Sept. 2018 Advocate: Executive Committee votes to endorse both Richard Holober and Tom Mohr


AFT 1493 Executive Committee votes to endorse both Richard Holober and Tom Mohr in November Board Election

by Doniella Maher, Cañada Chapter Co-Chair

In June of 2017, the Board of Trustees voted to move from an “at-large” election process to district-specific voting. (The voting districts are referred to as “Areas.”) In October of 2017, the Trustees adopted a map to determine the borders of the Areas and established a sequence for the elections for those Areas. Elections of the Trustees are staggered: this fall two of the five Trustee areas will elect Trustees, and in 2020 the remaining three Areas will elect Trustees.

At our May meeting, AFT 1493’s Executive Committee was asked for an endorsement from Richard Holober. As he had been endorsed by our Local in previous elections, our discussion centered around his role on the Board of Trustees in his current term and our negotiators, Joaquin Rivera and Monica Malamud, spoke to his strong support of the most important issues in our last very difficult contract campaign. A decision was made to endorse him again based on that record. The Executive Committee did not know that he would be potentially running in a contested region or that there would be any other candidates.

At the end of July, the AFT Executive Committee was made aware that Tom Mohr would also be running for the same seat and he asked for our endorsement of his candidacy. This put our union in a position that we had never been in before. Because of the new regional representation process, we now had two incumbents, both of whom we have endorsed in the past, running against one another in the same Area.

In light Tom’s candidacy for the same seat and the concerns raised by faculty about the new complications to the process, the Executive Committee met to discuss how to move forward at the beginning of the semester. The decision was made to invite Tom Mohr to the Executive Committee to give him an opportunity to present his ideas and ask for an endorsement. We also determined to readdress our process of endorsement and make changes.

On September 12, Tom Mohr attended the AFT meeting for a presentation and Q and A. After his presentation there was a discussion about how to proceed. A proposal was made and passed for a joint endorsement of Tom Mohr and Richard Holober. We will also be reassessing our endorsement process and making changes to respond to the new election process.
We will provide more information (and possibly candidate statements) on Tom Mohr’s and Richard Holober’s roles on the Board and their positions on issues of concern to faculty in the November issue of The Advocate.