News

Region 4 Bargaining Committee Elections Results

 Candidate                    Votes by Percentages

Alejandro Gonzalez          19%

Esther Neblina                 18%

Jacqueline Ruiz                18%

Ricardo Serur                   17%

Nancy Wilson                   14%

Silvia San Martin              13%

 The Region 4 Bargaining Committee members are: Alejandro Gonzalez, Esther Neblina, Jacqueline Ruiz, Ricardo Serur and Nancy Wilson.

 

Notice:

Candidates have requested that the below distribution be made to you via our website.   CFI does not endorse candidates for its offices. This distribution is not an endorsement of a candidate by CFI, nor is CFI responsible for the content of the candidate's campaign literature.

Questions or comments should be directed to the candidate’s email address.

Executive Board Statements

 

President Position

Begonya De Salvo

Dear Colleagues:

I am Begonya De Salvo, and I humbly ask you to vote for me as your new Union President.

Our current Union leaders have done an abysmal job.

They have kept substandard financial records, excluded members from union participation, weakened the union's bargaining position during the pandemic, and have not complied with labor election laws.

Examples:

■ The Union has not disclosed proper financial statements since 2019, and failed to issue "Income and Expense Declarations" four out of the last five years. Union President Michael Ferreira and the other union executives bear responsibility for this appalling recordkeeping. Please read the email statement of Gloria Lindemann, my running mate for Secretary-Treasurer, for more details.

■ Region 2 interpreters are up in arms over the Union's subversion of rank-and-file participation – and allege that President Ferreira and Vice President Janet Hudec excluded their elected representative from contract bargaining, "contrary to Union bylaws and past practice." These allegations are serious – and illustrate the chasm between Union leadership and rank-and-file interpreters.

 ■ President Ferreira and VP Hudec endorsed an outspoken anti-vaxer for "Lead Steward for Region 1." This person is no longer an employee and the steward position now remains unfilled. How can management take us seriously in negotiations when a main player refused to comply with the vaccine mandate and opposed widespread vaccination so critical to workplace safety? 

 ■ President Ferreira and VP Hudec entered into a temporary agreement with the administration that surrendered, until August 2022, all bargaining power during the pandemic. It has now handicapped our efforts to obtain "hero pay" for the health hazards we risked while working in court during the pandemic – even as other court and county employees receive such bonuses. The Union made this decision unilaterally, without consultation from the membership. 

 ■ President Ferreira and VP Hudec excluded me – a Union steward – from "Meet and Confer" negotiations for telework. I was an early advocate for telework – but Ferreira and Hudec claimed I was "not experienced enough" to join the bargaining. But Union leaders have shown that their "experience" doesn’t come hand in hand with good judgment.

■ Ferreira missed the deadline for filing his election statement – and then the election board (comprised of fellow executives) granted him an unwarranted extension. The Union bylaws provide no grounds for bending election rules in such a way.

■ Union leaders have illegally refused to release to me a list of all CFI members – in violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. § 481(c). Under this federal law, I have the right to obtain this information, to enable me to reach out to Union members and campaign. For more on how Union leaders are flouting the labor election law, see my website, www.begonyadesalvo.com.

Rank-and-file members are awakening. Members who have never voted before in a union election, or who in the past haven't paid much attention, are going to have a say in our upcoming election. 

We should no longer tolerate this terrible leadership.

Enough is enough. Use your voice and make it heard by voting them out. Vote for my slate, vote for the New Union: Gabriela Mejia for Vice President, Gloria Lindemann for Secretary-Treasurer, and me as your new President – leaders who welcome all voices and who believe in transparency and inclusion.

Very truly yours,

Begonya De Salvo
Candidate for President

 

Vice-President Position

 Janet Hudec

An Interview with Janet Hudec  

1. Why are you running for re-election?

I am running for re-election for various reasons. Primarily to be part of the solution. I want to continue fostering healing from the past, strengthen our unity, empower our stewards and rank and file members, promote teamwork, nourish and encourage new leaders. 

During these past 2 years I have served as an ambassador for our profession. I have the experience and the understanding of the history of our collective journey as interpreters. I passionately believe in this profession and I am always looking for ways to protect and improve it. I am acutely aware of the issues interpreters face at a state, regional, and local level. I am a visionary who is also cognizant of the problems that may arise in the future and know how to lead the Local into future.

