PRIDE MONTH - CWA LEADER PROFILE: T SANTORA
T Santora has over 40 Years of CWA and community service, starting as a member of GTE (now Verizon) in Southern California. At the local level, T served as a Steward, Local Officer, and in many other roles. T then hired onto CWA District 9 Staff in CA, moved to CWA District 4 in IL, and then again to CWA headquarters in DC, before returning back to local service in D9 as President for what is now CWA Local 9003.
Throughout his professional and personal life, T has worked tirelessly to advance workers’ rights, including those in the LGBTQIA+ community through his service at Pride at Work.
Below is just a highlight of T’s distinguished career:
1975: Joined CWA Local 9574 in Santa Monica, CA upon being hired by GTE.
1977: Became Area Steward and Chair of Legislative & Political Committee.
1981: Appointed Chief Steward and Administrative Assistant to the Local President.
1982: Elected as CWA Convention delegate.
1984: Elected Local Vice President.
1986: Appointed to Convention Credentials Committee (2 yr. term). Elected Vice President of Los Angeles Chapter of NOW (2 yr. term).
1987: Elected Local President. Appointed Chair of the Southern California Council (SCC) Legislative & Political Committee.
1988: Elected to Defense Fund Oversight Committee (3 yr. term). Co-authored revised Defense Fund Rules and new Member’s Relief Fund Rules.
1989: Elected Chair of the SCC GTE Bargaining Unit.
1990: Merged with Local 9502 to form the new Local 9000. Elected Executive Vice President.
1992: Elected Local President. Founded CWA 9000 Children’s Fund – A charitable 501(c)3 organization.
1993: Hired as D9 Staff Representative with assignment of Political Director. Assigned as Mobilization & Media Coordinator for Pacific/Nevada Bell bargaining.
1994: Appointed Chair of the Legislative Committee for the California Democratic Party. Member of the Boxer for Senate Finance Committee. Appointed Coordinator for CWA State Legislative Conferences (CA). Appointed D9 Health & Safety Coordinator. Appointed D9 Dues Coordinator.
1997: Transferred to District 4, Chicago office.
Chief Negotiator for Harrisville Telephone Company.
1998: Transferred to Communications & Technologies office at CWA Headquarters, DC. National Mobilization Coordinator for AT&T bargaining. Founded CWA POWER (CWA People Organizing for Workers’ Equal Rights).
Elected Founding President of Baltimore-Washington Pride At Work and National Pride At Work Executive Board.
1999: Chief Negotiator for AT&T of Puerto Rico.
2000: Transferred to CWA Legislative Dept. as lobbyist. Assigned to lobby on issues including Telecom, Civil Rights and Trade issues. Assigned as Coordinator for CWA’s National Legislative Conferences. Elected National Co-President of Pride At Work, AFL-CIO. Graduated from the National Labor College – B.A. in Union Administration & Leadership.
2001: Assigned as CWA National Coordinator for State Legislation. Published articles in WorkingUSA magazine and The CyberUnion Handbook. CWA Representative to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
2003: Steering Committee Member for CLUW HIV/AIDS Program. Profiled in Labor’s Heritage magazine.
2004: Awarded the Eugene Mays Award by the CWA Minority Caucus. Returned to Local 9000 as Executive Vice President. Co-founded Angelenos for Equitable Access to Technology (a community technology coalition).
2005: Elected President, CWA 9000. Bargaining Committee for Adelphia Cable. Re-elected National Co-President, Pride At Work, AFL-CIO.
2006: Chief Negotiator for City News Service, Inc.
2007: Recipient of Community Service Award by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists – LA.
2010: Honored as Public Official of the Year by Stonewall Democrats – LA.
2011: Appointed Chair of the SCC Legislative & Political Committee. Merged Local 9000 with CWA 9503 to form CWA 9003. Elected President of CWA 9003.
2012: Elected Co-Chair of the National CWA Telecom Ad Hoc.
2014: Appointed by LA Mayor Garcetti to Executive Committee of LA Workforce Investment Board. Appointed Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Apprenticeship for LA WIB. Re-Elected President of CWA 9003.
2015: Retired as President of CWA 9003. Honored with resolutions for 30+yrs of service to CWA and the community by L.A. City Council, the California State Assembly, and the U.S. Congress.
2016: Elected to the Palm Springs Art Museum Docent Council Executive Committee.
2017: Appointed to the City of Palm Springs Sustainability Commission.
2018: Elected Chairman of the Palm Springs Art Museum Docent Council Executive Committee.
2019: Elected Chair of the CWA Southern California Council.
2021: Re-elected Chair of the CWA Southern California Council. Re-elected Co-Chair of the National CWA Telecom AdHoc.
An accomplished painter, T is deeply involved with the arts community in Palm Springs where he has a studio and regularly shows and sells his work in local galleries. He is married to his partner of 24 years, Harold (Jack) Jackson. Mr. Jackson, a labor attorney for the State of California, was formerly CWA District 9 Counsel. The couple now split their time living in Palm Springs and Napa, CA.