Elections Matter—A Message and New Resources From AFT

Texas educators are not alone in bearing the brunt of harsh, coordinated attacks on core public services and the people who provide those services. The same thing has been happening in state after state and at the national level. The 2012 elections give us a chance to turn the tide against this nationwide wave of attacks.

Texas AFT will arm you in coming weeks and months with plenty of information you can use to educate yourself and your coworkers, family, and friends on the issues and where candidates in the 2012 election have stood on those issues. We will enable you to get involved to a greater degree than ever before, working in concert with fellow AFT members and community allies who share our values and concerns.

To get the ball rolling on our 2012 efforts across the country, AFT’s Political Department has put together a new Web site that can become one of your go-to resources for political action. Here’s how AFT Political Director John Ost introduced the new Web site and the new focus on 2012 election campaigns in an e-mail to AFT e-activists today:

“Every day, educators and other public employees, and the services they provide our communities, are being attacked. From challenging collective bargaining rights, to undermining the quality of public education and higher education, to decimating pensions and trying to put healthcare coverage further out of reach, working men and women across the country are under assault. And if this has taught us one thing, it is that Elections Matter.

“The charge against our rights is being led by people who were elected to represent us. Elected officials have a direct effect on your job, your rights, and your family’s and community’s well-being. But recently, we have seen in too many places that once these anti-worker crusaders get into office, their power to strip away our rights is alarming.

Click here to see the AFT’s newest website, Elections Matter, and to voice your opinion on which issues are affecting you and your community.

“For example:

“In Wisconsin, immediately upon taking office, Gov. Scott Walker began an unprecedented assault on public employees and workers’ rights. He cut funding for key public services, stripped workers of collective bargaining rights, and has proven to be one of the most anti-union, anti-working-family crusaders holding elected office anywhere in the nation. Elections matter.

“In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has been unrelenting in attacking public services and silencing the union voice of educators and working people. Scott supported a budget that weakens quality education, and has worked for legislation that severely limits workers’ rights and the power of unions to represent their members who would stand up to him. Elections matter.

“In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett, immediately upon his inauguration, demonstrated that his top priorities were to promote private school vouchers and break the unions. He signed a budget that will effectively increase class sizes and will weaken the overall quality of public education. He also stated that he would sign a “right-to-work” bill as soon as it came to his desk. Elections matter.

“These attacks are sustained, coordinated nationwide, and dedicated to weaken not just our rights but our ability to stop the very people who are doing this to public services.

“That’s why it is critical that you get involved in elections—to ensure we elect people who will stand up for our rights, not strip them away. Go to the AFT’s new Elections Matter website to see where these attacks are occurring and find out what you can do to help stop them. We will continue every day to push back against these assaults, but ultimately, the surest recourse is the ballot box. The stakes couldn’t be higher!”

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