|Napa and Solano Counties Central Labor Council|
Napa-Solano Central Labor Council 2011: A Year in Review
Whether you are an affiliate leader or member you have a right to know where your per caps are going and whether you are getting your best bang for your buck. We are very proud of our various accomplishments, even more so when you take into account the fact that we do it with 2 part time staffers and a dedicated executive board and delegates that volunteer their time to make it happen. In the three short years since we officially took the reins of the council, with the worst economy since the great depression I might add, we have grown our council while at the same time proving election after election that we are a political power to be reckoned with and a very loud voice for working men and women in Napa and Solano Counties. We have done this with the threat of having to shut our doors every month and if it were not for the support and dedication of key affiliates we surely would have.
Take a look at the list of things your council was able to accomplish last year and the foundation that has been built for our members. Not only is it impressive but it shows that our council has come a long way.
1. Our Campaign Committee attended Jerry Brown’s inauguration in Sacramento which culminated an election year effort that resulted in a clean sweep for our endorsed candidates in the state wide elections, 100% of our Napa County and 80% of our Solano County candidates. A special thanks to James Ashcroft, Mac Fathi, Dan Collins, Angelo Cellini, Donnie Garcia and Shirley Herbert who worked so hard and were so committed to the cause in 2010.
2. We held our second Regional Labor Democratic Summit in Napa. We focused on our clean sweep of the elections last November and also started to identify how we as Labor and the Democratic Party might be impacted by the upcoming Citizens Redistricting Commission.
3. ED accepted a slot on the Solano Democratic Central Committee as George Miller’s representative. He was also elected as the Solano Rep to the State E-board.
4. We continue to hold monthly meetings of the United Workers for Local Government every third Tuesday at 10 AM. These meetings allow our labor leaders to get together to network and formulate strategies that allow us to better work together for our members. This group has been meeting for almost ten years.
1. We held our second Bus Tour of the Apprentice Training facilities in Napa and Solano Counties with our elected officials and business leaders. This was our second tour of this type, and we had an even better turnout than the previous one!
2. We toured the two firehouses in Fairfield that were built with low bid, non union workers. The tour was initiated by Pam Bertani at the request of Dave Pierson from Firefighters 1186. Dave wanted to show her what using a PLA or having strong Pre-Qualification language would have meant on this project.
1. Because of our positions on the Workforce Investment Board, Lou Franchimon and I were asked by fellow WIB board member and the incoming President of the Solano Land Trust, Darrin Berardi, to sit down with members of the Land Trusts staff. They had gone on the Apprenticeship Bus Tour and we were trying to open up the lines of communication after a fairly contentious project dealing with the switch station a few years back. We agreed to try and keep the lines open and look for ways to work together in the future.
2. We started sitting down with elected officials and future candidates to begin planning for our November field campaign.
3. We supported US Uncut in one of the first actions against the banks by picketing US Bank in Napa.
4. We lost our good friend and longtime worker advocate Art Grubel to a tragic accident while on vacation.
5. We started working with V-CAT, Vallejo's Community Access Channel to shoot a series of half hour programs dealing with labor issues. The series is titled “American Pie” and thanks to the generous donations from our affiliates, we were able to sponsor the show. An extra special thanks to Kim Cowart, SEIU #1000 who braved the storm and was able to be with me for the first interview.
6. Attended the California Labor Federation’s Legislative Agenda meeting in Sacramento.
7. We supported our sibs at Napa State Hospital who were rocked by the murder of one of their members. This was first of a number of actions spotlighting the impacts of a diminishing budget for our social safety net.
8. We had a great showing at the Solano Democrat’s Crab Feed where ED received the Labor Award.
1. We participated in a guided tour of the Solano Land Trust properties which a number of our sibs attended.
2. We Are One Day of Action on the Al Zampa Bridge. We teamed up with Contra Costa and North Bay CLC's to welcome over 1000 siblings who met in the middle of the bridge in a show of support for all workers, but those in Wisconsin in particular. The dialogue is slowly changing and the over reach of the Republicans and the fraud perpetrated on the middle class is starting to become the topic.
