. I have been a member of the UAW 2865 in good standing since my arrival at UCLA in 2008, and I’ve played an active part in organizing against the privatization of California’s system of higher education – budget cuts, layoffs, fee increases and the like – being pursued by both the administration and the state government. I am running for head steward in order to strengthen the powerful voice we have when we choose to use it, not only in contract negotiations, but also in crucial matters pertaining to teaching loads and our work environment – areas where graduate students, especially TAs, are likely to be affected as the university continues to pursue cost savings and cuts. Please go to the the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) website at awdu.org to learn more about the broader movement to reform our union and stand up for quality public education accessible to everyone.

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