How Next Gen Shaped Victoria Fisher’s Path to Leadership
Victoria Fisher knows a lot about turning passion into action. Victoria was District 1’s Next Gen Lead Activist from 2013 to 2018, and she has turned that experience into a springboard for leadership roles within CWA and in her community.
As a New Jersey public servant, Victoria quickly realized the power of her union in battles for higher wages, better training and education, and protections for the state pension system. As a Next Gen Lead, Victoria spearheaded multiple projects at the Local, District, and national levels while becoming one of CWA’s most dedicated warriors for social and political justice.
Today, Victoria is a Staff Representative and Health and Safety Coordinator for CWA Local 1037, helping to organize workers, train shop stewards, and enforce her contract. She serves her community as a Board of Education Trustee and Vice Chair of her local Democratic Committee.
We sat down with Victoria recently to talk about how her time in Next Gen helped her learn and grow as a labor leader. Here’s an excerpt of that discussion:
What prompted you to get involved in CWA and the Next Gen program?
Well, nothing organizes workers like a bad boss! Republican Governor Chris Christie was a national poster boy for the “Bully Boss” when I became a state employee. I saw benefits slashed, teachers villainized, and our pension fund under attack, so I signed up to become a shop steward and worked with our incredible steward committee and CWA 1037 staff reps to organize and fight back.
I saw how few young workers like me were engaged in the labor movement and made it my mission to translate the big picture union agenda to our immediate, young worker needs. After a year of organizing young workers with my Local, I joined the Next Gen program as District 1 Lead Activist.
Do you have a favorite moment as a Next Gen Lead?
Democracy Spring in Washington, DC in 2016 was incredible. We came together to train a terrific group of young leaders and joined activists from around the country to protest against big money in politics and walk Verizon picket lines. We took our tools and skills from the classroom right onto the streets.
What skills did Next Gen teach you that helped you grow as a leader?
Organizing for justice! At the root of everything we do at Next Gen is the idea that when we fight, we win. I use the organizing and advocacy skills I honed in Next Gen every single day, everywhere, to build better worksites and better communities.