Kenzo Shibata is the New Media Coordinator at the Chicago Public Teachers Union. In that role he had a massive and prominent impact on the successful strike last year. He’ll be speaking bright and early: 9 am, Saturday, March 23rd.
Interviewing him will be Erin Hofteig, outgoing digital director of the American Federation of Teachers. I’ve known her since she was helping to transition the AFL-CIO to Salsa (the database/CRM tool that most unions use). She’s an incredible teacher who wants to map out next steps for labor and new media tools.
We’re interested in questions like: what digital preparations were made before the strike? How was digital included in strategy discussions? What were the working relationships between communications (PR) and social media space? How did members’ roles evolve as users of social media supporting their union during a difficult time?
In other words, they’re going to have an open conversation about the nuts and builds of building power online during a strike, and the relationships inside a union local that is doing it right.
Got questions? Post them here in the comments and we’ll pass them to Kenzo and Erin. They will also be part of other sessions addressing labor unions use of new media at the local level.
Kenzo Shibata taught high school English in the Chicago Public Schools for nearly a decade and was a founding member of CORE: The Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators.
Shibata was a labor and public education activist who reported and blogged on education policy before taking a position with the Chicago Teachers Union. From 2010-2012 he was the chief publications editor before taking on the newly created position of social media coordinator in July of 2012. He manages social media, blogs, and edits video for CTU. His work can be seen in Gapers Block, Beachwood Reporter, AREA-Chicago, Alter-Net, In These Times, Substance News, Jacobin Magazine, Huffington Post, Labor Notes and Truth-Out. His social media work has been highlighted in NPR, The Daily Dot, and DNA-Info.
He’s been a guest on Take Action News and the Matthew Filipowicz Show.
Shibata recently completed his Masters in Public Policy at Northwestern University. Follow him on Twitter: @kenzoshibata @ctulocal1
Erin Hofteig is a new media strategist and manager with over a decade of experience during which time she has raised millions of dollars, launched strategic initiatives to win campaigns – both electoral and political – built large, multifaceted websites, run online advertising campaigns, trained hundreds of people to use these tools to strategically reach online and offline goals, and built strong connections to leaders of the progressive online community as well as with leaders of a variety of traditional progressive organizations.
Erin specializes in strategic planning, online marketing and communications, website design and outreach. A graduate of the California State University, Chico with a double major in Political Science and International Relations, Erin has worked with everyone from national Presidential campaigns, Democratic state parties, national party infrastructure, non profits, media organizations, private companies, individual campaigns and the labor movement. She loves to play poker.