In Other News…

HONOR DR. KING’S LEGACY, SUPPORT ETHNIC STUDIES REQUIREMENT: AB 1460, authored by Assembly Member Dr. Shirley Weber, would require all CSU students to complete a course in ethnic studies to graduate. Thanks to the extensive advocacy by CFA members – including testimony at hearings and lobby visits to legislators – it passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee (5-2) last week. CFA is sponsoring the bill because a three-unit ethnic studies course requirement allows students to learn, often first hand, about the customs, history and traditions of the various racial and ethnic groups that make up our state.  This learning is vital, especially in a state as diverse as California. 

Melina Abdullah, professor of Pan African Studies at Cal State Los Angeles and member of CFA’s Political Action and Legislative Committee, connected the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the relevance of this legislation in a powerful keynote address at the San Diego State MLK Luncheon last week. The theme of the event was, “Celebrating 50 Years of Ethnic Studies: ‘Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.’ The Persistent Fight for Ethnic Studies.” Connecting the dots between the murder of Dr. King, the radicalization of students around the country, and the subsequent sanitizing of King’s actions, Abdullah reminded the audience of more than 400 people that “institutions did not birth ethnic studies, movements did; people did; the community did.” Students led the 134-day shutdown of San Francisco State – which had serious repercussions, beatings, loss of jobs – in the struggle to establish the first Ethnic Studies department in the nation. When AB 1460 is signed, departments of Africana Studies, Chicano/a Studies, Asian American Studies, and Native American Studies will survive and our faculty will be able to teach students that their “work is not only in the classroom but also in the streets and in the community.” Ensuring this bill is signed, Abdullah argued, is how we can honor the legacy of Dr. King.    The Senate will vote on AB 1460 as early as next week — call or email your state senator today and urge them to vote YES on 1460.


ATTEND YOUR CAMPUS BARGAINING MEETING: All CFA members are invite d to attend campus meetings this spring. CFA Bargaining Team Members will be back this term to all CFA chapters starting in February to discuss the results of the member bargaining survey and next steps in the collective bargaining process. Partnering with chapter leaders, these meetings help us connect local and statewide issues and prepare the Team for the upcoming negotiations. Click here to see the schedule and check back for updates as additional meetings are scheduled. These meetings are an excellent way to keep up with the latest news about bargaining, find out about what local issues you chapter is organizing around, put faces to names, and engage with members of the statewide Bargaining Team and Contract Development and Bargaining Strategy Committee.

Whether new to the CSU or an experienced activist, CFA members should mark their calendars. The Team is preparing now and expects to begin face-to-face negotiations with management later in the semester.


SPRING KICKOFF THIS WEEKEND: Member activists from across the CSU’s 23 campuses will come together January 31 and February 1 for training and to prepare for this term’s bargaining, budget, and legislative campaigns.  Look for highlights in next week’s Headlines.