2. Why do you think you are the best candidate for the job?

I am the best candidate for the Vice Presidency because I believe that through strong leadership, transparent practices, team collaboration, accountability, and a responsive Union that intelligently and effectively attends to labor representation of its members will make CFI stronger than it has ever been.

I am always willing to listen to anybody, anytime, regardless of opinion. I have a proven record of vigorously advocating, representing, and enforcing the MOU and labor law. I am servant-hearted, hard working, honest, compassionate, trustworthy, team player, and a visionary.  I will work to ensure that our members are represented at all levels. I am not afraid to take a strong stand and tell it like it is when necessary, particularly to court administrators. I bring strong determination and passion to our tireless efforts.

3. During your tenure as Vice President, what have been your accomplishments?

During my tenure I have had many accomplishments. I have prevailed in grievances, unfair labor practices, stopped furloughs, and had success in legislation advocacy. I teamed up with Carmen Ramos to negotiate Covid-19 safety protocols and the restructuring of our budget. But I have also had set backs. 

My biggest accomplishment has been helping my fellow colleague and seeing that in a small way, I was able to make a difference.

4. What is your vision for the Local?

As linguistic professionals, we make a difference, we change lives and outcomes. Although there are differences that separate us, I believe we can still achieve our common goals. Unity is not sameness. Unity is teamwork through collaboration and the respect of our diversity. Greater vigilance is always needed against the forces attacking and undermining our Labor Union and the constitutional right to equal access that jeopardize the civil rights of linguistic minorities. 

I envision a thriving Union where mutual respect among professionals coupled with the accountability that recognizes the distinct interest of each member. Regardless of our opinion, stance, or differences— we are ill-serve when short-sighted motives trumps the steadfast commitment of putting our members interest first.   

5. What are some of the issues that the Local will be facing in the future?

VRI will be an ongoing issue for years to come and I foresee that Judicial Council will be busy trying to pass laws that will allow the broader use of VRI. Courts new approach on VRI and their plan to do away with the stipend when doing VRI in-house. We have a large generation of Interpreters approaching retirement and that will affect staffing levels. Courts continued efforts to discourage employment. Outsourcing. Courts refusal to cross assign across regions. Bargaining. Interpreter Act fixes. Budget/funding. 

Vote Janet Hudec for Vice President. 

Gabriela Mejia 

Dear colleagues,

A couple of weeks ago I decided to open my HOME to a group of colleagues who were excited not just about getting together but to get to know us, the slate that is working very hard to be the NEW UNION.

I decided to open the doors of my home as a symbolism of one of our proposals, to have an Open-door policy, to be inclusive of our members regardless of them being independent or staff and most of all: TRANSPARENCY!

We will be will be absolutely transparent in each and every move and transaction we make. Everything will always be available for our members to see whenever they need or want to.

As your VP, I will support the President in making things happen, and I will continue to reach out to interpreters throughout the state to make sure that their voices are heard and that the things that are important to them are the things that the Union leadership make happen, always with our members interests’ first and with transparency.

Networking is a vital component, not only for the campaign but something that we want to implement from now on. An informed member, makes better decisions and that is why we strongly believe that a Newsletter that comes out periodically and consistently is vital. In our newsletter we will make sure to emphasize the idea of a strong and transparent communication with all our members, communication that will flow in both directions and is easy, open and transparent.

I would be honored to be a servant to the members, I will be there to make their collective ideas come to fruition and  help lead a transition to a more interactive and approachable union that they feel is their own.

Information is power! An informed person is in a much better position to get what he/she wants, I will make sure that it happens. 

Along with Presidential candidate Begonya de Salvo and Secretary Treasurer candidate Gloria Lindemann I am sure we will make the difference that all interpreters want in a Union, YOUR Union, a Union that is not just a few names, a Union that makes you feel that you belong, where you will be included, protected and will be able to give your opinion, agreements and yes, also disagreements, which together we can work on to make this concept not just an abstract one, but a reality.

Together we are better, VOTE! 

I am a person of moral integrity, honesty, transparent and most of all open to new ideas and positive criticism.

