Seventeen resolutions debated at CFT Convention


At the 2023 CFT Convention delegates debated 17 resolutions on issues ranging from a wealth tax to a classified employee rally at the capitol to retirement education for part-timers. 

One of the resolutions for stronger gun regulations, background checks, and reinstating a national ban on assault weapons inspired particularly lively discussion with the speakers in agreement.  

Ingrid Gunnell from AFT Local 1021 listed places no longer considered safe since mass shootings have happened there — churches, dance clubs, grocery stores, parades, movie theaters, and schools.

“Some of the ideas administrators have given us include rocks to throw at active shooters, bulletproof backpacks, and active shooter drills,” she said. “No community is safe. We need immediate action.”

James McKeever from AFT Local 1521 got up to talk about how most of his family was affected by gun violence, with his brother spending years in prison after a shooting, his father working as an enforcer for drug dealers, and his cousin dying after getting shot in the back of the head. McKeever said he escaped this due to a mentor he had when he was 13 years old, who motivated him to choose a different path. 

“I became a probation officer not because I liked law enforcement,” he said. “It was because I wanted to keep kids out of prison.”

He went on to say more about gun control. 

“This is ridiculous. I don’t know why we’re still talking about this,” he said. “After Sandy Hook when they killed a bunch of little white kids in an elementary school, and things didn’t change, I gave up. I thought this will never change. But it keeps happening, so I can’t give up.”

Morgan Agnew from San Rafael offered yet another perspective — of a gun owner. His great-grandfather’s gun was left to his grandfather, and then Agnew’s father, who left it to him. 

“No one can tell me I don’t understand the emotional link people have to their guns. I understand it better than most,” he said. “But no reasonable gun owner can be in opposition to this.”

Another resolution that inspired a lot of passion was on radically reforming police policy, including eliminating officers on school campuses. 

Uniformed officers don’t make students feel safe, speakers said — they do the opposite. Jeff Hicks with AFT Local 1521 told the delegates that when a student was murdered on campus recently, the sheriff’s department deputies offered no help. 

“They didn’t cover his body, so students walked past his corpse on the way to their cars,” he said. “We need them off our campuses.” 

Alyssa Vafaei with AFT Local 6161 added she had seen how law enforcement had no idea how to handle disabled men of color. 

Keith Ford from AFT Local 1533 also rose in support of the resolution.

“We had a young, Black, male classified employee have a gun pulled on him,” he said. “Let’s get this shit done.”

That resolution passed unanimously. Resolutions on issues including stopping the privatization of Medicare, an increased CFT fund for organizing, and the CFT taking practical action to make the organization greener, passed as well.