Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We Won! From CFA

We Did it — Against all the Odds

Message from CFA on the Special Election

Back in June who would have believed that by November 8th the 23 point lead of Prop 75 and the 29 point lead of prop 74 would melt away before our very eyes like the Wicked Witch of the West? It almost seems magical but it was not.

This win was the result of the hard work of thousands of working people in the state and, for the first time in CFA's history, our members became an integral part of the campaign.

How did we win?

We were focused. We knew that this election would be a "tipping point" for the state. We understood that there was nothing more important this fall for the future of the CSU than defeating these initiatives. The stakes were very high; everything we had gained or hoped to gain was on the table.

We developed a plan and carried it out. >From the beginning we knew that winning or losing this election depended on which side did the best job at turning out its voters. In August 180 CFA leaders and student interns met to train and prepare themselves for the arduous work ahead. We educated our campus communities and by October we began to move our faculty, staff and student volunteers into phone banking and precinct walking. By November 8 CFA had covered over 700 volunteer shifts!

Members of the California Faculty Association should be proud. We have won this election because we pushed ourselves with more intensity and tolerated more inconvenience, pain, and long hours than the other side. We stepped up to the plate; all of the hard work we did on our campuses actually made a difference.

What have we accomplished?

Above all, we have sent a resounding message to the Governor and others who attack us that it takes more than a bunch of corporate donors to win an election. When teachers, nurses, fire fighters and all public employees stick together we can do it.

We have won the first round leading up to the 2006 gubernatorial race. Because of the ground campaign we have waged, we have solidified our base and are in a much better position to elect a new Governor who values public higher education and will fight to fund it.

But for most of us, we got involved in this campaign because of our commitment to the CSU, our colleagues, and our students. Faculty, students and staff at the CSU worked together to defeat these propositions and we demonstrated the power of a united campus community. Having averted the disaster this election could have spelled for the CSU, we can move forward once again with our most important goal of rebuilding the CSU.

It is now time for the many, many faculty and student who have played a role in this victory to revel in a job well done—it has truly been a collective effort to be proud of!

California Faculty Association
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