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Weingarten Urges Activism and Advocacy

AFT President Randi Weingarten took some time on January 27th to talk with members of AFT New Jersey and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees about the importance of getting actively involved in political education and advocacy.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is pushing an agenda filled with attacks on K-12 education through undermining tenure and promoting vouchers, as well as a hastily conceived plan to merge higher education institutions.

The economy has created an opportunity for the “scapegoaters and the demonizers,” said Weingarten. “Instead of taking the responsibility of governing in tough times seriously, they are pointing fingers” and attempting “to turn the very people who are trying to make a difference in the lives of others into villains.” It’s unfair, and our members see it, said Weingarten. “They want to know what we are going to do about this. How are we going to make it better?”

AFT affiliates in New Jersey are working on legislation to protect members. “We have to work together, not just with one another, but with state lawmakers to get the best possible legislation,” Weingarten urged. “We have to come together with a quality agenda to engage members.