GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR UNION!
Our Local is holding a vacancy election Tuesday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 25 to fill Executive Board positions, as well as delegate positions for the UAW International Constitutional Convention (Detroit, MI, June 10-14, 2018). All members are urged to participate in the vote in order to ensure your voice is heard.
Please read on for polling locations, the Candidate Statements of those running for contested positions, and a list of those who have recently been elected by acclamation.
Candidates for Northern Vice President
– Kavitha Iyengar, student in Jurisprudence and Social Policy and Law, UC Berkeley
Statement: I am interested in running for the Northern Vice President at this historic moment in our union’s history. I have been inspired to get engaged and involved in our union with the knowledge that Janus v. AFSCME and other right-wing attacks on labor threaten the long-term existence of our union, and critically, the character of our union. The UC-Student Workers Union underwent a member-driven transformation in its culture, ethic, and leadership years ago. We are inheritors of that change, and today, at stake is our capacity to retain the revolutionary gains of these past unionists.
As Northern Vice President, I would want to support the work of our statewide union. I believe that one of the greatest challenges and greatest possibilities for our federated union is our capacity to coordinate organizing, actions, and change across the entire state of California. One of the key hurdles for this coordinated action in my experience, though, is implementation. As a member-led union, I believe it is integral that decisions about programmatic vision are generated by members and that proposals are adopted by the Joint Council and/or campuses. I would want to help to bottom-line statewide projects and ensure that each campus is involved in these statewide decisions as they are implemented.
In specific, as Northern Vice President, I would want to work with fellow member-leaders to ensure that our organizing and staffing decisions are implemented equitably across the state as we enter trying financial times as a statewide union. This will require further developing relationships that I have developed as a Head Steward at Berkeley over the past year; I look forward to working with many of you to make sure that our shared, member-led vision is executed across our entire state.
– Christina Acosta, student in Sociology, UC Merced
Statement: My name is Christina Acosta, and I am running for the position of the Northern Vice President on the statewide executive board of the UC Student-Worker Union – UAW 2865. I am a 2nd year PhD student in Sociology at UC Merced and I have been involved in various forms of organizing (both union-led and non-union led) on campus for the last 2 years.
In the role of Northern Vice President, I would consistently perform the duty of auditing the union regularly to ensure transparent and democratic union functioning. I see a future for this union that prioritizes transparent horizontal and democratic leadership structures, driven by membership. The eboard cannot be the central site of decision-making. Rather, the administrative labor done by the eboard should facilitate on-the-ground and membership-driven movement building. I am responding to this nomination as not as a testament to my ability to lead but rather to facilitate—conversations between staff and student workers, between graduates and undergrads, community organizing efforts and campus organizing. I hope to leverage this position to ensure our union’s resources, attention, and platforms are used in the service of member-led organizing efforts to create a more just campus and workplace.
During this crucial time of our contract campaign I will help collectively organize and movement build to raise our wages to meet the escalating costs of living; address police violence and demilitarization as basic health and safety issues; center academic freedom and anti-censorship for politicized education (particularly regarding issues of settler colonialism and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, environmental justice, and combating anti-Blackness); and fight for affordable, accessible, quality public education.
Candidates for Southern Vice President:
– Marissa Ochsner, student in Musicology, UCLA
Statement: I would be honored to represent the interests of the Southern campuses as VP. I am someone who enjoys breaking large goals into small, actionable steps. Before graduate school, I worked in operations, and I see an opening for many of those skills within our organization: making sure that proposals from the JC are implemented at the statewide level, ensuring that we have policies in place to support our employees and members, and building infrastructure and institutional support so that new stewards and organizers can have a clear sense of our union’s history and their role within it. As an E-Board member, I would be committed to bottomlining projects at a statewide level, but also to making sure that more campuses are represented within our decision-making bodies. I believe it is crucial that we bring our campus and statewide levels into greater alignment. This means improving communication between our campus- and statewide organizations, but it also means improving relationships between campuses and field organizers so that we all work toward a common, member-driven goal.
