Marching for the Public Good This Spring - April 13, 2017

reclaim_march

Greetings,

On Wednesday I joined MTA members from UMass Boston to let the UMass president, the university Board of Trustees and state legislators know that we will fight to fully fund UMass Boston - to maintain its mission as a public research university committed to the students and community. We demanded no cuts and no tuition or fee increases. A large crowd of students, staff and faculty showed up to support the MTA speakers, who included Classified Staff Union President Janelle Quarles, Professional Staff Union President Tom Goodkind and Faculty Staff Union President Marlene Kim.

The struggle at UMB is just one more example of the ongoing assault on public education, from preK through higher education, in which we are told to do more with less. This attack was articulated last fall by Secretary of Education Jim Peyser when he said the UMB campus should tighten its belt and narrow its mission. Our students - all of our students - deserve the very best public schools, colleges and universities. Our communities deserve leaders who will fight for the funds to support and sustain these goals. Go here for a view of the action.

It's time to start gathering friends, family and union sisters and brothers to attend the statewide Rally for Public Education from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, on Boston Common. , which is sponsored by the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance. Share the link with others on social media so we can start collecting commitments. As we build momentum, there are many more opportunities to act.

Tax the Rich and Fund the Common Good: April 15

Join me and Massachusetts Peace Action for a Tax Rally on the Cambridge Common from 1 to 4 p.m. on April 15 to demand a more progressive tax system that funds the services our communities need.

March for Science: April 22
Science matters! Join the March for Science on Boston Common from 1 to 4 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22. In the words of the organizers: "The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies and government."

People's Climate March: April 29
Science is how we know the planet is in deep trouble from climate change. Show your concern at the Boston People's Climate Mobilization from noon to 3:30 p.m. on April 29 - also on Boston Common.

Less Testing, More Learning: April 30
The fourth meeting of the organizing group to resist the high-stakes use of tests will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at MTA headquarters in Quincy. We will be reviewing this year's actions and making plans for next steps. Go here to register.

May Day Events: May 1
May 1 is International Workers' Day, a day to celebrate working men and women across the world. There will be rallies in several communities, including Boston, Everett and Chelsea. Go here for more information.

Safe Schools Summit: May 6
Making sure that students and staff feel safe and supported in our schools is essential. Go here to sign up for the MTA- and NEA-sponsored Statewide Safe Schools Summit, which will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 6 at Grafton High School. Restorative justice, helping traumatized students learn and creating inclusive classrooms are among the many topics to be discussed. There will also be an optional Friday evening workshop.

Raise Up Massachusetts Conference: May 6
If you are not attending the Safe School Summit, come to Boston for the Progress as Resistance Conference sponsored by Raise Up Massachusetts. Join activists from labor and community groups to discuss issues, share strategies and build the social justice movement in our state.

Vote for JWJ People's Voice Award
In the midst of all of these actions, it is good to be reminded that organizing leads to victory. Next Thursday, April 20, Massachusetts Jobs With Justice will be giving its People's Voice Award. The Save Our Public Schools #NoOn2 campaign is nominated. Go here to vote for all of the hard work done by MTA members and other supporters of public schools across the state and find out about the JWJ dinner. Remember: Fighting is winning.

In solidarity,

Barbara