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. 
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.
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. 
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.
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



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.
Gabriela Mejia

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 


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



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