Trust me with your vote and I promise I will not disappoint you.

Respectfully,

Gabriela Mejia
VP Candidate

 Silvia San Martin

Testimonials

 “The pandemic put every aspect of our lives into perspective. Our safety was always TOP priority for Silvia. I am voting for her because I have no doubt that she will devote her relentless intensity and drive to improving our working conditions, educating the public and court staff, advocating for fair compensation, expanding support for our union, and coalescing existing members toward one common goal.” Vanessa W., member.

 “Silvia is determined and not afraid to speak her mind. An excellent interpreter who always acts with professionalism and respect.” Gaby V. 

 “Tenacious. Relentless when it comes to fighting for interpreters’ compensation, benefits and working conditions.” Ana F.

 “Silvia has brought change as well as a greater sense of unity.” Sylvia J.

I have served alongside Silvia for the past few years. Silvia is dedicated, professional, and astutely informed in regards to our member's concerns. Silvia's diplomatic approach and level-headedness has served our organization well in these challenging times. I can't think of a better candidate. 
Alejandro González, Steward – Riverside

I’m very happy that Silvia is running for VP. As R4 representative she committed to improving the working conditions of every county, even remote ones like mine where she built a relationship never before had with both membership and administration. The stewards meetings she implemented keep us informed of struggles and triumphs while creating unity. She is dedicated, trustworthy and inclusive to the voices of others. 
Esther Neblina, Steward – Imperial County

Outstanding individual, caring, professional, dedicated and very knowledgeable. I encourage everyone to vote for Silvia as our next VP.

Nancy Wilson, Steward - San Bernardino

Silvia has great insight into the issues pertaining to interpreter and language access matters. She has always been ready to build relationships and consensus with members and court administration. She is a champion for the rights of interpreters, has the ability to see things from different perspectives, and is open to dialogue and new ideas. Knowing Silvia for almost twenty years, I can say that she is not power-hungry. Silvia does not care for the spotlight and values, in fact, expects input from others in an open, democratic manner. 
Gemma Yosick, Steward – San Diego

Beyond a doubt, Silvia is the best candidate for VP. I have worked alongside Silvia for many years and have witnessed firsthand her hard work and dedication. Volunteering countless hours for the difficult and demanding positions of steward, bargaining committee member and Region 4 Representative, she has proven to be an intelligent advocate. CFI needs union officers with heart, who serve with integrity and solidarity and strive to reach consensus based on democratic processes and genuine cooperation.  
Rebeca Vera, Steward – San Diego

I worked closely with Silvia San Martín on the CFI board and wholeheartedly endorse her for Vice President. Silvia raises the bar with the education, nuanced approach based on experience, and equitable values she brings to the table. Silvia knows that truth isn’t optional. Her deeply-held democratic values not only translate into a membership-driven approach, but are essential to any functioning, successful union. Silvia is tireless in the pursuit of better working conditions and will help us preserve and elevate our profession. 
Kristina Ramsey, previous R2 Representative

I have endorsed Silvia San Martín because she´s done things with Region 4 that have never been done before. She has united stewards, increased membership, formed strong working relationships with administrators, and improved working conditions. I haven´t met anyone more dedicated than Silvia. If you want to see our profession flourish, join me and VOTE for Silvia San Martín for Vice President.   
Jackie Ruiz, upcoming R4 Representative

Because circles tend to expand 

 Secretary-Treasurer Position

Carmen Ramos

Dear Members,

I have been a steward, mobilizer and activist since 2012.  CFI achieved a substantial improvement in working conditions in Santa Clara County, including the implementation of Team Interpreting and the removal of a tyrannical Manager that harassed interpreter employees and broke the MOU routinely.  I forged strong alliances with the Santa Clara Legal and Labor Community, which eventually led to hiring our attorney, Laurie Burgess, who currently assists us in Bargaining for all Regions.  I was also able to mobilize Independent Contractors in Santa Clara Court, which led to a substantial wage increase in Region 2. I have drawn media attention to our struggles in R2 and R3.   I filed a grievances that have disclosed the enormous waste of public funds as a result of the ludicrous allocation budget implemented by the Judicial Council on July 1, 2021.

