2011 Triennial Election: San Diego 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 San Diego unit representatives to the Joint Council.
Candidate statements are listed for each candidate per Article 14 of the Local Bylaws.


Unit Chair (1 Position)

Arash Arfaee

I’m running for the UC San Diego’s unit chair position as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a 4th year graduate student in the computer science and engineering department at UCSD.

I’m running for unit chair 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 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 UCSD, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

John Higgins

My name is John Higgins, and I’m a Ph.D. student in the Literature Department running for Unit Chair at UC San Diego on the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) slate. I’ve been a dedicated participant in campus organizing and student government for the past four years. In 2008-09, I helped organize a grass-roots group of graduate students to fight evictions and extreme tenancy restrictions in Grad Housing. During this campaign, I co-chaired the GSA Committee on Housing and helped form a coalition that brought together students from the sciences, professional schools, social sciences and humanities in order to fashion consensus and fight for our right to participate in shaping University policy. During this time, I’ve also been privileged to serve as an active representative to the GSA for Literature, an opportunity that allowed me to collaborate with students from across the campus and engage in collective decision-making.

I am running for Unit Chair of our Union for two reasons. First, I believe in AWDU’s promise of a democratic, member-run union. Our basic platform will call for a committee-structured, bottom-up union, where departments meet early in the year to discuss their workplace and political concerns and then elect a steward who will attend regular campus-wide union meetings. AWDU promises members at UCSD a working budget, and through the membership meetings this will provide us with direct control over our union dues. AWDU also promises us direct control over campus campaigns and political endorsements, meaning that all social and political actions will be the direct result of member activism, not a small number of elected executives.

Second, I believe that public higher education has reached a moment of crisis that calls for a strong response from students and faculty. Graduate students are being pressured to professionalize earlier – publish more, study harder, delay marriage and family – to compete for jobs it’s becoming increasingly clear will not be there for us when we graduate. Most students only survive by ignoring these facts in favor of study, research, and the hope they will be an exception to these trends. This choice may bring the temporary comforts of familiarity and the personal satisfaction that scholarly life can provide, but it also brings stress, anxiety and division from fellow students and family. I believe that a healthier and more empowering response to these challenges is to address them head-on. We need to talk about them, acknowledge them, organize ourselves, and fight back. I am hoping that an AWDU campaign can help start this conversation on our campus, and believe that together we can reform our union and the UC.

These may seem like separate goals, but I believe they are not. Democratic participation has proven to be the only effective means of organizing mass social movements. The inspiring theme of last year’s campus protests was, “Another University is Possible.” It’s time that we struggled, both together and for ourselves, to make “Another University” actual. You can learn more about our movement at awdu.org.

^ To the Top ^

Recording Secretary (1 Position)

John Armenta

I am John Armenta, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication and am running for the UCSD campus Recording Secretary position. I support the goals of the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU) and as Recording Secretary I will work to create the conditions needed for a democratic, member-run union to flourish. Our organizing efforts need to begin with department-level committees, who are then represented at campus-wide union meetings. This enables a direct line of communication between the members and their elected representatives so that the members can decide which actions the union will take and how their membership dues are used. And in the spirit of a member-run union, the AWDU candidates promise not to take political positions or make political contributions without the endorsement of the membership.

Our union has the potential to be a powerful force for positive change, not only here at UCSD, but across the state of California. But we can only realize this potential if we work together as a collective of students; coming together in order to discuss, plan and fight for what matters to us. If you want a democratic, member-run union to represent you vote for the AWDU slate. For more information on AWDU, please visit www.awdu.org.

Leslie Manjarrez

I’m running for Recording Secretary as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a Fourth Year Undergraduate in Biological Sciences tutoring through the Undergraduate Academic Support Office known as OASIS(Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services).

I’m running for Recording Secretary because I believe that the Union is one of the most powerful forces of real change on our campuses, I intend to enroll in TEP at UCSD in the coming fall term and hope to continue to serve all those in need of union representation because of the often unfair practices of the university.

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. Ans 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 UCSD, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

^ To the Top ^

Head Steward (7 Positions)

Barbara Bush

Barbara Ann Bush is a third year PhD student in the Department of Communication here at UCSD. Her background, aside from her academic work, includes volunteer organization in the American Red Cross and the Multiple Sclerosis Society and recruitment for PRO/UAW, the union for PostDocs on the UCSD and other UC campuses. Barbara was the Volunteer and Education Specialist in the American Red Cross where she was responsible for a variety of duties including, but not limited to: volunteer recruitment, organization and management, teaching classes, public speaking assignments for the American Red Cross and community outreach. While working for the Northern California Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barbara was responsible for recruiting, retaining and organizing the entire region’s volunteer pool. Barbara has consistently participated in community action on multiple fronts concerning a variety of issues including client advocacy (for victims of Hurricane Katrina), participating in political campaigns (moveon.org) and working with the UAW at the local level, both paid and unpaid.

