AFT members need to be all in for the 2020 elections. That’s why AFT President Randi Weingarten called on educators during her keynote speech at AFT TEACH on July 11 to join the effort to engage and register students to vote. More than 3 million high schoolers in the upcoming school year will be eligible to vote in the November 2020 elections. To get them registered, the AFT has partnered with former first lady Michelle Obama to support her voter registration initiative called When We All Vote. weall.vote/aft
“Teachers have always had power,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd at the TEACH opening plenary Thursday afternoon. “We need to own our power. And we need to build our power so we can move our agenda—for our students and our families; for safe, welcoming and well-funded public schools; for affordable higher education; healthcare that is a right, not a privilege; a living wage; a decent retirement; a healthy climate and a strong democracy.” Weingarten described how the Trump administration has threatened democracy in so many ways and how educators, who stand at the nexus of two equalizing forces—education and labor—are in a pivotal position to fight back.
Educators must be guardians of our democratic principles such as human dignity, equal rights, tolerance of diversity, civility and the rule of law, AFT President Randi Weingarten said during her keynote address at AFT TEACH on July 11: “The fight to safeguard American democracy begins in our classrooms and our schools. And TEACH is chock-full of how-to sessions.” One such session, “Current Events Classroom—Teaching About Bias, Diversity and Social Justice,” helped the educators who packed the room learn strategies to talk about current news topics like immigration and family separation, the #MeToo movement, pay inequality and other news events from multiple perspectives.
During the opening session of TEACH, AFT President Randi Weingarten introduced members to a powerful champion of democracy, author Amy Siskind, who has made it her mission to call out the misdeeds of the Trump administration. It’s been a horrendous task. Siskind compiles facts on her website, The Weekly List https://theweeklylist.org/. Originally intended for her friends and followers on social media, her list of news stories that reflect American politics’ “eroding norms” has grown to detail at least 100 new abnormalities every week.
The AFT brought the student debt crisis to court Thursday, filing a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education for gross mismanagement and out-and-out sabotage of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
This years AFT End of the Year Luncheon was about change. Our past president John Krimmel passed the torch to our new president Nancy Lasher. We have high expectations of our incoming president and she has the full support of the Union to achieve all the goals set before her. Nancy has been a part of The College of New Jersey for 25+ years serving in multiple roles across campus, most recently being a professor in the Marketing and Interdisciplinary Business Department. Please join us in welcoming the new President of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2364, Nancy Lasher!
Please enjoy a few shots from our EOTY Luncheon. We were grateful to have a powerful presentation from the volunteers at the Eastern Service Workers Association. If you would like more information on their group, what they do, and how YOU can help contact them at 609-695-9562. Through our commitment to donate to them yearly, we know that we are supporting the rights of those who are vulnerable, one of the hallmarks of a strong union!