Today we are relaying an important request from the American Federation of Teachers concerning budget decisions in the U.S. Congress that will have profound impact on you and your family, your students, and your community:
Congress is preparing a budget for the next year, and there’s a very simple question in front of us: Do we create opportunity for everyday Americans or keep pushing the austerity that’s starving our communities?
We know what the right wing in Congress wants. But our allies at the Congressional Progressive Caucus have an alternative—“The People’s Budget: Prosperity Not Austerity”—that would help balance our economy.
The People’s Budget includes funding to provide prekindergarten and debt-free college, fix our infrastructure, expand clean energy, increase access to health care and retirement security, and much more. The investments will create good union jobs, protect our economy, expand access to critical services, and help millions of Americans achieve their dreams.
Our members—and the communities we serve—know all too well the effects of austerity. We’ve seen it every day, from the lead-poisoned water in places like Flint, Cleveland, and Newark to crumbling schools in Detroit and Philadelphia to the closure of rural hospitals across the country; from pink slips for public workers to slashed budgets and layoffs at our public universities.
We know it’s an uphill battle, but the dozens of organizations supporting this effort will push forward together. Our economy is rebounding but too many people still feel the effects of wage stagnation, lack of opportunity, crushing student debt, and intergenerational poverty. Too many people are still being left behind.