As your Head Steward, Barbara would work to ensure and improve the transparency of Local 2865’s policies and procedures. Despite a graduate school work load, Barbara has accepted the nomination of Head Steward in the interest of ending the era of our Local’s hands off approach to this campus. Indeed, the 7 Head Steward positions have remained unfilled for sometime on this campus, and there has been no public effort to change this status quo by the Union. Because of the lack of oversight by the union membership body, Local 2865 has been run by mostly paid staff. It is time to end the era of top down management and re-invigorate the UAW’s pledge for a more democratic union. Barbara’s reform platform is directly informed by her recent involvement with the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU). The AWDU was formed in direct response to push for a UAW more responsive to student workers. In addition to more transparency, reforms would included regular outreach to campus members, an ongoing e-mail list about elections and upcoming meetings and by law changes, an ongoing financial ledger made available to all Local 2865 members, consistent responses to grievances, and a more open forum whereby UCSD student workers can pass their ideas and suggestions on to UC wide platforms.

Barbara is one of several reform candidates running for Head Steward. Academic Workers for a More Democratic Union (AWDU) is the group that has coalesced around this reform slate. 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. We need a union that is run for and by student workers. We need a union that inspires and unites. If you want a union that belongs to you, vote for Barbara Ann Bush.

Aaron Cotkin

I’m running for Head Steward as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a second year Ph.D. student in the Political Science department. I’m running for Head Steward because I am a believer in constructively acting to further the living standards of graduate students in ways that do not hinder my fellow graduate student’s ability to do what they came to graduate school to do. I am already working as a volunteer and Head Steward toward bettering the lives of graduate students at the UC through strengthening our Union, and I ask for your vote as a way to allow me to continue to work for the betterment of your position as a graduate student employee.

With that said, 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 UCSD, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Chris Drue

My name is Chris Drue and I’m a 4th year Sociology graduate student at UCSD studying environmental culture. I’m running with the Social and Economic Justice Slate for the position of Head Steward. In my time at UCSD while participating in Graduate Student Association meetings, protests and marches, and volunteering to help staff tables for our union elections, I’ve tried to bring graduate students together to improve our lives. I’ve served for the past couple months as a Head Steward and I would appreciate the opportunity to carry on working to make our union stronger.

Erica Fontana

[No candidate statement]

Robert L Long

I am running for head steward as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team at the University of California, San Diego. I’m a 5th year doctoral student in Modern European History and I’m running because I am tremendously concerned about maintaining our integrity as a viable, effective union. At this point in our history experience is vital to protect graduate student interests in the face of budgetary restrictions. United for Social and Economic Justice is a group of individuals that has had a clear and substantive record of serving the interests of UC TAs and readers. Over the last several years of tough and successful contract negotiations, including this past year’s contract, which won major victories for the UAW in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns in recent US and California history, the members of USEJ have been tireless advocates on behalf of UC graduate students in their quest for fair wages and decent working conditions. 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, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

Ian Michael Mullins

I’m running for head Stewart as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I’m a 1st year graduate student and reader in sociology; I am currently completing my term as a GSA representative. More personally, I grew up in the Detroit area during the mass closure of automobile factories and a particularly violent newspaper strike which not only exposed me to the struggles unions face but also the unequivocal need for having a strong union to defend the rights of labor. I’m running for head Stewart because I seek a more active role in keeping our union strong so that we can continue the fight for the fair contracts and improved working conditions that are in all our best interests.

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, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

David Selby

I am running for the position of head steward as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team and I have been a long time activist and leader with the UAW 2865 at San Diego, in the Department of Political Science. In my time at UCSD, I have been proud to fight for social and economic justice in a variety of ways, including two contract campaigns, grievances, solidarity work, and helping to organize the unorganized.

I first became involved in 2003 making strike calls in the Department of Political Science. One of the key issues in that contract was that University’s attempt to take away our right to withhold our labor in support of other Unions. We won that battle and today we are the only Union at UC which has retained this right. Our contract was also the first at UC that was fully arbitrable, which means that all disputes are settled by a neutral third-party rather than an in-house administrator. These are just examples of how strong our Union is, a strength which is build on member involvement in enforcing their own rights and in participating in democratic processes.

In these difficult and anti-union times, I think our priority as a local should be enforcing our rights as workers, finding a long-term solution to California’s budget crisis, and organizing new workers. There is nothing more radical than seeing someone who was formerly anti-Union or on the fence ‘get it’ and join up to protect their own rights and to form a Union of their own. Organizing unorganized workers at UC is also a key element in fighting against privatization of the University, and every new worker with a Union is someone who has been moved from the private to the public. In the last five years our local has organized more than 10,000 new workers (Postdoctoral Scholars at UC and CSU Academic Student Employees, plus others).

I am proud to say that our Union is at the forefront of progressive labor, not only at UC, but in the nation. I am running with the Social and Economic Justice team to continue and push this record of being a leader in progressive politics and labor rights nationwide.

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;
Longhao Wang

I am running for head steward as a member of the United for Social and Economic Justice team. I am a first year graduate student in MAE department. I am running for head steward because student in science and engineering may have a voice.

There’s never been a more critical time for us to speak with 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. Ans 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 UCSD, and for all statewide offices.

Thank you for your support.

 

^ To the Top ^

Sample Ballot (can be saved and printed):



Search