Post-Election Day Thank You

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November 11, 2018

Dear UFAS brothers and sisters:

 

The big news in last week’s elections is that Wisconsin has a new governor! Tony Evers is a longtime champion of public education and ally of faculty and academic staff in the UW System. As Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction since 2009, Evers was an ex officio member of the Board of Regents. He was often the only independent voice and friend of faculty and academic staff on a board increasingly filled with Walker appointees. Now Evers is moving to the State Capitol building, and the days of Walker’s cronies are numbered. Evers said in May 2018 that he couldn’t wait to replace his UW System Board of Regents colleagues. Amen! In the words of AFT-Wisconsin president Kim Kohlhaas, it will be an honor to work with a governor who values what we value.

 

The election of Tony Evers was not the only good news on election night. The union-endorsed candidates for Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and United States Senate were all elected or re-elected. We’ve got friends in office!

 

While there is plenty to celebrate, we are disappointed that State Rep. Jon Plumer defeated our colleague and fellow UFAS member Ann Groves Lloyd in District 42. I want to congratulate Ann for running a strong, high-minded campaign with integrity and dedication. I also want to thank the UFAS Committee on Political Education (COPE), the Organizing Committee, and their respective chairpersons Tanya Buckingham and Parthy Schachter for their work mobilizing support for Ann’s campaign. Although this election outcome was not what we wanted, it was great to have a UFAS member running for state office and to have fellow UFAS members knocking on doors, writing postcards, making phone calls, and sending text messages for her. We may be on the losing side in this instance, but we can take pride in knowing it was the right side.

 

Above all, I want to thank each and every UFAS member who contributed to our union’s political work this semester. Our union put an incredible amount of time, effort, and energy to advance that work and link it to workplace organizing. As a former AFT staffer once told me, things don’t just happen; they happen because people work together to make them happen. Not everything we worked for happened in November, but each and every UFAS member who contributed to our union’s political work this fall deserves a share of the credit for the victories we did achieve. As the old labor slogan goes, we are stronger together. I’m grateful to you, and I’m proud to be your union brother and local president.

 

In solidarity,

Chad

 

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Chad Alan Goldberg

Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison

President, United Faculty & Academic Staff, American Federation of Teachers Local 223

 

“It is necessary that we never lose sight of what is the aim of public education. It is not a matter of training workers for the factory or accountants for the warehouse, but citizens for society.”

― Émile Durkheim