Skip to Content

A Message From the President

How to make life better in your state

 Barbara Matteson

What a difference a governor makes! Take mine: Janet Napolitano of Arizona. She’s smart, is there for the kids, and takes no guff from anybody. As governor, she’s in a position to do a lot of good.

Just a small sample: She

  • • Started a voluntary full-day kindergarten.
  • Stopped our legislature from letting corporations give their state tax dollars to private schools (through tax credits).
  • Gives every Arizona first-grader a book of their very own—for some, the first book they’ve ever owned.

She also set up a system that provides big savings on prescription drugs for Medi-care-eligible residents. And in her first year, she erased a billion-dollar state deficit without cutting public education or other important services.

But it didn’t have to be that way. She only won by one percent of the total vote—fewer than 12,000 votes made the difference. I’m so glad that I and many other educators worked for her! The Arizona Education Association has nearly 30,000 members. You can bet we’ll be out working for her again this year.

Is your governor as good as mine? If not, maybe you can do something about it.

As the 2006 election campaigns gear up, I urge you to jump in, particularly in the races for governor. State government is the dominant influence on what happens in our schools and in many other crucial aspects of daily life, from retirement benefits to roads.

And of course, I’m not belittling the other important state and federal campaigns.

Politics is one area where retirees often work harder than younger people. We don’t have papers to grade, most of us anyway, so we have more time to make calls and knock on doors, and those with good, union-won pensions can afford to invest in the future with campaign donations.

Our state Associations will endorse candidates and take positions on ballot questions. Get involved in the choosing, and in the campaigns that follow.

See if you can do as well as we’ve done in Arizona.

Published in:

Published In