So many thoughts are swirling in my mind as I write this message. Although you will be receiving this newsletter in March, I am writing to you during “our winter of discontent.” As Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
Daily marches and demonstrations to protest the assaults on healthcare and civil rights. Immigrant bans. Medicare and social security are under siege. These topics dominate the news and social media: A “for profit” charter school disciple to head the department of education, Betsy DeVos, who has no credentials or experience in the public sector and Right-to-Work legislation to decimate unions. Family and friends are no longer speaking due to opposing views. A nation divided.
Yet, through it all, there is hope. There is a rising. As a diehard Bruce Springsteen fan (the only thing I share in common with Gov. Christie), I have always found his songs to be uplifting and speak to the resilience and grit of the common person. Rather than wallow in despair, it’s time to “Come on Up to the Rising”, join the resistance, and fight for those values and liberties we hold dear.
As former public school employees, we educate children in the classroom, on the bus, in the cafeteria, and across schools as we modeled good manners, respect for all, and the value of learning. Public education is the foundation of our country, for those of us “Born in the USA” or elsewhere. Stay involved by getting weekly updates through www.nea.org. Check our website regularly. Text the word “pensions” to 738674. Call your legislator. Send a letter, text or tweet. Just let your voice and vote be heard. I look forward to meeting you “Out in the Street” as we protect and defend our “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
Make your plans now to attend our MCREA Spring Luncheon on May 10th. Look for the coupon and details inside. It’s not too late to join us on the Collette Tours Alaska trip this summer. Open to all members and non-members, this is a fantastic opportunity to see Earth’s splendor. Be on the lookout for potential upcoming single and multi-day trips/events, such as Trenton Thunder night, Southern Charm Holiday Collette Tours in the fall, and a Lancaster Christmas show. Stay in touch and stay well.
If you are not a member, I suggest that you join MCREA/NJREA/NJEA, our unified group, to receive our newsletters and updates.
I hope some of this information is helpful. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and together we will succeed in making sure that promises are kept, and our pensions and health benefits are secure.
Please visit the specific NJEA link for up to the minute news on the pension battle at www.FundNJpension.org.