3. Attended the Western Region Conference for the AFL-CIO. Here we heard from leaders of the various “We Are One” actions across the nation who was responding to the attacks on working men and women in places like Wisconsin and Ohio. Locally as well as city after city were attempting to force concessions on their workforces to take advantage of the economic crisis by taking away gains that had been achieved over decades.
4. Started to review our priorities for the upcoming elections in Solano County.
5. We set up meetings with various affiliates to evaluate their process for endorsements. We met with the COPE committee from SEIU #1021 to outline their priorities.
6. Participated in a mock interview process for the EMERGE Class of 2011. EMERGE is an organization made up of women Democrats that identify, organize, train and network with female candidates for elected office. A number of our local elected officials have been through their program such as: Linda Seifert, Erin Hannigan, Marti Brown and SEIU 1021's Becky Benton. Currently Tracy Krumpen and Lori Wilson are part of their Class of 2012.
7. Attended the joint California Labor Federation and Building Trades Legislative Conference where the Napa Solano Central Labor Council received a Highest Performing Labor Council award for our work on our Clean Sweep of the State offices in the past election!
8. Shot our second Video, “Women in Labor”, for V-CAT. We want to give special thanks to Cheryl Brown, AFSCME and Crystal Watts, CTA for doing a great job representing the sibs.
1. We had our first Spring Salute. This reception was held to honor those elected officials, organizations, and individuals who have done an exemplary job of supporting working men and women in the Napa & Solano Counties. A special thanks to our committee who set this up, Cherie Cabral, Angelo Cellini, Shirley Herbert, Donnie Garcia, Pete Derenale and Bret Risley.
The 2011 Spring Salute awards went to the following:
Labor Partnership Award - Solano County - Assemblywomen Mariko Yamada
2. Lou Franchimon and ED were asked to sit on Congressman John Garamendi's Manufacturing Committee to represent labor in Solano County. We attended our first meeting in Walnut Creek.
3. Started meeting with city building officials in Vallejo and Vacaville to talk about pre-qualification and PLA’s in those cities.
4. We held our first meeting of the Solano County Labor Environmental Coalition. This was formed with the express goal to open up lines of communication between the two communities and to identify how best to work together on land issues and projects. We are modeling this coalition on one that has been meeting for several years in Contra Costa County.
5. We participated in an action in Fairfield for our CSEA Sibs over the elimination of their members positions.
1. The political plan for November was finalized.
2. The Third Regional Labor Dem Summit was held in Sonoma. We focused on the redistricting maps and how our organizations and the way we work with each other will be impacted. Over one hundred siblings endured the sweltering summer heat during this Summit.
3. Attended the Apprentice Graduation for our Sibs at UA #343 at Hiddenbrook. Also attended the Emerge graduation where our sib, Becky Benton, was honored.
4. We held our second accountability session with State Senator Lois Wolk at IBEW #1245 in Vacaville. We had representatives from a number of our affiliates on hand to ask questions of our Senator.
5. We attended the OE-3 Annual Picnic in Winters.
6. Shot V-CAT show “Labor in Politics”. Special thanks to Mark DeWeerdt from CTA for participating in this production.
1. We put on our first Napa Solano Labor Academy which was hosted by the Iron Workers Local #378. It was very well attended by not only candidates and elected officials, but members of the community who wanted to learn more about organized labor and their role in the political process.
2. We began our combined CLC, UWLG and Building Trades interview process at the CTA offices in Fairfield. We conducted interviews every Tuesday and Thursday through August for various City Council and School Board races. We interviewed 35 candidates over this time frame and every candidate received 30 minutes, with some getting over an hour. We had between 17 to 23 representatives from our affiliates in attendance as part of our interview panel.
3. SEIU #1021 member and sibling Becky Benton passed away after a battle with brain cancer.
4. We put our Rapid Response list to the test when the National Tea Party announced that they were going to kick off the Tea Party Express Bus Tour from the Napa Fairgrounds. The Tea Party rented out the entire fairgrounds for the event at a pretty penny, I am sure. After we put the call out on a week's notice, over 300 siblings showed up to protest outside the event. It went off without a hitch and we had almost as many people at the protest as the Tea Party was able to draw the entire day. Our thanks to our friend Joanne Gifford who was instrumental in organizing the march.