In the interest of full transparency, I am disclosing that I have a neurological condition that makes traveling difficult; however, I value attendance, and I’ve been present at every JC meeting since becoming a steward. If elected, I will attend all e-board meetings in the Southern campuses, and the meetings that are connected to the Joint Council. If possible, I am also happy to videoconference into the meetings on Northern campuses, but my disability will preclude me from monthly travel to Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Merced, and Davis. Thank you for your consideration.
– Daniel Carnie, student in Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Statement: My name is Daniel Carnie, and I am running for the position of the Southern VP on the statewide executive board of the UC Student Worker Union – UAW 2865. I am a third year PhD student in Comparative Literature at UC Irvine and I have been involved in various forms of organizing (both union-led and non-union led) on campus for the last three years.
In the role of Southern Vice President, I would consistently perform the duty of auditing the union regularly to ensure transparent and democratic union functioning. I see a future for this union that prioritizes transparent horizontal and democratic leadership structures, driven by membership. The eboard cannot be the central site of decision-making. Rather, the administrative labor done by the eboard should facilitate on-the-ground and membership-driven movement building. I am responding to this nomination, not as a testament to my ability to lead but rather to facilitate—conversations between staff and student workers, between graduates and undergrads, community organizing efforts and campus organizing. I hope to leverage this position to ensure our union’s resources, attention, and platforms are used in the service of member-led organizing efforts to create a more just campus and workplace.
During this crucial time of our contract campaign I will help collectively organize and movement-build to raise our wages to meet the escalating costs of living; address police violence and demilitarization as basic health and safety issues; center academic freedom and anti-censorship for politicized education (particularly regarding issues of settler colonialism and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, environmental justice, and combating anti-Blackness); and fight for affordable, accessible, quality public education.
Candidates for Recording Secretary:
– Avigail McClelland-Cohen, student in Communication, UCSB
Statement: I’ve been involved in our union for the past four years, for the past year as a Head Steward at the Santa Barbara campus and a member of the UCSB core organizing committee. I am also an alternate to the Bargaining Team and worked as a summer organizer on my campus last year. Through these various forms of involvement, I’ve been inspired by our union to see the potential for student-workers to revitalize the labor movement. My goal for our union in the next year, for which EBoard will play a crucial role, is to ensure UAW 2865 weathers the coming storm of Janus and emerges as a stronger and more capable union as a result.
I study organizational communication with a focus on the tensions, contradictions, and paradoxes that arise in constituent-based political organizations. This gives me the ability to share a great deal of knowledge relating directly to our union’s current struggles. In this moment we face a number of tensions: the need to both build membership and advocate for existing members with limited financial resources to do both; the imperative to be member-led while also recognizing that many in our member base have different degrees of political consciousness and orientations toward power; and competing strategies for how to proceed through the period of austerity we face as a result of the decades-long neoliberal campaign against organized labor. These tensions and contradictions can be managed in a way that makes us stronger—by which we become better organizers, better educators, and better representatives of our union’s social justice mission. My goal as a member of the EBoard is to help manage difficult situations transformatively, and shed light on creative strategies for doing so.
Before graduate school, I worked in outreach for nonprofit organizations and have several years of experience in grassroots membership building, issue campaigns, and member outreach. These skills enable me to take on a role as a member of the EBoard, contributing to the bottom-lining of statewide projects, coordinating across campuses, and centering the role of members. My fastidiousness and personal organization skills make me especially well-suited for the role of Recording Secretary. Thank you for considering me for the position.
– Antony Boardman, student in Literature, UC Santa Cruz
Statement: Not available
– Storm Weiner, student in Physics, UC Berkeley
Statement: I am running because I believe nominations for the vacancies on E-board should remain open until after the Joint Council evaluates a budget proposal that has the potential to dramatically reshape the powers and responsibilities involved in that position. A core tenet of the AWDU (Academic Workers for a Democratic Union) platform of 2011 and 2014 involved shifting power away from E-board, which is only 10 people statewide, toward rank-and-file and Joint Council, preserving the titles only because the UAW International’s bylaws require we have an E-board.
This means E-board has not exercised meaningful power for longer than many of us have been students here. If the JC votes to reinstate substantial power in the E-board, there should be a chance for all members to run for a contested election in October, after it is clear what the E-board positions involve, since this would be a major change that might affect the votes and decisions to run of rank-and-file-ers like me.
