A Place of Light on a Dark Day

Greetings,                    

What a bittersweet morning.

We won an amazing victory last night when we defeated Question 2. The commitment, energy and passion of the MTA ­­- of each of you, working together with parents, students, labor sisters and brothers and the community - were powerful and beautiful.

Ours was a resounding victory. Last spring, the polling showed the Yes on 2 side ahead by more than 20 points. Instead of responding to these polling numbers with fear and backing into a retreat, we buckled down and dug deeper. We accessed the most trusted voices about the issue - YOU - and through conversation after conversation with family members, in your neighborhoods and on the phone, we brought voters to our side. We flipped the vote entirely, winning by more than 24 points!

But last night's election results were bitter as well as sweet. The election of Donald Trump is shocking and deeply unsettling. He has sown hatred and violence. We face significant risks as we anticipate Trump coming after public education, unions and the public good. I have been struggling to find the words to make sense of his election.

Still, this I know: The way we won Question 2 was by building relationships; engaging thousands of members; holding one conversation at a time; accessing the best of ourselves, of voters and of our communities; and building real power through solidarity. This is the type of activism we will need in the months and years ahead.

When we took on Question 2 and said we would fight for what is right, win or lose, I had no idea the stakes would rise even higher after victory. They have, but we are ready - perhaps more ready than any other union in the country.

Get some rest. Stay connected to each other. Keep talking. Keep our ideals fresh and express them with conviction. We will need to continue what we have started.   

In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,  

Barbara