Oakland hosts June Delegate Assembly

Nearly 100 Local 21 members gathered in Oakland June 14 for the Delegate Assembly, with the local’s budget for the coming fiscal year approved; members honored for their hard work in the recent primary election; and a new chapter accepted into the local.

The theme of the conference was “Under Pressure,” and Executive Director Bob Muscat outlined three key areas to meeting the challenge of the new post-recession environment: growing our activist core; better communications, internal and external; and increasing the local’s knowledge of public finances and credibility in support of our economic proposals.  
Delegates heard presentations on the recent election outcomes, as well as the way Local 21 members stepped up to help—150 members and staff participated in precinct walks and phone banking, resulting in 1,000 hours of volunteer time around the June primaries. A number of these members were honored at the Delegate Assembly.

Hayward members were recognized for their excellent work around the election: 50% of members volunteered; chapter leaders recruited 2-11 volunteers each; 5,000 voters were identified; and 75% of the city was canvassed. Looking ahead to November, delegates were reminded of some of the big races and issues coming up, including San Jose Mayor and City Council; Oakland Mayor and City Council; and the fight for a higher minimum wage in San Francisco.

A new chapter was accepted into Local 21—the School Supervisors Association of the West Contra Costa Unified School District professional and supervisory employees. Their bargaining unit officially affiliated with Local 21 in April.

Special guests at the Delegate Assembly were Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who addressed the group; Bob Brownstein, director of policy research of Working Partnerships, who led a workshop on “Budget Basics,” and Jim Potterton, labor studies professor emeritus of San Jose City College, who led a session that dealt with identifying and engaging leaders.

Honored at the assembly were Bob Britton, Local 21 field director; and San Francisco Chapter President Mary Marzotto, both of whom are retiring. 

The next Local 21 Delegate Assembly is planned for January 2015 in San Francisco.