More than 100 CFA members met virtually last week to organize around bargaining, anti-racism, and social justice.
Delegates passed resolutions calling for support of comprehensive immigration reform and CalPERS divestment from fossil fuels.
Like CFA’s previous campaign successfully lobbying CalPERS to cease investing in migration detention companies, members want the nation’s largest public pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. Climate change is an urgent threat to the world, and to effectively address climate change, most fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. This makes fossil fuel stocks a risky investment. Also, “… Climate change is an issue of environmental justice, disproportionately impacting Indigenous communities, communities of color, and low-income communities due to historical oppression, inequity of power, and lack of access to resources for prevention and relief,” according to the resolution.
In the second resolution, CFA members advocate for a “more equitable, humane and dignified policy for all immigrants,” and reaffirm that “immigration, regardless of status, is a human right.” The resolution calls for the defunding of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agencies; opposes ICE and CBP presence on or near CSU campuses; demands full funding and resourcing of Dream Centers on CSU campuses; and supports federal efforts such as House Resolution 6 and the New Way Forward Act.
Also at the Assembly, members participated in a panel discussion about the racism and attacks against Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans. A CFA member shared her shocking experience at having her partner verbally and physically attacked by white supremacists. To cope with the trauma, she sought out support resources and networks, but was given culturally insensitive advice that caused further emotional trauma. She was eventually referred to CFA’s Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Caucus, which, she said, provided her a space to work toward healing.
CFA member Russell Jeung reviewed data Stop AAPI Hate has collected on anti-APIDA hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and CFA member Wei Ming Dariotis shared ways that members could combat racism and white supremacy in higher education and at their campuses. CFA has also assembled resources to Stop APIDA Hate.
California Attorney General-nominee Rob Bonta gave the Spring Assembly keynote address, thanking CFA for the union’s early endorsement of him to fill the seat left vacant by Xavier Becerra’s ascension to U.S. Attorney General. If confirmed by the Legislature, Bonta would be the first Filipino American to serve in the position.
“(CFA) stood with me and I’ll always remember that,” Bonta told the group. “…This is an incredible role to help people and I know you care about people. … My parents taught me to help people and fight injustice and right wrongs. The role of the Attorney General’s Office is so important and broad in scope in ability to help people. I’m really excited about it.”