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NEA members to march in 56th presidential inaugural parade

Educators join hundreds of America’s Workers United For Change

WASHINGTON - January 13, 2009 -

America’s workers will display their colors on January 20 and participate in the official inaugural parade for the nation’s 44th president, Barack Obama. Members from the National Education Association will join the AFL-CIO and Change to Win as part of a 265-member ensemble that represents every face of working America.

The 2009 inauguration marks the first time in recent history that representatives from America’s labor unions have been invited to march in the official parade.

“NEA and its members are proud to join the AFL-CIO and Change to Win in this first-ever labor-sponsored inauguration parade float,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “The ‘America’s Workers United for Change’ parade unit, including the participation of 43 public school employees, provides organized labor the opportunity to emphasize the important role of America’s workers in helping to renew America’s promise.”

The delegation of marchers will lead the only pro-worker float down the parade path under the theme of “Honoring America’s Workers.” The marchers will carry a banner with the slogan “America’s Workers: United for Change,” along with flags that represent the issues most important to working families: an Economy that Works for All, Great Public Schools, Good Jobs Green Jobs, and Health Care for All.

The more than 40 NEA members expected to participate in the parade represent every kind of educator working to make public schools great for every student. 

From the classroom teacher to the custodian, the school bus driver to school counselor, the teacher’s aide to the librarian, and the retired educator to the student teacher just starting out, the unit’s largest constituency group symbolizes the many faces of the American educator.
The entire float was fabricated by union carpenters, welders, sculptors and painters. Constructed of steel, wood and foam, it will rise more than 17 feet in height and span 24 feet in length. Outlines of the different “faces of labor” will surround the float to salute the backbone of our country—the hardworking men and women that get up and go to work every day. A Teamsters member will drive the truck supporting the float through the parade route.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT:  Staci Maiers, NEA Public Relations
(202) 822-7823,