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Lily's Blackboard

Lily Eskelsen García

For more on Lily Eskelsen García’s perspectives and activities, visit her popular blog, Lily’s Blackboard.


Ready to Win On Election Day

On November 4, voters will go to the polls for the midterm elections.
Numerous elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels who determine the fates of educators, will be swept into office. Among other priorities, the 2014 midterms will have a profound effect on what educators across the country are expected to accomplish in the classroom and the resources they’ll have at their disposal. If there’s any doubt that elections matter, as they used to say in TV sports, “Let’s go to the tape.”

Voter turnout was dismal in the 2010 midterm elections.The result? Gubernatorial wins by Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, and a slew of state legislators who put the interests of wealthy corporations and CEOs before the needs of our students and the educators who serve them daily. As we head to the polls in November—taking our family members, friends, and allies with us!—let’s keep in mind that some politicians are still bent on setting the wrong priorities for Americans, jeopardizing the American Dream for millions of families, and taking the country in the wrong direction.

During NEA’s Back to School Tour in September, NEA leaders traveled the country meeting with members, students, and community partners to raise awareness about issues affecting the nation’s public schools. Here, Eskelsen García visits Runn Elementary School in Donna, Texas.

The “politics of education” can have far-reaching and long-lasting implications.
We must elect leaders who are dedicated to providing the necessary resources and support to allow our students to be successful. I know many of you are working hard in your states right now to do just that. You are phone-banking, canvassing, and engaged in other get-out-the-vote efforts. Our members will never be able to write $10,000 checks, but you are giving something much more valuable: time. While juggling work, parenting, family, and leading very full lives—you are making the time to help elect pro-public education candidates, pass ballot measures to improve education and protect the middle class, and fight referendum attacks on labor, schools, and our professions.

This sweat equity is central to our efforts to elect friends of public education.
And personal, member-to-member contacts are highly effective. NEA members live in every precinct, county, congressional district, and state. Given NEA’s unique demographic makeup, our members are poised to be critical swing voters in many states. Consistent polling confirms that teachers, education support professionals, and education employees are respected opinion leaders and messengers. There are no more trusted members of a community than educators—regardless of political affiliation. That’s why we must leverage this political clout and wield it strategically to elect people who share our commitment to public education and a strong economy. There’s much at stake for our students, our professions, our union, and the middle class. As we enter the homestretch and head toward Election Day, let’s all work together and bring this home, Visit today to stay informed and get involved!


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