Dear AEA-Retired/NEA-Retired Colleagues,
I am reminded by your emails and your wise social media comments that progress is not solely dependent on the outcome of one election. That any leadership needs to be supported by organizing, facing obstacles head-on, protecting justice, protesting, advocacy work, and other social justice work. Your words are inspiring and gave me great hope.
Because AEA and NEA are nonpartisan, and we recommend candidates based on our Education and Social Justice values, in a transparent, grassroots process, I am proud of the way that we supported our candidates, while not losing the right to vote the way we chose for our own families and concerns.
We must give regards to Donald Trump and work with him on behalf of our country, and state. I hope that he will be a president for all of our country, our students, and education retirees.
We now have two choices: become complacent or become more determined to rise to the challenges that lie ahead and become vigilant in our work to protect our retirement security and create great public schools for all students. Knowing you as I do, I believe you’ll rise to the challenges.
You joined AEA-Retired/NEA-Retired because you knew that our state and our country, while being the best Democracy, are not perfect. And I know that you understand – and lived throughout your career – the value of organizing. Thankfully we live in a country that affords us the right to participate in associations of this nature. So while we may be facing some significant challenges to our retirement security ahead, please…please…do not lose your optimism and commitment to positive change for all.
Never before has the NEA and AEA, locally, been more important. You are our leaders. You showed that in your volunteerism for your candidate(s), and in your incredibly high voting rate. You are our today. You are our future. I believe with my full heart that through AEA-Retired and the relationships you create here, the learning you achieve thanks to your chapter participation (Hats off to our Chapter Chairs for organizing such great experiences) and other AEA-Retired opportunities such as M.O.R.E, and the Valley Wide Mixer and Political Action trainings, you will be prepared to rise to the challenges that lie ahead not only tomorrow but in 5, 10, years to come.
The fight to have equal learning opportunities for all no matter what race was not easy. The fight to get a civil rights bill into law was not fast or easy. The fight to pass Medicare and Social Security was not fast or easy. The fight to pass same-sex marriage was not fast or easy. And while the fight to safeguard these policies will continue, the movement that we built throughout our careers and now in retirement, will be in place to continue our work.
Please join me and AEA-Retired in continuing our work with optimism… and let’s remain strong in our commitment to and building an enduring movement for a great education, a secure retirement and social justice for all.
With respect and optimism,