Committee On Political Education (COPE)

In 1996, Local 1493 established its own Committee On Political Education (COPE) chapter. The San Francisco Bay Area Educators Credit Union handles the monthly contributions that our chapter receives from its COPE members.

We will make expenditures from our COPE account for local Board candidates and/or statewide propositions and initiatives. Law prohibits us from using local COPE monies on Federal issues and candidates.

It is difficult for teachers to influence elections in our county, but it can be done — with mailers, signs, and advertising — all of which requires money! In Fall 1993, prior to the establishment of our COPE fund, we assisted our two endorsed Board candidates in amassing over 40,000 votes each, which, unfortunately, was not quite enough to win. Subsequently, our COPE funds enabled us to mount a much more aggressive campaign for our three endorsed Board candidates in the November, 1995 election. We were successful! Two of our three endorsed candidates were elected! In 1997, we helped elect a third faculty-friendly, COPE-endorsed candidate to the Board. In 1999, an incumbent, whom we had not previously endorsed, sought and received the endorsement of our COPE chapter, and was successfully elected. Thus, we currently have four COPE-endorsed Trustees on our Board!

Please enable us to continue this success in future campaigns. Join us by making a relatively painless, monthly contribution, via a deduction of $5, $10, $20 (or more, if possible).

Only AFT 1493 COPE members (contributors) will have the right to vote on which candidates, propositions or initiatives our COPE chapter will endorse. This is one way in which you can influence decisions that affect all of us.

Please fill out the COPE authorization form, and return it to the AFT office at CSM, Bldg. 1 – Rooms 251- 255, or call us at x6491 if you would like more information. Thank you.




Submitted to and passed by the Executive Committee at the 2/9/94 meeting.


Whereas, the men and women who are elected officials and who make public policy respond to the needs of special interests and voters who help them get elected;

And, whereas the state legislature has the power to enact collective bargaining laws, to establish state aid formulas to determine teachers retirement system, and to affect local contracts;

And, whereas the policies pursued by the President of the United States and the laws enacted by the Congress affect the education system of the country as well as the daily lives of its teachers;

And, whereas the elected Governing Board of the San Mateo County Community College District occupies a vital position in affecting the working conditions within the SMCCCD;

Be it resolved that the San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers establish a Committee on Political Education.

Article I

This organization shall be known as the AFT 1493 COPE.

Article II  Purposes

The purposes of the AFT 1493 COPE are:

1. To support and strengthen the commitment of the citizens and the government to excellence in education at all levels.

2. To promote and strive for the improvement of public community colleges by encouraging and stimulating educators to take a more active part in governmental affairs pertaining to public education.

3. To encourage educators to know and understand the nature and action of their government and the important political issues as they pertain to public education.

Article III  Membership

Any faculty member making regular contributions (see attached schedule of contribution levels) shall be deemed a member of AFT 1493 COPE.

Article IV  Executive Board

The affairs of this organization shall be managed by an Executive Board which shall consist of those members of the Executive Board of Local 1493 AFT, AFL/CIO, who are also dues-paying members of AFT 1493 COPE, and other AFT 1493 COPE members with special expertise and interest nominated by the Executive Board of Local 1493.

Article V  Officers

The Executive Board of AFT 1493 COPE shall select the officers.

Article VI  Meetings

Meetings shall be scheduled as needed.

Article VII  Parliamentary Authority and Procedure

Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, all meetings of AFT-COPE shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised.

Article VIII  Amendments

All amendments to this Constitution must be ratified by 2/3 of those COPE members voting in a mail ballot. Constitutional amendments may be proposed either at a general membership meeting or by the Executive Board. If proposed at a general membership meeting, amendments must be approved by a majority of those voting at that meeting and then, within 30 days, submitted to the general membership for ratification. If proposed by the Executive Board, amendments shall be submitted without delay to general membership for ratification.

Article IX  Finances

The organization shall be financed by voluntary dues in an amount and manner set forth by the Executive Board (see attached schedule of contribution levels). All such contributions, and funds from other fund-raising activities, shall be deposited in a fund distinct from Union funds. Funds may be disbursed upon approval of a majority of the COPE Executive Board, except that contributions to political candidates
or ballot proposition campaigns shall only be made following an AFT 1493 COPE endorsement of such candidates or propositions.

Article X  Endorsements

Endorsements of political candidates or ballot propositions shall be made only following a favorable vote of over 50% of those voting at a general COPE membership meeting. Eligibility to vote will be limited to those who have been dues-paying COPE members continuously from a date 30 days prior to that meeting. The agenda for this meeting shall contain notification that the vote is to be taken and shall be mailed to all members at least 10 days prior to the meeting.