I have an “outside the box” way of strategizing all issues I have taken on, I am extremely aggressive in my approach of fighting the Courts in their Union bashing methods used to keep our wages down. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Janet Hudec, VP,  and I negotiated health and safety agreements with each of the R3 and R2 Courts.  We were able to get Administrative paid leave for IPT interpreters at the onset of the pandemic in R2, and an extension of COVID-19 extended sick leave in other courts.  

This is my first term in a position of leadership at CFI,  and I am committed to finish the projects we set out to complete, many of which got derailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, among them:

1. Continuing to work on Legislation to reform the Interpreter Act so we can get out from under the Judicial Council's toxic grasp.

2. More training a recruitment of stewards.

3. Hiring a state wide business Representative, now that I have accomplished to have a healthy Legal Defense Fund and Strike Fund to assist us with Bargaining and enforcing our MOU.

4. Continue with providing free classes for continuing education, instead of having a costly, in person conference.

CFI needs the expertise of seasoned stewards and union officers to lead the way, and I am committed to keep training our new stewards so they have the ability to take charge of  Local in the future. We are facing serious battles are the bargaining table, and we are in the middle of negotiations in R2. A change of horses in the middle of the race, would be disastrous. 

I was the Chairperson on the R3 negotiations. Our bargaining was done in record time, 2 and a half months. We have a 25% stipend in Region 3, which has allowed the members that are performing VRI to do so under set guidelines. Our members that have consistently preformed VRI have gotten a substantial wage increase which is building on their pension. 

I have also been able to accomplish a very healthy budget: we have a strike fund, and legal defense fund, and a healthy reserve for wages and operational needs. Our Local is paying our bills timely, and is compliant with Department of Labor guidelines 100%, and is able to offer continuing education classes for our members at no cost to them.

The budget is posted in our members only section for your review, and you will see that I have turned our financials around. When I took office, I ordered a complete audit of the Local, and have steered our finances around so we can afford Attorneys at our Bargaining Table.  Pasted below, are the links to the media coverage I have accomplished for CFI.

I respectfully ask for your vote so I continue to serve our Local.

In Unity,

Carmen Ramos, current Secretary-Treasurer

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/south-bay/santa-clara-county-court-interpreters-may-strike-over-pay/2735911/  

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/court-interpreters-claim-severe-staffing-shortage-in-santa-clara-county/1995309/   

 

Gloria Lindemann

Dear colleagues,

My name is Gloria Lindemann, and I am running for the position of Secretary-Treasurer.

I believe that a true leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. The key to successful leadership is demonstrating wisdom, dedication and motivation in every action. It is certainly not about titles and positions, flow of command or flowcharts but the ability to influence others by displaying transparencyaccountability, and inclusion.

 we have often been silent and complacent, unwilling to become involved because we believed that we were doing fine and that if it does not affect us personally, it’s not so important. But how can we aim to be better, to be the best that we can be unless we are challenged at some point. I personally enjoy a good challenge. Many great colleagues have complained and left the Union because they have felt excluded. They have felt excluded from important negotiations, they have felt excluded because they felt their voices didn’t matter. The truth is we haven’t been able to meet standards of service and expectations. However, Budgeting, forecasting, Planning, and disclosing are vital to have a financially healthy organization. I want to have an audit at least once a year, and a quarterly Profit &Loss review. 

I checked our website to look at our financial situation and was very surprised to see that we only have one-year disclosed: 2019. We are at the end of 2021, and we only have budget projections for 2020 and 2021

In my opinion, any organization with such large membership should have quarterly statements published and have available at least 3 years of financials. In our case we are missing “Income & ExpenseDeclarations” for: 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. This situation shows that we haven’t been able to keep up with our financials. 

When was the last audit performed? Why didn’t we get a copy? Is it because they have not been performed? Or is it because they are simply not disclosed? We have requested the Union their financials and we have only been provided guidance to look at the members only web site, and what we have in there is only one-year Income & Expense Declaration [2019]; Budget projections for 2020, and 2021, no further information has been provided.

Please take a look at our 2019 year Income and Expense declaration –

 

Some of the biggest expenses were:

Estimated income 700,000

Payroll Expenses

$288,127.38

Legal Fees

$135,700.98

**Professional Services

$31,300.91

Representation

$40,000

Bargaining Mobilizing

$25,600

Travel

$22,475

Location Expenses

$20,000

Annual Conference

$8,121

 

 

 

Would you like to have more information? Always ask questions, stay informed! Transparency and Accountability matter. 

