A Great Saturday

David Yancey Receives Ben Rust Award; ‘Faculty Matters’ Wins 8 Communications Awards

By Bill Jacobs, AFT 6157-Retiree Chair

CFT Convention 2017. Photo by Sharon Beals for the California Federation of Teachers

David Yancey was awarded the prestigious Ben Rust award at the CFT conference in Sacramento, Saturday, April 1.

“Nothing tops that, for both David and our local 6157,” I thought, as I walked to the prime-time general session on Saturday afternoon, the session where the preeminent speaker always makes it worth our while to attend. I wasn’t disappointed.

Tom Steyer, the visionary progressive philanthropist, gave an insightful and interesting update on his political activities — something positive for a change. Nice luncheon, good food shared with good friends, the Ben Rust award to David, and positive news from a positive progressive; I was really starting to enjoy the day.

My warm thoughts were interrupted when the bright room lights began to dim, music rose to fill the room, and attention-grabbing visuals flashed onto the mega screen behind the stage. All talking ceased around me, and the music softened as a sonorous baritone voice announced that the Communications Awards were about to be presented. And so they began.

The first category was read aloud, followed by instructions for local presidents or representatives to come up and collect announced awards. San Jose/Evergreen was a winner in the first category, and Paul Fong hurried to the front to collect the award. During the ceremony, about 15 categories were announced, and seven more times, on his path back to his seat, Paul was turned around to collect the next prize. Altogether, San Jose/Evergreen won eight awards in the 15 categories.

AFT 6157 typically wins three or four awards, which is excellent, but we have never come close to winning eight. Paul got a workout hurrying to the front, and AFT attendees went away even more proud of Faculty Matters.

I was right that nothing tops Mark’s or David’s winning a Ben Rust award, but eight Communications Awards was definitely icing on the proverbial cake. The credit for the newsletter “Faculty Matters” goes to the people who really make it happen: Barbara Hanfling, Farideh Dada and Susan Yuen.

The awards were:

  • Best Editorial or Column, third place, David Yancey, Prez Says: “Beware the TRUMPet of the Carnival Barker”
  • Best Feature Writing, third place, Michelle Blair, “Instructor Becomes Student Again”
  • Best Six or More Page Newsletter for Locals with More Than 500 Members, second place
  • Best Bulletin Series, second place, AFT Negotiation News 2015-16, 2016-17. 6157 Negotiation Team
  • Best Original Art or Photograph, honorable mention, Barbara Hanfling Photographer: “Annual Picnic: We keep on Celebrating”
  • Best Newswriting, honorable mention, Frank Espinoza, Sociology, “Council of Division Reps”
  • Best Single Effort for Locals with More Than 500 Unit Members, third place, for: Mentorship Program Success: By Shelley Blackman, Henry Liem, Minerva Duke, Kevin McCandless, Dorothy Pucay, Sravani Banerjee, Huma Saleem, Elaine Kafle, Linda Ferrell and Randy Pratt
  • Best Flyer or Poster for Locals with More 500 members, third place, Picnic Flyer by Susan Yuen