Why political action matters
For CSEA, political action has always been important. But in an era of unpredictable school funding, skyrocketing healthcare costs and constant threats to employee rights and benefits, political action matters now more than ever before.
Like it or not, politics and public education are inseparable. We elect school board members, legislators and governors. We vote on ballot initiatives and bond measures. And all of these decisions impact our lives every day—from how much funding public education gets, to what labor laws we work under, to what kind of pension we get when we retire.
CSEA's member activists and professional governmental relations staff are working hard to secure education funding, protect your job and improve public education, but they need your help.
Local and state elections
CSEA members have a lot at stake in many elections. We are voting for representatives, ballot initiatives or bond measures that will directly affect our jobs and our schools.
School board elections have a big impact on classified employees' jobs. Since these elected officials make local decisions and set school policy, it's important to know where they stand with respect to classified employees. That's why local chapters get involved in school board races by endorsing candidates and campaigning on their behalf.
State candidates may not have a direct say in your day-to-day life, but they wield enormous power over your job. The governor and the legislature are the public officials who determine how much funding goes to local schools. They are responsible for approving legislation that determines what kind of pension you will get at retirement and whether or not the district can outsource your job. Not to mention a long list of education laws that covers everything from your rights to your safety. CSEA interviews candidates on these and other issues and makes thoughtful recommendations regarding who we endorse in elections.
Ballot initiatives take specific issues straight to the voters. These proposed laws do not need to be debated by the legislature, and they do not need to be signed by the Governor. CSEA must advocate directly to California voters to support or oppose these measures.
CSEA's Victory Club consists of CSEA members who make regular, voluntary contributions to help fund school board campaigns, school bond elections, statewide ballot campaigns, state and federal legislative races and campaigns for state constitutional officers. Victory Club funds are exclusively used for these purposes and cannot be spent on CSEA operational expenses not related to these elections.
All CSEA members are encouraged to join the Victory Club. There are various levels of membership, starting with contributions as low as $10 per year.
Rallies and events
One of CSEA's greatest strengths is the voice and unity of our members. When we need to get a message across, CSEA members mobilize and rally like no other union. CSEA members have organized huge demonstrations to stop job outsourcing, to prevent the undermining of our retirement and to demand that our schools receive adequate funding. At the local level, CSEA members quickly turn out in large numbers to pack school board meetings and demonstrate solidarity.
Whether we are voicing our opposition to harmful proposals such as education cuts or showing our support for good causes like healthcare reform, we are using CSEA's power in numbers to get our message across. It is our right as Americans to exercise free speech, and it is our obligation as a union to look out for the wellbeing of our fellow members.
Join the Victory Club, participate in a rally, or just make your vote count in the next election. Just be sure you are an active participant, working to protect your rights, improve your job and advance California's public schools.