Sara Steffens Campaign Message
February 17, 2023
Dear Local leaders:
I am writing today to announce my candidacy to become president of CWA, and to ask for your support.
Every day, I am grateful for our CWA family. I fought to join this union and learned almost immediately – after being fired for my union organizing – that it’s never enough to fight just in your own workplace. We all have to join the larger fight. None of us can win alone. And the path ahead calls on us to unite with all others who are fighting, tearing down the divisions that defeat us.
The fight for workers rights and economic justice is the fight for democracy. The two cannot be separated. And the same is true of our fights for racial justice, for women’s rights and LGBTQIA rights, and for the urgent struggle to save our planet and protect our children’s futures from the limitless greed of corporate billionaires and their Wall Street enablers.
My purpose, in my life and in our union, is to help workers step out of their fear and stand in their true power. Because when working people unite and stand together, everything is possible.
My promise to you today is the same it’s always been: to put our members first. As president I will continue to work every day – with all my heart and all my effort – for a stronger CWA and a thriving labor movement.
In my nearly eight years as CWA’s secretary treasurer, I have had the best teacher and mentor anyone could have in our labor movement: Chris Shelton. It is a rare day that Chris and I do not work together on the critical issues facing our union – whether that’s setting a strike date or calling a strike, bringing a tentative agreement before the telecom vice presidents, or securing funding for critical mobilization campaigns.
We all know that building power is our most important job. Working alongside Chris and supporting him in final negotiations with CEOs to secure strong collective bargaining agreements has been a master class in how we fight to win.
I am proud of all Chris and I have achieved together, and I’m proud of my part in leading our union through some of the most difficult times we have ever faced – the Janus decision, the covid pandemic, and the relentless downsizing of our core workforces in telecom, manufacturing and media.
With the support of the CWA Executive Board, Chris and I worked together to secure support of our CWA Convention delegates for Resolution 1 and the SMART plan. And we acted quickly on the vote to approve: Since our virtual Convention, we have hired 28 new staff reps and organizers, ensuring CWA can jump on organizing leads and get to the table to negotiate strong contracts during this historic upsurge in worker power.
Listening to and learning from each of you has made me a stronger leader, and I will keep on listening and learning as CWA president. None of us can do it all alone, but together we are an unstoppable force for justice, one that is desperately needed in our country.
Brothers and sisters, union siblings, I ask for your support as we lead CWA into the future together.