SoCal Meets, Eats, Reads and Plans

Elle Febbo at SoCal meeting. Photo: Eric Gordon

Members and friends of the So Cal chapter gathered at Mi Vida boutique in Highland Park, CA, for a holiday meeting and public reading on Sunday, December 18.

A delicious assortment of goodies, including Mexican hot chocolate, welcomed the crowd of about 15, roughly a quarter of them NWU members.

New member David Marques emceed and Ismael Parra opened with a song honoring the Bernie Sanders campaign.

At least 10 members got a chance to read their writing: poetry, journalism, opinion pieces, memoir, a rap poem, and fiction—different genres, unified by socially conscious content. A nearby literature table offered a selection of members’ books, along with union information.

Chapter Chair Elle Febbo asked, “Why do we come together?” And then  answered her own question: “To pass the torch of our work to others.”

From there, the conversation turned to the next generation of young writers:

  • the potential of a youth membership appeal
  • mentoring
  • publishing youth work online
  • co-sponsorships with youth organizations

The members present voted, in principle, to support efforts to conduct youth outreach and education on the benefits of unionism.

Eric Gordon reported on recent SoCal NWU efforts: Support for both the Verizon workers and the grocery workers (who agreed on a contract before they went on strike); support of the Standing Rock water protesters, including urging our national office to issue a statement of solidarity; and 2016 election work, telephoning NWU membership and on-the-ground campaigning in Nevada and elsewhere.

Charles Degelman reported on the victory of his union, the California Faculty Association, in securing a new contract.

The event was a place to fellowship and recharge for the important work  ahead in 2017.