Busy delegates put democracy into action


With the close of this year’s annual conference, new and returning delegates walked away with a sense of invigoration for the upcoming school year, which will kick off in just a matter of days.

Member delegates put democracy into action making important decisions throughout the week, including debating and voting on Resolutions, approving CSEA’s budget and electing Association Officers.

During the week, we asked new delegates what impressions they had of their first conference.

“I’m really enjoying the process of all the resolutions.” / “It’s an extremely informative experience for us.”

Carol Turckel, Library Aide, Los Angeles Chapter 500 / Gema Larios, Library Aide, Los Angeles Chapter 500

“It’s a little overwhelming but it’s a lot of fun.”

Joseph McCoy, Paraeducator, President for San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Chapter 633, and Interpreter for the deaf for Victor Valley Community College District Chapter 584

“This is giving me the confidence to rally more members in our chapter to be united."

Siomara Negrete, Cafeteria Manager, Little Lake Chapter 596

Elections and special guests highlight last day of Conference

On the final day of this year’s conference, delegates elected Association State Officers and installed its new Board of Directors. Delegates were also treated to speeches from special guests: California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Paul Chavez, the son of legendary labor leader Cesar Chavez.

As a member of the State Assembly, Thurmond proved to be an ally of public school employees and working families. As the new leader of California public schools, Thurmond has already proven himself to be someone classified employees can trust.

“As our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, he continues to be a great champion for students, public schools and classified employees,” Association President Ben Valdepeña said. “He’s a fighter for our students and the people who work every day to provide them with a world-class education.”

Keynote speaker Paul Chavez, who has dedicated his life to the farm worker movement and served as a personal assistant to his father, also gave a moving speech to delegates.

“My father believed this country was big enough and great enough to offer its share of bounty to all of us,” Chavez said. “But he also knew you had to go to work every day and provide results on a daily basis.”

Delegates elect Association Officers

  • Ben Valdepeña was re-elected as Association President
  • Mathew “Shane” Dishman was re-elected as First Vice President
  • Adam Weinberger was re-elected Second Vice President
  • Monica Han was elected Secretary
  • Alan Clark will continue to serve as Past President

Area Directors will be:

  • Wayne Harris (Area A)
  • Frank Rodriguez (Area B)
  • Machelle Kessinger (Area C)
  • Rameldia Mark (Area D)
  • Carmen Alessandro (Area E)
  • Dale Sorenson (Area F)
  • Ivan Pastrano (Area G)
  • Bill Hagar (Area H)
  • Don Snyder (Area I)
  • Bea Mora (Area K)

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