Advocating for members before the city and state legislatures is at the core of CSA's mission along with ensuring that the contract is upheld. CSA has a political action department that fights for improved benefits and working conditions, as well as protecting the benefits and pensions of retirees. The staff works with our NYC and Albany political consultants to stay abreast of proposed bills that could have an impact on our members or on the schools,or make changes to pensions and health benefits. We also keep any eye on related legislation that may negatively affect a union's right to collectively bargain. Our officers make regular trips to City Hall and Albany to testify at government hearings as well as to meet with top government officials and their staff.
CSA depends upon its in-service members and its retired members to participate in a number of events throughout the year. CSA's political action committee amd President's Club provide members with a way to contribute to political activities. Our events during the year include two lobbying trips to Albany, a meet-and-greet breakfast with City Council members for our early childhood education members, invitations to lawmakers to speak at our Executive Board meetings and to our District Chairs, and lobbying the city and state for fundng for our Executive Leadership Institute.
CSA also provides members another way to participate. Through the Legislative District Coordinator (LDC) program, members interact – individually or in teams of two – with their local, state and federal elected representatives, fostering ongoing relationships that are aimed at benefitting schools and advancing CSA's priorities for the city's school children.
Organized and strategic political action is crucial in influencing government. Political action is an integral part of unionism. Not only does it reinforce our rights on the job, it provides our members with a powerful and effective means to influence policy at all levels of government.