AFSA 15th Triennial Constitutional Convention
In late July, CSA members, leadership, and staff joined other locals of the American Federation of School Administrators in National Harbor, Maryland, just a few miles away from the nation’s capital, to install new officers and celebrate unionism at AFSA’s 15th Triennial Constitutional Convention. Former CSA President Ernest Logan was elected as AFSA President, and current CSA President Mark Cannizzaro was re-elected as one of AFSA’s General Vice Presidents.
The theme of this year’s convention was “Exploring the Changing Landscape of Education,” and throughout the weekend delegates heard passionate presentations on the importance of the labor movement and the inherent value of public education. To kick off the event, Dr. Bill Daggett, Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education, delivered the keynote address questioning whether current educational approaches were truly preparing students for the 21st century. Other highlights included a panel discussion on member engagement and the future of the labor movement, a fireside chat with actor and activist Danny Glover, a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and a special ceremony honoring former AFSA President Diann Woodard, who passed away earlier this year, featuring moving tributes from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Diann’s daughter, Kelly Woodard.
A host of compelling workshops were also available to conventioneers on topics such as school safety, navigating retirement, and establishing a Political Action Committee. The latter was delivered by CSA’s Political Director Gabe Gallucci and former Political Director Herman Merritt who highlighted the tremendous growth of CSA’s PAC over the last twenty years.
During the PAC luncheon, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) delivered a powerful speech on the impact of organized labor on working families, including his own, and throughout the weekend, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) all offered their appreciation for the nation’s educational leaders via video.
In addition to electing new officers and a new General Executive Board, convention delegates adopted several resolutions, including:
- Urging locals to partner with school districts in order to train highly qualified educators to become administrators
- Urging locals to develop public charter school administrator recruitment programs
- Pledging support to the March for Our Lives movement and calling on the U.S. Department of Education to form a National Task Force on School Safety
- Encouraging all members to become more politically engaged and urging the creation of state-level programs to train and support labor candidates
As the delegates passed these resolutions, CSA President Mark Cannizzaro advocated that those gathered continue to discuss the resolutions with their locals and engage their fellow members on the importance of unionism.
“Our resolutions committee needs to continue its work for the next three years to make sure we pay attention to these resolutions and make sure our locals have the necessary information to implement them,” he stated. “We must make sure those things we have in common, most importantly, our children, our schools and public education itself unites us and keeps us together.”