To that end, I intend to vote “abstain” on everything and step down over summer in time to free up my position for vacancy elections in October. I believe in participatory democracy and transparent, open elections, and I believe voting for candidates who will step down in time for October elections is the best way to accomplish this.
Candidates for Trustee:
– Thomas Hintze, student in English, UC Davis
Statement: With the Janus v. AFSCME decision rapidly approaching, I believe our union is faced with a difficult choice–to hunker down and try to “weather the storm,” or to do what we do best: build. I am interested in running for the trustee position on the E-board and working to build the capacity and power of our union in multiple ways. Whether performing the annual audit or taking a leadership role in strategic conversations about our budget, the trustee position is fundamentally concerned with the financial health of our union. But as a member-led organization, we must balance our statewide projects with the day-to-day organizing work that happens at the campus level. That’s why I believe that a critical aspect of ensuring our long-term financial health is facilitating membership participation in statewide decisions like the budget.
As a trustee, I would work to build more robust communication networks between the state and local levels of our union to empower members to build proposals and make decisions, and to increase our capacity to coordinate actions across the state. Another aspect of building our collective power is building our membership and engagement. I want to think specifically about how to leverage our communication channels to bring potential members and members with a low level of engagement into the fold. I have been working on building our capacity to disseminate information to members as part of our newly formed communications committee, and I hope to continue this work as a member of the E-board.
But as a trustee, I’m most excited to build relationships with our members. As a rank-and-filer at Davis, my contact with members from other campuses has been limited. But this has only added to my conviction that the best way to build a stronger union is to find new ways to connect, and to make it feel like even though we’re 9 separate schools we’re One Big Union after all.
– Julia Havard, student in Performance Studies, UC Berkeley
Statement: In the role of trustee, I would consistently perform the duty of auditing the union regularly to ensure transparent and democratic union functioning. I have attended eboard meetings and have collaborated with the eboard in strategizing to ensure we stay committed to democratic social justice unionism. I am familiar with the eboard and understand the possibilities and duties of this role.
I see a future for this union that prioritizes transparent horizontal and democratic leadership structures, driven by membership. The eboard cannot be the central site of decision-making. Rather, the administrative labor done by the eboard should facilitate on-the-ground and membership-driven movement building. I am responding to this nomination as not as a testament to my ability to lead but rather to facilitate—conversations between staff and student workers, between graduates and undergrads, community organizing efforts and campus organizing. I hope to leverage this position to ensure our union’s resources, attention, and platforms are used in the service of member-led organizing efforts to create a more just campus and workplace.
In my departmental, campus, and community organizing, I have gained the skills necessary to be a contributing member of the executive board. As a member of the Bathroom Brigade (2014-15) fighting for all-gender bathrooms; a coordinator of the Survivors’ Symposium (2016) to create survivor-centered spaces for healing, organizing and action;the instigator of the Arts and Activism Collective (2017-18), a group dedicated to using the arts as a force for cultural change in the service of bargaining and other movement building, and a member of the Undoing Oppressive Internal Dynamics working group (2017-18); I have shown dedication to political and social justice work through the union since my arrival on campus. I have facilitated workshops and teach-ins, written statements and petitions, facilitated votes, offered critique and support, planned agendas and shown up regularly for my unit and the state-wide Joint Council. During my term as Head Steward (2016-2018) I have manifested my dedication to union leadership and my understanding of the union’s internal dynamics. I hold a deep commitment to making this space more collaborative, thoughtful, dynamic, creative, and full of joy and care.
Santa Barbara UAW Convention Delegates (2 may be elected):
– Sarp Kurgan, student in Global Studies, UCSB
Statement not available.
– Daniel Lazar, student in Computer & Electrical Engineer (ECE), Head Steward, UCSB
Statement not available.
– Andrew Elrod, student in History, Head Steward, UCSB
Statement not available.