I firmly believe that the depth and breadth of my experience makes me a worthy choice for the position of Secretary-Treasurer. A New Union is possible. 

Very truly yours,

Gloria Lindemann 

 

 

Region 4 Bargaining Committee Candidates

Alejandro Gonzalez

My name is Alejandro Gonzalez and I am an interpreter at the Indio Court in Riverside County. Although I don’t have extensive experience as a steward, I believe I have the drive and passion that is necessary to make an impact in the upcoming bargaining negotiations. If elected, I will do my best to advocate for the best interest of our members and for the advancement of our profession. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration,

Alejandro Gonzalez

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Esther Neblina

Hello, my name is Esther Neblina.  I’ve been a staff interpreter in Imperial County and CFI member for over eight years, and steward since March of 2020, right before the pandemic became official.  We are a rural county with constant staffing issues and were one of the few California courts that did not implement a lockdown nor working remotely off-site in the spring or summer of 2020.  Negotiating safe working conditions, supplies and equipment as well as how to counteract our continuous understaffing issues have made for a very intense twenty months. Even before the pandemic hit, our working conditions had begun deteriorating. This in addition to the issues we’re all facing region and statewide with VRI and telephonic interpreting, as well as the perception of our position as court employees is why I am asking for your support to be part of our R4 Bargaining Committee.  

If elected to our Bargaining Committee, it would be my first time participating in that capacity.  I was able to attend as an observer once during the negotiations of our current MOU and had the privilege to see the team in action.  It is a lot of work!  But in addition to my sixteen years as a court interpreter, I’ve held a variety of positions in the last thirty years in our field, either as staff or self-employed (translator, conference and media interpreter, teacher/trainer, service coordinator, etc.).  I have a Master’s in Advanced Translation and Interpretation Studies, but more importantly, I have experience in drafting proposals, statistics for budgeting purposes, program management, record-keeping, etc., and because of my regular contact and participation in our steward calls, am up to speed with all issues faced in Region 4.  If elected to CFI R4’s bargaining committee, I’d look forward to working hard for our working conditions and the overall benefit of our region and profession.  

Thank you for your consideration.

Esther Neblina

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Jacqueline Ruiz

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Silvia San Martin

All counties (no matter how small) should be represented at bargaining, which means all five counties where we currently have employees (Imperial, OC, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego) should have a seat at the negotiating table—same as Admin. In my eyes, the best bargaining committee needs to be a representation of who we all are, how we got here, and what we want: our past, present, and into the future. So, the right combination of accumulated experience and innovation will likely be the key to success in our upcoming negotiations.

Many lessons have been learned in San Diego in the past two years or so, as your local CFI team which I’ve been proud to lead has been able to establish an approach that has proven quite fruitful: Solid grievances won in a row and an honest dialogue based on integrity and credibility may have triggered recent changes from management, which we welcome. It will likely help put us in a better place just in time to announce the opening of bargaining. 

I was a newcomer during the last round of negotiations, and I can tell you that for the first few weeks all I could do was watch and listen in silence (at times almost in horror), and that by the end of it all I, too, wanted to scream. Negotiations are not easy. There’s a high price for every mistake made. And everything is at stake: Our wages. Our working conditions. The recognition of our dear profession. Our future.

It will be an honor to represent San Diego´s interests in the next round of negotiations and those of R4 if I earn your vote. Having been not only a Steward but also the Regional Representative twice has given me ample opportunity to listen to different perspectives from all counties, learn from the very best, find my own voice, and strategize. I do feel ready, knowledgeable, and capable of contributing to our 2022 negotiations for a new, more perfect MOU. 

Please vote.   

Silvia San Martín

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EXECUTIVE BOARD CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS

PRESIDENT POSITION – CAMPAIGN STATEMENT

BEGONYA DE SALVO
 
Dear Members,
 
I want to be your President, because our Union needs new leadership, new ideas, and a new direction where everyone feels welcomed and nobody is held back. 
 
