To All:It’s time again to start our organizing and mobilizing efforts. Last year we were very busy campaigning against the overuse of standardized testing and Governor Christie’s pension commission’s recommendations. We had the largest Lobby Day in which we packed the State House ultimately helping pass a budget that funded the pension only to have it vetoed by the Governor.The fight continues. We have a projected low turn out election in which there are NJEA PAC endorsed candidates running in districts across the State. We can make a difference in these races, all we need to do is vote. Voting has never been easier. Encourage your colleagues, friends and family to vote-by-mail.We have a great candidate in LD 25, Richard Corcoran III, who can also be found on Facebook. Richard is a forensic accountant, basically he’s great at tracking down money. This is exactly what we need for Trenton, someone who will crunch numbers in regards to our pensions and possibly thelottery. Richard understands the issues facing educators in 2015. Richard is looking forward to fighting for the Middle Class.We need people to get involved. Over the next few weeks, we will be writing postcards and phone banking to educate and to help get out the vote, which will be critical. Individuals can also get involved in the PAC endorsed candidates campaigns. NJEA is running campaign training on Saturday October 3 from 10 am to 12 in Bergen County. You can sign up on the NJEA website to attend.We have our first LAT meeting scheduled for October 5 at the Madison Hotel from 6-8:30. Please note the change of venue and time. We will have special guests and some great prizes. Please see the attached flier for details. Please register via EventBrite. (It’s so easy!!!) Install the app on your phone and it will remind you. https://www.eventbrite.
com/e/lat-kick-off-tickets- 18152298012More dates:October 19, 20, 22: Post Card Banking at the MCCEA Office on Rt. 10E RandolphOctober 26-29, November 2: Phone Banking at MCCEA OfficeDecember 8, 2015- Workshop: Hilton Garden Inn
February 10, 2016- Workshop: Hilton Garden Inn
March 10, 2016- LAT Reception: Meadow Wood Manor
April 14, 2016- Workshop: Hilton Garden Inn
May 17, 2016- Thank You: Location TBA
Keep up the good fight!Brian
Brian AdamsMCCEA Legislative Chair — Twitter: @mcceaLATNJEA Government Relations CommitteeRTEA Legislative Chair
Our MCCEA Legislative Action Team met April 21 with Brian Volz, NJEA Associate Director of Government Relations. We also welcomed new members to the fight. Here are some items that need to be brought back to your schools:
- #fundnjpension: Everyone needs to become a pension activist! We need to protect our future for our families. What would a diminished pension mean for your family? I know for my wife and I, both teachers, it would mean painful sacrifices. Sacrifices upon sacrifices already made as a proud NJ teacher. Therefore we must act now.
- Sign up to be a pension activist. Pass this link to your friends and family in the field of education in New Jersey. With this tool we can organize our campaign.
- Use social media: A grassroots effort by our members has thrust the pension fight onto our “timelines” and help to update our status. Join Twitter, start tweeting at our legislators and media to #fundnjpensions. Use resources on the new NJEA website fundnjpension.org such as facts and memes to share to helpeducate the public. Follow the MCCEA LAT on Twitter!
- Building on our Social Media: Tweet on payday to legislators that you have made your contribution to the pension and its time that the legislature make theirs, because #itsthelaw.
- Contact your legislator: Email and call their office. Ask them if they support funding our pensions. If they do, how will they get the funding to do so. Do some homework, did they sponsor or co-sponsor Chapter 78 legislation? Did they vote for it? How do they feel that the Governor is now challenging a law that he championed, supported, signed, and campaigned for Governor on in 2013 as a model for bipartisanship. but now is challenging in the court as unconstitutional.
- PARCC: Please see the attached chart of pending legislation. Encourage your Senator to push for these bills as they have stalled in the Upper House. With the 2nd round of testing any day now, we will see more wasted funds in countless substitutes, wasted time in the classroom as we are in a holding pattern and valuable resources that should be dedicated for educational purposes only such as computer labs and libraries around the state being used as testing centers.
- Endorsed Candidates:
- Mila Jasey and John McKeon are running for re-election in LD #27. Mila and John have been stalwart advocates for teachers, speaking out for PARCC and funding of pensions. They are having a town hall meeting on April 30th 6:30-9:30 at the Green Village Fire House. It would be great to show them our support. (Flier attached.)
- Morris First Candidates for Freeholder: Our colleagues at the County College of Morris for the past few years have faced budget cuts and 0% budget increases. They are currently in contentious negotiations and facing 22 Reductions in Force. The MCCEA Screening Committee met and voted to endorse the slate of candidates Deputy Freeholder Director John Cesaro, Ms. Christine Myers, and Mr. Angelo Tedesco in the Republican Primary. They understand the issues facing educators and the citizens of the county. More information to follow!
- State Board of Education Lobby Day: On June 3rd, the State Board of Education will be having its Open Topic public testimony session. Testimony begins at 2:00 and you are able to testify about any topic with the exception of pending legal matters. We have been very successful in organizing a great turnout and have been very effective in educating the State Board of Education. Personally, I would love to hear how the Governor, Commissioner Hespe and the State Board of Education is planning on punishing districts whose students opt-out from testing. Are they planning to have districts harass, intimidate or bully students and parents into taking the worthless test. Please see the attached flier. Also note that you must register beginning May 15th to testify.