The campaign by USEJ candidates at Davis has turned nasty. Xochitl Lopez, candidate for Vice President-North has resorted to interrupting our campaign volunteers in the middle of speaking with potential voters. She has also been heard telling potential voters that we (AWDU) "have been stuffing the ballot boxes at Santa Cruz." While making these dangerous and baseless accusations she has blatantly violated election rules by contacting voters while they are attempting to cast ballots.
These blatant and shameless violations come on the heels of a tumultuous first day of voting at Davis. After the polls closed for daytime voting, the designated election official was delayed by both Lopez and a paid staffer from the International named Jeff Otter, who claims that he is spending his vacation time at Davis to help USEJ candidates get elected. Otter and Lopez delayed the election official by pointing out what they claimed was mishandling of election materials, but turned out to be inconsequential technicalities, as confirmed by Elections Chair Travis Knowles. Furthermore, they were verbally abusive toward the elections official with no other objective than to delay the evening voting that was scheduled to commence at 5 PM. Unfortunately, Otter and Lopez were successful in preventing any ballots from being cast for almost an hour as the polling materials were not available until nearly 6 PM.
USEJ is clearly committed to preventing our students at Davis from voting at all cost. There is no regard for the democratic process and all efforts for a civil campaign have apparently been abandoned. Similar tactics have been used by USEJ at UC Irvine, where a UAW staffer told a grad student that if they voted for AWDU, we would “make them go on strike”. Meanwhile, at UCLA, the so-called USEJ caucus accused AWDU of being “racists”. Read the blog post detailing the accusations and AWDU’s response here. Also, a paid staffer at UC Irvine who is out campaigning for the USEJ slate told members there that she was “on vacation”, an identical story that Mr. Otter told us here at Davis. What a coincidence! This is precisely the sort of behavior we would expect from the people who have run the union for the past ten years. They have gotten away with so much for so long with zero accountability, that to expect ethical behavior now is wishful thinking. Somehow, the rules never seem to apply to them, and they are extremely loose with the serious accusations of racism, radicalism, and recklessness that they publicly launch at AWDU members and candidates. While USEJ may need to resort to paid staffers, stall tactics, and violations to get their slate of absentee candidates elected, the Davis AWDU caucus is committed to reform and real representation. Our candidates have consistently demonstrated their commitment to represent Davis by attending union meetings, coordinating days of action across campus, and actively campaigning. We have yet to see any of the USEJ candidates aside from Lopez, and if her actions and behavior represent the attitude and demeanor of the rest of the USEJ candidates, then we are all better off in their absence.
A union with active members is a stronger union. Vote AWDU to help build a real grassroots, member-driven union. Become a steward, hold a departmental meeting in your department, attend a membership meeting. WE are the UNION.