Our Local’s Sara Steffens elected Sec-Treas of CWA

Sara Steffens, 43, will move from Oakland to Washington, DC

Sara Steffens, 43, will move from Oakland to Washington, DC

DETROIT — Former Bay Area newspaper reporter Sara Steffens was elected secretary-treasurer Monday of the Communications Workers of America, second in command at one of the biggest labor unions in the country.

Steffens, 43, began her Guild activity as a reporter at the Monterey Herald and helped create the Guild’s Bay Area News Group – East Bay unit in 2008. She became a staffer and top officer in the News Guild-CWA after she lost her job in the fallout from the BANG-East Bay campaign.

On Monday night, she was elevated to one of the biggest jobs in the American labor movement, defeating the incumbent, Annie Hill. Her running mate, Chris Shelton, was elected president of the 700,000-member CWA, taking over from Larry Cohen, who announced his retirement last year.

“I’m excited to get to work for our union, for our members. I’m grateful to everybody in the Guild and all the people who helped out on the campaign,” she said.

Steffens becomes one of the most prominent labor leaders to have come from the ranks of journalists since the famed New York columnist Heywood Broun founded The American Newspaper Guild in 1933.