Statewide Executive Board:
Financial Secretary: Alexandra H. Bush
Berkeley Unit Joint Council:
Head Steward: Alec Uebersohn, Gaelan Ash, Hannah Ehrlinspiel, Alexa Nicolas, Henry Jiang, Ángela Castillo, Tara Phillips, Dominick Lawton
UAW International Constitutional Convention Delegates: Garrett Shishido Strain, Kavitha Iyengar, Gerard Ramm
Davis Unit Joint Council:
UAW International Constitutional Convention Delegates: Thomas Hintze, Emily Breuninger
Irvine Unit Joint Council:
Head Steward: Jeremiah Scott Lawson, Chaeyoon Yoo, Zayda Sorrell Medina
Los Angeles Unit Joint Council:
Head Steward: Sonya Rao, Yunyi Li, Julia Clark, Michael Stenovec, Griffin Johnson, Ana Gomez
UAW International Constitutional Convention Delegates: Emily Yen
Merced Unit Joint Council:
Unit Chair: Daniel Rios
Head Steward: Danielle Bermudez
San Diego Unit Joint Council:
Head Steward: Stephanie Violette, Mateus Guzzo
Santa Barbara Unit Joint Council:
Head Steward: Emma Schuster
Santa Cruz Unit Joint Council:
Head Steward: Marcelo Mendez
UAW International Constitutional Convention Delegates: Kyle Galindez
- Executive Board and Joint Council officers serve terms from the April 2018 Vacancy Election until the 2019 Biennial Election.
- All UAW Local 2865 members in good standing continuously for one (1) year prior to accepting nomination are also automatically nominated for the following delegates to the UAW International Constitutional Convention located in Detroit, MI: June 10-14, 2018.
|TUESDAY, APRIL 24||WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25|
|Berkeley – 10am-6pm – Sather Gate||Berkeley – 10am-6pm – Evans Hall|
|Davis – 10am-6pm – Memorial Union (quad)||Davis – 10am-6pm – Silo|
|Irvine – 10am-6pm – Ring Road (outside FRH)||Irvine – 10am-6pm – Ring Road (outside SST)|
|Los Angeles – 10am-6pm – Young Research Library||Los Angeles – 10am-6pm – Court of Sciences|
|Merced – 10am-6pm – Lantern||Merced – 10am-6pm – Lantern|
|Riverside – 10am-6pm – Bell Tower||Riverside – 10am-6pm – Bytes Eatery|
|San Diego – 10am-6pm – Triton Statue||San Diego – 10am-6pm – AP&M|
|Santa Barbara – 10am-6pm – The Arbor||Santa Barbara – 10am-6pm – Nano Cafe (outside)|
|Santa Cruz – 10am-6pm – Grad Student Commons||Santa Cruz – 10am-6pm – Science Hill|
A run-off election, if necessary, will be held on May 8, 2018, at the same times and locations as on April 24, 2018.
About the National Convention (Detroit, MI)
The UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865 is is a local within the UAW International. Every four years there is a UAW Constitutional Convention where union members from different employment sectors come together and vote on different policies and Elect the UAW International Executive Board. Academic employees make up an increasingly large share of UAW members and we want our voices heard this year at the convention. UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865 is the largest academic employee union in the country and we are allocated 17 delegates. The per campus allocation of delegates is proportional to membership and are chosen in this election.
We are sending out a call for delegate nominations so that we may maximize our voice at the convention. Each campus gets their allotted delegates based on unit size and one alternate delegate selected in this election. We are not allowed to replace delegates after so if a delegate no-shows, we won’t be able to replace them and we won’t have maximum representation. So please consider the following:
1) All delegates must have been official members of UAW 2865 since at least June 1, 2017.
2) All delegates must be physically present in Detroit from June 10-14th. The Joint Council of UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865 has not taken a vote on the travel budget for the convention yet so it’s possible that delegates may incur some out-of-pocket costs.
3) Elected delegates should be committed to representing the best interests of the UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865 and collaboratively working on proposals to maximize our voice at the convention.
This year’s convention could be very impactful for academic and other public sector locals. UAW President Dennis Williams has signed onto a letter, along with the presidents of SEIU, AFT, and UNITE HERE!, signaling support for academic locals as we face the Janus decision and a hostile labor board. There may be room, collaborating with other locals, to float proposals that will provide additional support to academic employee unions.