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Text Excerpts from 2011 NEA Friend of Education, Wisconsin 14

Wisconsin state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, one of the Wisconsin 14 who are the 2011 NEA Friends of Education

Let's get busy!

You know, listening to this great assemblage singing Solidarity Forever gave me goose bumps because that's how we're going to win.

We are all honored to be recognized for the role that we played in our fight to protect workers' rights. However, it is all of you who work every day to educate our children that deserve the honor.

Earlier this year, as you perhaps heard, there was a little controversy in Wisconsin with our governor, Scott Walker, and Republican legislators.

The Republican legislators unfairly targeted teachers and hardworking public employees, and blamed them for Wisconsin's budget woes. In addition to cutting teachers' pay and benefits, the Republicans took away the collective bargaining rights that workers in Wisconsin have enjoyed for over 50 years.

This attack was a sneak attack. The candidate, Walker, did not mention this plan during his campaign and neither did the Republicans when they were running for the state legislature. But just weeks after taking power, they tried to ram through this attack on working people in just four days, cutting off hundreds of citizens from testifying.

My Senate colleagues did not hesitate for one second. We slowed this railroad down so that people could see what our governor and the Republicans were trying to do. And boy, did you respond.

I know many of you participated in the historic rallies that captivated the nation and the world. Energized citizens decided they would take their government back.

We are fighting for a Wisconsin where we invest in a better future for everyone, not just an elite few. The activism of thousands of citizens in every corner of the state means that we are on the threshold of adding more friends of education in the Wisconsin state Senate.

There are, as we speak, nine recall elections underway in the Senate: six Republicans and three Democrats. We need a net gain of three seats to flip control of the state Senate. Together, we will win.