Dear teachers and staff with the CTU,

Your courage to strike against the pro-corporate reform agenda is an inspiration to teachers, parents, and to workers and young people everywhere. As a teacher and union member myself, I want to express my utmost solidarity and support for your important struggle.

Teachers are the true stewards of the education system. Not corporate politicians like Rahm Emmanuel. Not the corporate media that wants us to believe that you only care about your paychecks.

The CTU’s struggle is not an isolated one. Public schools everywhere in the country are being put on the chopping block in the sweeping corporate agenda of destroying unions and privatizing public resources, which is exacerbating the deep inequality in our society. In fact, teachers have a duty to strike and take a stand when schools and communities are failed by corporate politicians. The overwhelming support you are receiving from parents, students, and the community is a solid affirmation of your actions.

Your fight is truly our fight, and the fight of the 99% everywhere. Despite anti-union laws confining you to strike over pay and benefits, you have brilliantly made it clear that your strike is against the entire pro-corporate agenda wrecking public education across the country.

Here in Washington State, a billionaire-backed campaign in support of charter schools recently spent $6 a signature to put a referendum on the ballot (Initiative 1240) in November. Public schools in our state are also facing a dire situation of budget cuts, layoffs, and furloughs. But the work you have done is delivering a powerful blow to the agenda of big business, and their representatives in the Democratic and Republican parties. Your chants as you march on the streets of Chicago are reverberating from coast to coast. You have helped turn a new page in this country.

Our campaign stands with you. Our running for the state House is a grassroots effort inspired by the Occupy movement. We are using the campaign platform to speak out against the massive cuts to education and health care in this state, and exposing both the Republican and Democratic Parties as servants of corporate interests. We are calling for corporations and the super-wealthy to be taxed and for education to be fully funded, free, and high quality.

We will be highlighting your struggle in all our public statements. We are urging all unions and progressives to organize solidarity demonstrations and strikes in support of the Chicago Teachers Union. We are asking all our supporters to email and call Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Obama’s office to urge them to accept your very reasonable demands. As you know, Emanuel is one of Obama’s top fundraisers, and so far Obama has remained silent on this outrageous attack on the Chicago teachers. This shows very vividly that the Democratic Party’s true loyalty lies with Corporate America and Wall Street, not working people. Thank you for demonstrating that workers must stand up for ourselves and build strong fighting unions and protest movements to defend ourselves.

Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help your cause.

In Solidarity,

Kshama Sawant

Paid for by Vote Sawant / P.O. Box 85862, Seattle, WA 98145. Candidate party preference: Socialist Altern.

*Listed for identification purposes only

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