  1. We want HERO PAY because we are essential workers and risk our lives in the line of duty.
  2. We want a SIX-FIGURE SALARY because that should be the base and not the ceiling. It is time to close the 40-year pay gap.
  3. We want PEACE OF MIND with a decent pension plan that gives us a comfortable retirement, not one that forces us to keep working well into our seventies. 
I clearly remember the day I decided to speak up and fight for court interpreters. It was three days after the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Sergio Cafaro. Sergio's death was 100% preventable. Court administrators were not following CDC guidelines and doing little to prevent the spread of the virus. I was overwhelmed with grief, anger, and outrage for what had happened to Sergio. 
 
MOVED TO ACTION
 
My grief moved me deeply and pushed me into action. 
 
That is why I wrote to Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor on behalf of my 17 colleagues impacted by the lethal outbreak at the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles. 
 
When I wrote to Judge Taylor, another tragic and devastating event, unbeknownst to us, was unfolding at the Bellflower Courthouse. There, interpreters suffered another 100% preventable outbreak that took the life of Daniel Felix, an interpreter who was a few months shy of retirement.
 
BECOMING A UNION STEWARD
That is why I decided to become a Union Steward. I joined forces with Marina Sastre, a veteran interpreter who helped me organize a vigil for our fallen colleagues. 
 
When I learned that Marina and other interpreters in high-risk populations were still being required to work in person, I was furious. 
 
THE PUSH FOR TELEWORK
 
I didn’t want another interpreter to die.
 
That is why I pushed for safer working conditions and telework for all at-risk interpreters.
 
  • I filed and personally signed a grievance against the Court. 
  • I filed a Cal/OSHA complaint.
  • I filed a SECOND Cal/OSHA complaint on behalf of our Union colleagues, assisting the attorney and Cal/OSHA investigators with identifying witnesses and putting together a timeline of events. Cal/OSHA found the Superior Court at fault and fined the court $25,000.
  • I reached out to the media, and wrote and distributed press releases on behalf of the Union. I gave media interviews to advocate for telework for ALL at-risk interpreters, and for those with dependents. These communications were crucial to our cause. 
Having a robust media and social media presence, gaining support from political organizations, and building our community are critical to getting our demands met. I am a strong writer, with abundant public relations experience. I know how to run an attractive social media campaign that can make a difference.  Developing a strong voice will help ensure WE ARE HEARD.
 
TOGETHER, WE CAN DO IT
 
I am a person of action. I make things happen. I welcome challenges. Together, we can achieve whatever we set out to do. Let's aim for better pay that reflects our professionalism and allows us a better retirement.
 
I want to know more about you. Let’s connect! 
 
My social media handle across the board is Coco De Salvo (Coco is my nickname) on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. On Twitter, you can follow @BegonyaDeSalvo.
 
You can find a summary of my union activities at www.begonyadesalvo.com.
 
I can’t wait to hear from you. 
 
In solidarity,
 
Begonya De Salvo
 
===============================

 VICE-PRESIDENT POSITION – CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS

GABRIELA MEJIA

Dear Members,
 
Let’s be family!
Part of the vision that I have for our union is that I would like to lead an outreach effort to have   as many members as possible to make this truly our union.
I envision a strong union that is not an abstract organization, but a real resource that will always be there because of you and for YOU, so that you can reach your fullest potential. 
An important part of our #makingthingshappen initiative is the return of our Annual Conference and other events in a new and invigorated way.
  1. An Annual Conference that will be better like ever before! We need a conference from which you will walk out feeling included, with a sense of community, being able to network with other colleagues (staff and independents), with 30 CIMCE credit units presented by top colleagues. It will address important aspects of our career that go beyond knowledge, personal growth, and enrichment. This conference will include workshops on mental health that will help us cope with our daily and sometimes work-related struggles with real applicable methods for achieving the best results in our professional as well as in our personal life.
 
I have a proven record of organizing conferences, events and workshops during many years. Attendees always leave with a sense of fulfillment and empowerment. They are a success, but also very affordable.

I want us to be able to attend a down-to-earth yet meaningful event where you are reuniting with a group of close friends that are like family. A family that you have chosen!

In order to do that I need your vote. If you trust me with your vote, I will continue making things happen for our profession and our union. 
 
