Anthony Rendon and Nancy Skinner win CFT Legislators of the Year awards


At the 2023 CFT Convention both State Senator Nancy Skinner and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon received CFT Legislator of the Year awards. 

Cathy Campbell, retired president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, and Jennifer Shanoski, President of the Peralta Federation of Teachers, said that Skinner had had an influence on their lives by advocating for women to get involved in politics (Shanoski was elected recently to the Berkeley school board) and by always advocating for labor and education. 

Skinner said she was glad to work with CFT, like joining the fight to successfully pass legislation to raise taxes to fund education. 

“I will continue to be your partner,” she said “Jeff [Freitas] always does an amazing job of advocating for our issues.”

Rendon, who came to the convention with his wife and young daughter, joked that they went to a lot of labor events. 

“Some families go to the park on weekends,” he said. “This is what we do.”

Before he was in the assembly, Rendon was an environmental activist and the director of the Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services, Inc., which provides child development and social and medical services to over 2,300 children and families throughout Los Angeles County. 

In politics, Rendon said, things can sometimes be abstract and isolating, and it’s important to remember how laws and policies affect real people — or don’t. He told a story about being in a small town in the Central Valley talking about his policies and the legislation he’d worked on. 

“I looked around and I realized I was surrounded by people for whom things are not getting better,” he said. “You need to check yourself. My wife does that and Jeff and the CFT do that.”

When he goes to events, Rendon said, people often want to talk to their school board member or someone on the water board rather than him. 

“If it’s not trickling down and having impact on the lives of kids, it doesn’t matter. You need someone telling you, ‘This is good, this isn’t good, and this needs to be tweaked,’” he said. “What CFT does every single day is let us know what’s happening on the ground, and for that I’m eternally grateful.”