Report: Nov. 4, 2014 General Election
from CFA Director of Government Relations Djibril Diop

Dear Faculty,

The 2014 election is over, and CFA had a pretty good night! Of 74 candidates endorsed by CFA, 57 of them prevailed. That is a 77% success rate.

The important basis of CFA’s success came from you, CFA members and our faculty colleagues who turned out to vote in great numbers.

As an organization we surpassed our “election activity” goal. CFA members and staff devoted more than 1000 hours helping CFA-endorsed candidates.

This is a real victory — that you invested in these candidates to help with the turnout that was key this year.

As an example, statewide voter turn-out by union households was significantly higher than for non-union households in the Tom Torlakson race for State Superintendent of Education. That lead to an important victory for public education and organized labor in a very tight race. CFA members called and walked for Mr. Torlakson.

There were important wins for CFA. Still, naturally in a political climate such as this one, there were also some upsets.

Here are a few highlights of the important highlights.

All 8 CFA-endorsed candidates for Constitutional office were victorious.

  • Governor: Jerry Brown
  • Lt. Governor: Gavin Newsom
  • Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
  • Controller: Betty Yee
  • Treasurer: John Chiang
  • Attorney General: Kamala Harris
  • Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson

Ballot Measures

CFA actively supported Prop 47 and it passed!

The State Senate

We helped to carry Dr. Richard Pan, a faculty member at UC Davis, to the state Senate! This is a great victory. CFA members were on the ground to deploy 30,000 mailers and phone about 40,000 people. Dr. Pan was 17% down but won by 6%—a 23% difference! CFA work carried the day, including sending all in positive campaign mailers.

Tony Mendoza, a former Assemblymember, teacher and CTA member is a great addition to the state Senate. CFA supported him while he was in the Assembly, too.

Connie Leyva is the first woman to be president of the California State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and she will be a labor champion in the Senate.

Bob Hertzberg, the former Assembly Speaker, will be a powerful ally guiding the Senate Leadership to work closely with organized labor including CFA.

Bob Wieckowski was a CFA friend in the Assembly and will continue in the Senate.

Ben Allen, a school board member at Monica-Malibu Unified School District and a Lecturer at UCLA, wants to focus on education and loves higher ed.

Two losses by CFA-endorsed candidates were Chavez who lost against Vidak in Senate Distriict 14, and Solorio who lost to Nguyen in SD 34.

The State Assembly

Although labor lost some important races, CFA was able to support candidates and work vigorously on their victories.

CFA members were very active on the McCarty race (Asembly District 7) and the Irwin race (AD 44).

CFA worked with other unions to help Adam Gray protect his Assembly seat.

Unfortunately, Steve Fox and Sharon Quirk-Silva lost. Also, Tim Sbranti, a teacher and CTA activist in the San Francisco East Bay, lost to Catherine Baker.

Overall, CFA has helped to elect strong advocates for public education and labor in both the state Senate and Assembly.