  1. A Mentorship and an Outreach Program to increase membership. I believe in inclusiveness, and the only way to get more members is by creating engaging programs, and events where every voice is counted. Our independent colleagues need to be included as well as our new interpreters, and the best way to do this is by promoting a mentorship and an outreach program to spark their interest. We can also create a Newsletter for the membership so we can all be informed and participate.    
 
I was invited to the 1st Educational Forum, entitled Behind the Bench…Learn About Careers in the Courts, hosted by The Committee to Eliminate Bias and Promote Equal Justice, where students from underprivileged high schools will have the opportunity to hear from different court employees, including interpreters. These young people will learn about the level of education needed, the demands and the many rewards that a court interpreting career brings.
You want more, and together, we can make things happen. Vote for our slate, vote for the New Union: Begonya De Salvo as your President, Gloria Lindemann as your Secretary Treasurer, and yours truly, as your new Vice-President.
 
Respectfully,
Gabriela Mejia
www.gabrielamejia.org
 
 
===============================
JANET HUDEC

Janet Hudec for Vice President 

 
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey
 
As I reflect on the history of our Local— origins, the path taken by our grassroots organizers, struggles, achievements, victories, failures— I am convinced that together we can renew, reinvigorate, and continue building a stronger Union by electing visionary leaders who understand our past in order to lead us into the future. 
I am that leader. I have a vision for our local that goes beyond what has been the past practice. I have been taught by the grassroots leaders who have shaped our profession’s identity. I have the backbone and moral understanding to continue leading us forward. I picture my vice presidency as affording a focal point of leadership to foster greater participation from new members of the Executive Board, as well as, engaging the diverse and talented rank-and-file membership that make up this local. My intention is to continue to promote a healthy democratic processes, transparency, and work product that will move our membership from ennui to activism across the labor and social justice movement. 

Here are a few items in my agenda for the next two years:

>Continue with the process of hiring a Business Representative. Prior to the pandemic we had finished writing up the job description and had been actively speaking and spreading the word to other unions. As we were getting ready to post the job, our efforts were halted  by the pandemic. The uncertainty brought on by court closures, rumors of possible lay offs and furloughs, and our dedication and non-stop work of keeping members safe during the pandemic; placed the hiring of the business representative at a lower priority. Now as we approach a more realistic level of normalcy, we can pick-up where we left off. Notwithstanding a raging pandemic, our Secretary-Treasurer (Carmen Ramos) and I, never stopped looking for a possible candidate and we are happy to announce that we do have a very well reputed and experienced individual interested in the position. 

 
>Empower and continue growing our steward network. Stewards are our frontline representatives and the heart of our Union. I will continue to promote, support, assist, and schedule trainings for our Stewards; either directly and through our regional delegates. Building up our Steward network is key to a healthy and thriving Union.
 
>Continue supporting all bargaining committees. Bargaining is the most stressful undertaking of any Union. In my role as Vice President, I will continue to provide support with strategies, mobilization, budgetary data, Judicial Council reports,  media connections, and anything else a bargaining team needs to make negotiations a success. 
 
>Continue enforcing our MOUs and Interpreter Act- Not enforcing our MOUs and Laws undermines our Union.
 
>Continue fighting for and strengthening our statewide VRI position and approach.  Since 2014 CFI has had a statewide VRI position and approach. Over the years, that position and approach has been modified and strengthened. In-person interpreting is still preferred over VRI. VRI should be limited to last minute urgent case types in court, should be used to expand language access for court ordered events/programs, and now we have expanded to use of VRI for health and safety emergencies. 
 
>Continue learning and building rapport with TNG and CWA leaders- I have made huge progress in establishing a better relationship and my efforts are paying off. My first accomplishment is the ongoing full reimbursement for CIMCE’s. 

Feel free to contact me if you have questions. 
 
Vote Janet Hudec Vice President and Carmen Ramos Secretary-Treasurer 

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SILVIA SAN MARTIN

Not the Triangle

Transitions of power tend to be perceived in one of two ways: as a natural way to revitalize the union (for every humble leader knows to embrace the concept that all cycles must come to an end) or as an imminent threat to those holding power for too long, to avoid change. I passed the baton as R4 Representative satisfied that my contributions helped pave the road for meaningful transformation and for a better union. 
 
