Every once in a while it seems that somebody up there is listening.
Last year the IEA called off their annual Lobby Day – a day in which several thousand IEA members jam the Capitol and legislative offices to push for public education issues.
It is still a mystery to me. Smack in the middle of a battle to protect our pensions, the suits call off the one and only yearly attempt at mass mobilization.
Perhaps the sight of teachers taking to the streets and speaking for themselves makes our leadership nervous. Queezy? Perhaps they think that’s what we pay Communications Director Charlie McBarron to do.
Not the take to the streets part. The speaking for us part.
Their public explanation: It was because the Capitol was under construction.
Nope. Not true.
We in the Park Ridge Education Association decided that we would do our own Lobby Day anyway. At a huge expense to individual members and our local Association, we got on our own bus that we rented with our own local money. We filled it with active and retired teachers from Region 36. And off we went to Springfield.
We met with IEA leaders Kathi Griffin and Al Llorens.
We met with State Senator Dan Kotowski and other legislators.
We were tossed out of the Governor’s office by the State Police.
It was a good day.
It would have been better if we were with thousands more.
I’m glad that the IEA state leaders have changed their minds about mobilizing members to go to Springfield.
Really though. The Capitol wasn’t under construction.
We were in the Capitol. I’m sure I would have noticed.
See you May 15th in Springfield.