When CFA member leaders set a goal, it isn’t for platitudes.
It is to enact major change.
Twice a year, member leaders vote on and enact statewide resolutions at spring and fall assemblies.
So, what happens once those resolutions are passed? The work begins.
Let’s rewind to 2020: after years of advocacy internally, CFA sponsored, advocated for, and helped pass Assembly Bill 1460, requiring students to take an Ethnic Studies course to graduate from the CSU.
That bill started from an idea that turned into a resolution that CFA statewide leaders passed in 2019.
How about in 2018? CFA passed a resolution on the principles of CFA’s Anti-Racism and Social Justice Transformation. Four years later, these are the values that guide CFA members’ advocacy and how we speak and work together toward a more perfect union.
Anti-racism and social justice guide our members as they fight to enact change statewide and on their campuses. From Our Way Forward, Volume II to our most recent contract, these principles have led to structural changes within our members’ everyday lives.
Those principles led to the resolution on Ethnic Studies and the 2019 resolution to call on CalPERS to divest from CoreCivic and GEO Group, two organizations engaged in human rights abuses while running migrant detention facilities for the federal government.
Most of you know what happened next. For those that don’t, protests and rallies with CFA members helped convince CalPERS and CalSTRS officials to divest.
“It’s a moral imperative that public funds disinvest from enterprises that profit off human suffering or climate disaster,” said Margarita Berta-Ávila, CFA Associate Vice President, North, and Sacramento State professor. “I’m proud to belong to a union with members who not only improve student learning and faculty working conditions, but also push for equity and racial and social justice in our communities.”
Now, CFA members turn their attention to another divestment: one to protect our climate, our planet. In fall 2021, leaders approved a resolution calling on CalPERS to divest from funding fossil fuel companies with educator pension dollars.
Two months later, CalPERS board members requested consideration of divesting from fossil fuels. But, since this is only a discussion and not action, CFA members took this a step further and are now sponsoring Senate Bill 1173, which would force the state’s largest pension systems to divest from fossil fuels. The bill is currently awaiting vote in Senate Appropriations.
What starts as an idea turns into a resolution, then action, then results.