Magazine Article

From the classroom to the statehouse, on the campaign trail with our CFA members

Adam with UC Merced and CSU Stanislaus students

This fall, CFA has a unique opportunity to significantly increase the faculty voice at the state Capitol by electing seven current or former faculty members to the state legislature.

For years, our union has worked to expand the faculty’s political might by electing supportive candidates to public office. But, in 2012 CSU faculty can elect our own members to office.

“CFA has emphasized the theme ‘Building Power’ at our Assemblies over the years. We have an opportunity this November to build our political power immensely by getting our own members elected,” said Pete Kreysa, chair of CFA’s Political Action & Legislative Committee.

Charu Khopkar, CFA’s Political Director said, “By doing this work we increase our collective power: The power to bargain effectively; the power to increase baseline funding for the CSU; the power to address workload issues; the power to effectively educate the future of California; and the power to hold CSU executives and the Board of Trustees accountable.”

The higher ed candidates on the ballot include four current or former CFA members (Raul Bocanegra, Susan Eggman, Anthony Rendon and Shirley Weber), two University of California faculty members (Adam Gray and Richard Pan) and a former CSU dean (Marty Block).

The opportunity to elect seven strong voices for public higher ed to office in a single election is unprecedented.

Khopkar said, “In the past we have felt lucky to have one maybe two higher ed candidates in a given election. If we are successful in electing these men and women to office, faculty members will make up one of the largest voting blocs in the Assembly.”

Meet the CFA Members Running for Office

Anthony Rendon

CSU Campus Affiliation: Fullerton
District: Assembly District 63. South Central Los Angeles including the
communities of Maywood, Bell, Cudahy, Southgate, Lynwood, Lakewood, Paramount and Hawaiian Gardens.
On Higher Ed: “Before teaching as an adjunct professor at CSU Fullerton, I attended Cerritos College and earned my bachelors and masters degrees at Cal State Fullerton and a Ph.D at UC Riverside. I know the importance of an affordable quality education and believe that decreasing tuition fees and making higher education once again accessible to every student in California is essential for our economic recovery.”

Shirley Weber

CSU Campus Affiliation: San Diego
District: Assembly District 79. San Diego including the communities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Bonita.
On Higher Ed: “My commitment to public higher education is deep and personal. My parents were sharecroppers in Arkansas who came to California for greater opportunities for their eight children. I received three degrees from California’s public higher education system by the age of 26. For me, and generations of others, California’s public higher education is the American equalizer, creating a strong middle class that will sustain this state and nation. I am personally indebted to California’s public higher education system.”

Raul Bocanegra

CSU Campus Affiliation: Northridge
District: Assembly District 39. Northeast San Fernando Valley including the communities of Pacoima, San Fernando, Arleta, Mission Hills, Sylmar, North Hollywood, Lake View Terrace, Northeast Granada Hills, Sunland-Tujunga, and Sun Valley.
On Higher Ed: “The future of our state and economy is dependent on a strong public higher education system. Our public colleges and universities are the engine that powers our economy, not only educating our state workforce, but spurring innovation, generating ideas, and creating opportunity for millions. Education is the smartest investment we can make for the future of California. In the Assembly, I will fight to end state education cuts and invest in our schools so we can create more opportunities for our children and communities.”

Susan Eggman

CSU Campus Affiliation: Sacramento
District: Assembly District 13. Western San Joaquin County including the
communities of Stockton, Tracy, Lodi, Country Club, August and Garden Acres.
On Higher Ed: “As a product of the CSU system and current faculty member, I know firsthand the importance of a public university system. My classrooms reflect the incredible diversity of California. It is imperative that we maintain public higher education not only for the opportunity it affords students but also for the economic workforce of California’s future.”

Other Higher Ed Supporters Running for office

Marty Block is a former dean and retired professor from San Diego State University. He is the current chair of the Assembly Higher Ed committee. He is looking to move from the state Assembly to the state Senate.

Adam Gray (pictured at top) manages a small public affairs and communications firm in Merced and serves as a course assistant/lecturer on the state legislature at UC Merced.

Richard Pan is a pediatrician in the Sacramento area and a member of the state Assembly. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Pan was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UC Davis.