In my first statement I summarized the progress reached in all but one county in Region 4. Just about all stewards will tell you that our journey together since 2019 has been one based on continuous dialogue, inclusive meetings, and increased cooperation among ourselves with a dual objective: to foster employment and labor relations. We are a united front and that’s why working conditions have notably improved everywhere but in Orange County. In my eyes, the disparity stems from the fact that, from the beginning, and despite my constant efforts to assist with the many unresolved and mounting problems, there was resistance and insufficient collaboration at multiple levels. OC members have unknowingly suffered the consequences. Discreet conversations never helped, and then, a rumor spread hours after I accepted my nomination for vice president and before the official announcement came out, followed by a sudden zoom call –that excluded me– to address the “false” rumor just instigated. Simultaneously, postings in our R4 CFI Facebook page went viral and provoked such a response from members and stewards who came to my defense that the page was quickly shut down, or just about everyone was blocked. Next, I was instructed “to step back from representational work in Orange County” without the opportunity to first speak and without being offered any support. I asked that OC members be notified of this decision: I think you should know. Another zoom call also excluded me. The beginning of the elections has not been precisely easy. This, in essence, is a defense of my integrity and the ideals I believe in.
 
R4 model worked so well that our strategies were implemented in the other regions: the monthly steward calls; the beginning of newsletters; the urgency in forming a technological committee which a candidate already explained to you but failed to mention that I developed the idea months ago based on the expertise of my Ph D and specialization in linguistics, which I omit from CFI forums. In much of R4, grievances no one thought could be won were won, progress in the county ignored by all previous boards began, members tend to feel optimistic, and we opened the dialogue with other regions on cross-assignments and VRI. We foster employment. We don’t mute the mics. We listen, think, discuss, act.
 
Change has originated in R4 as we took the lead in many ways. Then came my decision to run for VP that made some uneasy. 
 
And thus, the triangle that speaks with one voice in a show of force (“I will silence you”) silenced me; the triangle that has caused so many resignations, that took over in R2 and now in one part of R4, that defends a VRI stipend few believe in with talk of a “remote but not VRI” response that won’t help employment, nor wages, safety, or protocols, but surely will impact ongoing and upcoming negotiations—that triangle is clinging to power, yet one of its sides is weak.
 
Triangles have sharp edges with potential for injury. Circles, by nature, are welcoming and tend to expand. 
 
Join the circle. Join me with your vote.
 
Silvia San Martín
 
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 SECRETARY-TREASURER POSITION – CAMPAIGN STATEMENTS 

GLORIA LINDEMANN

Dear colleagues:
 
My name is Gloria Lindemann, and I am running for the position of Secretary-Treasurer. 
 
My background, education, and professional experience will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the position, and, most importantly, a different approach towards fiscal analysis, transparency, and money allocation.  
 
I believe that information and transparency are key to running a financially healthy organization. Members should be involved and updated about all the important decisions relating to their money.
 
1. We will be sending a quarterly newsletter, and it will include a section dedicated to finances with a true and accurate ledger detailing income and expenses, along with up-to-date reports containing results on audits performed.  I will always be requesting input on where YOU want to see your money spent. I will ALWAYS search for ways to minimize costs by allocating funds where they truly belong and eliminating unnecessary expenses.
 
2. I will also be providing a budget for members' approval. I believe transparency, involvement, and accountability are critical. Your voice matters!
 
3. I will work hand in hand with Gabriela and Begonya to make sure our yearly conference happens. With good money management, we can have a very cost-effective conference that will let each of us obtain the 30 CIMCE credit requirement at a free or reduced cost while having fun at a nice venue. We should all have the chance to participate, get to know each other more, make new friends, learn from one another, while having a good time, too. There will be  free workshops about how to handle debt and have a brighter future without any financial worries. There are many ways to get our education without breaking the bank. Let me put my skills to work! 
 
Accountability and responsibility are my motto.  
 
I want to get to know you more. Let’s connect! 
 
My social media handle is Gloria Lindemann [Facebook]; @glolindy_ou [Instagram] @GloriaLindemann [Twitter]     
 
In solidarity,
 
Gloria Lindemann
 
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