Adam and the future of teacher unions.
Adam is a working Chicago high school teacher.
He is also an activist in the Chicago Teachers Union.
I first met Adam in the schoolyard of Whittier School in Pilsen when the parents were fighting to keep a field house from being torn down. Whittier was one of the hundreds of Chicago schools without a library and the parents had occupied the field house demanding CEO Brizard and the Mayor turn it into one.
Adam was there supporting the parents.
In fact, anytime I can drag this old butt to some action about schools, Adam is there.
Last week Adam jumped on his motorcycle and drove here to DC.
Because he wanted to share his excitement about the kind of union the Chicago Teachers Union had become: a fighting union willing to take on the most powerful in defense of its members, their students, families and communities.
Nobody paid him. He has no official standing. He’s so typical of the young teachers I meet in the CTU.
While I worked the inside to get NBI 13 passed, I kept getting texts from Adam. He had spoken with a guy from Vermont. He had gone to a meeting of this or that caucus. He was talking to people from this state and that state. He was everywhere.
When the pessimists among us talk about the death of teacher unions, they forget one thing.
They forget Adam.
And there’s more like him.
We ain’t going away.