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Message from NEA-Retired President

Our Time to Shine

By the time you receive this magazine, we will know the outcome of the effort to repeal SB5 in Ohio. Battles like this one over collective bargaining rights in the states ultimately affect us all, and as the nation’s largest union, NEA is a leader in the fight to preserve those rights, which strengthen the middle class and America’s schools.

Regardless of the outcome in Ohio, we should all consider what we can do over the coming year to ensure that pro-public education candidates are elected at the local, state, and federal levels in 2012. The stakes couldn’t be higher. We’re talking about the futures of our educators and students, our children and grandchildren.

So what does it take to get engaged in the political process? Your NEA membership is a great start. As a member, you have access to resources from your state association and from NEA that can help you become a “superactivist”—engaged, prepared, and responsive. It doesn’t necessarily require a lot of money or even a lot of time.

So sign up on and subscribe to activist newsletters your state may provide. Respond to calls for action. Go to to become an Educator for Obama—the president earned NEA’s recommendation for his support of education. Most important of all, stay informed on who is running for office and what they really represent.

Although I consider myself from Maine—and if you’re familiar with my accent, you probably do, too—I also spend part of the year in Florida and am a registered voter there. I must make an effort to get up to speed on the candidates, and feel fortunate that I can look to the Florida Education Association for guidance on the issues.

If you’re ready to take your activism a step further, consider volunteering for your state association’s legislative action committee, or do grassroots campaigning for a pro-public education candidate. This is where retirees shine! The future is in our hands.

Tom Curran

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