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Message from Long Island Region President Jarvis Brown

Communication and education are the keys to building union strength

Let me start my first message as CSEA Long Island Region President by thanking all of you for trusting me with the honor. I will not take your faith in me for granted. I promise to work diligently with your newly elected region board for the next four years to prove that your votes were not cast in vain.

As some of you may know, I have been the CSEA Long Island Region 1st Vice President for the last four years as well as CSEA Town of Oyster Bay President for 11 years. In my roles, I have provided assistance to many units and locals in need. What I have found is that many of you are in need of support and guidance.

My leadership motto is, “communicate to educate,” and that’s exactly what I, along with your region board, will be doing. The existing gap between the units, locals and the region must be closed, so your new region board will be working closely with your local leaders in an effort to help facilitate the flow of information. Without open lines of communication, it is impossible to recognize the issues that need to be directly addressed. Working together as a unified front is the only way we will attain power as a region.

Your region board will have an open-door policy that will encourage members to say what they feel as well as have direct access to region leadership. That access will breed honesty and integrity, which will lead to accountability; anyone that knows me knows how important accountability is to me. Leave your feelings at the door because that’s where mine will be. You cannot improve if no one is telling you when you’ve been flawed. Being corrected is not a personal slight; it’s an opportunity to do better and be better.

Education will be emphasized by holding region member meetings, as well as our first CSEA Long Island Region Leadership Workshop for unit and local officers. At the leadership workshop, attendees will be learning about the structure of CSEA, CSEA’s constitution, the job responsibilities of leadership and staff as well as other information that will give you a stronger understanding of how your union and specific policies and procedures work. Long Island is a very political region; officers need help navigating the atmosphere. Long Island Region member meetings will be open to all members and will mirror some of the same topics that region officers will be learning, but will be structured for our rank and file members. You can expect for all meetings and workshops to be held in various locations around the region so as many members as possible will be able to attend.

The goal is for every member on this island to know how important it is to be a CSEA member and how important it is to have a seat at the table to negotiate their future. I don’t want you to look at someone else, expecting them to fight for you. I want you to know that you are capable of waging that battle yourself. Leadership and staff are just a piece of the puzzle. You have to take your future into your own hands. That is why education is so important to me.

Together, we need to reestablish CSEA’s power and influence on Long Island. I want administrators to be afraid when they hear the name CSEA. To know that when we walk into the room, we’re not coming alone. We are about 50,000 strong.

Again, thank you for trusting your CSEA Long Island Region 1 board for the next four years. We are truly honored to be in the position to represent you.