We are one of the last mainstays of hope for middle-class Americans. We are responsible, resolute and just. We are a stronghold of amity, reason and compassion in a State driven by amoral envy, reckless insincerity and indifferent greed.
We are appalled by hypocrisy and lies, by incompetence and irresponsibility. We are repulsed by prejudice and this coercion of choice that will be imposed upon us, a choice that is a diminishment to our earned rights and benefits.
We are disheartened by the indifference of others, especially by the apathy of some of our colleagues in these matters. Nevertheless, we are motivated by a community of action and by our indomitable spirit and idealism.
We must support our union leadership when the leadership makes the correct moral and legal decisions; we must also be prepared to confront the anticipated constitutional challenges we will have before us this summer and after the elections on November 6th.
We must prepare for the early June and Veto sessions because what policymakers have tried to do to us this spring will never be enough for them or for the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and Civic Federation. Therefore, we must forestall and oppose the injustice of further attacks to come.
It is up to us to defend our dignity and self-respect; it is crucial that we persist in protecting and securing our constitutional rights. We must not give up on this issue. We must recruit every retired and active teacher; we must enlist every friend and neighbor and unify our wills to enforce the rights and benefits of all middle-class citizens, or all of us will be ill-fated.
We must rally together to un-elect policymakers who would have supported this autocratic bill. We must re-educate the misinformed public and challenge this unremitting and formidable struggle we have with powerful interests from obscenely-wealthy individuals and their procured partisan politicians who are more concerned with Bond Houses than with the needs of middle-class Americans.
Call the leadership of the Illinois Education Association (1-217-544-0706), the National Education Association (1-202-833-4000), the Illinois Federation of Teachers (1-217-544-8562), the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (1-630-784-0406), AFSCME Council 31 (1-217-788-2800), Illinois AFL-CIO (1-217-544-4014), Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (1-217-522-8180), Service Employees International Union (1-202-730-7173), Teamsters Local Union #700 (1-847-939-9700) and other unions of the “We Are One” Labor Coalition without delay.
Tell them you are willing to fight for your rights and benefits; tell them you support their efforts and are willing to do whatever is required to safeguard your constitutional rights and to halt impending contractual infringements.
What else should we do now? Let’s follow the example of our Chicago colleagues, but in Springfield in January.