While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
America’s unions need to focus on “solution-driven unionism,” that advances solutions centered on uniting union members, the people they serve and the communities in which they live, AFT President Randi Weingarten told delegates at AFT’s convention in Detroit today.
More than ever, we need to act in innovative, creative and new ways—simultaneously refuting our critics, advancing our values, connecting with community and proposing solutions. That’s solution-driven unionism.
Emmelle Israel, AFL-CIO Media Outreach fellow, took part in the Save Our Schools rally this weekend and sends us this report.
Educators, students and community members from across the nation joined together July 30 for the Save Our Schools March and National Day of Action. The crowd of thousands rallied for two hours in the Washington, D.C., summer sun on the Ellipse Park, just south of the White House. After hearing from speakers such as former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and New York University professor Diane Ravitch to actor/activist Matt Damon—whose mother was a teacher and union member—the crowd began a march around the White House. The rally united everyone under the cause of education reform, but the variety of signs and slogans on display (“We Need Teachers Not Tests,” “Equality for English Learning Students,” “Cut Corporations Not Education”) emphasized the variety of issues that need to be addressed to rebuild public education.