1. We concluded our interviews and held our deliberations. We had 25 labor leaders present to go over each race and come up with our endorsements for City Council and School Board races that we felt would represent ALL of labor. While we realized that some of our affiliates had already endorsed and some had gone a different way, we all agreed that these were the candidates that we would recommend to the Central Labor Council for our field program. This was passed unanimously at the CLC Delegate’s meeting.
2. We supported our Siblings from the Postal Service showing up to their demonstration against the attack on their members jobs.
1. We held our most successful Labor Day Breakfast to date with close to 300 in attendance. George Miller, John Garamendi, Mike Thompson, Lois Wolk, Mariko Yamada and a host of local candidates joined us for a great day to honor our labor siblings past, present and future. Special thanks to our Committee that made it all happen: Angelo Cellini, Brenda Mattson, Brett Risley, Dan Collins, Donnie Garcia, James Ashcroft, Pam Budge, Pete Derenale, Vanessa Caires and Shirley Herbert.
2. Fourth Regional Labor Democratic Summit with Democratic Party Co-Chair Eric Bauman and Labor Federation, Political Director, Brian Blum was held at the Iron Worker’s Hall.
3. We began our phone bank and precinct walk program for the November elections. We held phone banks every Wednesday at the Operating Engineers #3 hall in Fairfield and every Tuesday and Thursday at the Iron Workers #378 hall. Precinct walks were scheduled out of the Teamsters hall in Vallejo and the Operating Engineers #3. We also coordinated a walk in Vacaville for our School Board candidates.
1. It's all about the work! Our siblings, once again, demonstrated what a labor endorsement brings to the table. It was an all out sprint to the finish as our members showed up in droves to make sure that their fellow siblings knew who was going to best represent their families by phoning, walking and, in some cases, cajoling a vote.
2. We had our first guests at our Environmental/Labor Coalition meeting when Mayor Osby Davis, County Supervisor Jim Spering and Annette Taylor from the City of Vallejo gave a very informative presentation on the Solano 360 development project at the Solano County Fairgrounds. It was a great start to what we hope will be a very productive group.
3. V-CAT started showing a video of our Labor Academy for community access.
1. WE DID IT! Election Day and the couple of weeks afterward were a topsy turvy, up and down affair as we found out that while a majority of the public (and our members in particular) vote absentee. We also learned that labor waits to turn in those vote by mail ballots until Election Day!
We awoke the day after the election to find that: Joanne Shively was the Mayor of Vallejo, Measure B in Vallejo had failed and in Fairfield, Pam Bertani (our endorsed candidate) and Chuck Timm were Councilmember's! But in the weeks to follow the results took a particularly good turn for labor when we learned that our endorsed candidates, Osby Davis and Rick Vacarro, had pulled out victories in Vallejo and Fairfield and that Measure B had also pulled ahead! These last minute victories, combined with our clean sweep of our School Board candidates meant that 89% of Napa Solano CLC’s endorsed candidates had won. All of the hard work of our campaign committee, James Ashcroft, Ken Miller, Angelo Cellini, Lou and Eric Franchimon, Donnie Garcia, Brett Risley and Shirley Herbert, along with their respective affiliate leadership, had paid off! This was an exceptional accomplishment for our Council to say the least.
1. Supported the “Occupy Napa” movement and assisted in organizing an “Occupy Napa Community College” event that culminated with a march and rally at the College and Napa State Hospital to shed light on the impacts of the fraud and abuse of Wall Street.
2. Held interviews for the open AD 11 seat and voted to endorse Jim Frazier for that seat. We also endorsed our friends in the other State and Federal offices that are up this November. We voted unanimously to endorse John Garamendi, Mike Thompson, Lois Wolk, Mariko Yamada and Susan Bonilla!
3. Attended the California Labor Federation’s Legislative Policy meeting in Sacramento where labor leaders from up and down the State met to form for both legislative and political the agendas for labor.
LETS KICK SOME ASS IN 2012
Jon Riley, Executive Director, Napa-Solano CLC
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