Since September, more than one hundred Local 21 members have participated in Local 21’s Leadership Academies. Local 21 has hosted Leadership Academies in San Francisco, Contra Costa, the South Bay, and the East Bay is holding one this Saturday, December 1.
At the Academy members build community with one another, learn about the forces that are impacting our economy, what we need to do to build power, and gain leadership skills.
Research, Communications, and Training Director Ken Page said, “With so many Local 21 chapters and jurisdictions’ contracts coming up in 2019, it’s inspiring to see our members coming out in such strong numbers. It was promising to see both new and old faces at the trainings.”
Bianca Polovina, a Local 21 San Francisco At-Large Chapter member and Contract Compliance Officer I, said, “I attended the Local 21 Leadership Academy because I was inspired by my fellow members to do my part in building our collective power. At the Leadership Academy, I appreciated learning more about effective organizing from our knowledgeable Local 21 staff: how to listen, how to meet people where they are, how to build connections, how to ask, and what to ask for. As one of my Local 21 mentors often tells me, this is our union, and we are the union.”
Valerie Onuoha, Secretary/Treasurer of the Local 21 Engineers Society Chapter at the Santa Clara Valley Water Districtand Assistant Engineer II – Civil, said, “I went to the training because I wanted to improve my skills to better help my union and to better serve my colleagues…It was great to see the passion that all the attendees had and how open they were to share their ideas with everyone. Even though our union is comprised of many individuals, we can still come together to share our vision and our voice.
I believe that we can become a stronger union by continuing to educate our members. Trainings like this help us to gain better awareness of the current political environment, promote collaboration among all the chapters, and to develop more ideas to strengthen the union.”
Contra Costa member Durae Sheppard and Accountant I said, “With the Contra Costa healthcare fight and political climate, I was excited to go to the Leadership Academy to learn how to better fight for our workplace rights. It was great to see other Local 21 members fired up, and I’m looking forward to building a stronger union with my colleagues!”
In the coming year, Local 21 is going to continue to offer Level 1 of the Leadership Academy as well as a Level II training where a mentoring component will be introduced.