Defending Our Values

If he has accomplished nothing else since taking office, President Trump has made it clear that the values our union stands for are under attack as never before. His cabinet selections oppose public education, want to scuttle the Affordable Care Act, and support the notion that some people are more equal than others when it comes to equal protection of the law.

The AFT remains undaunted in our commitment to protecting and expanding the American pathway to success and security—including a fair and vibrant economy that offers good jobs and a ladder of opportunity to all; a public education system that nurtures children in a safe learning environment and is adequately supported, not defunded or privatized; a system of public higher education that is affordable and inclusive and promotes free inquiry, not ideological tests; democratic values rooted in pluralism and equality, with a free press, an independent judiciary and a thriving labor movement; a healthcare system that provides all Americans with access to affordable, high-quality care; and dignity and respect for every person, with freedom from discrimination, bigotry and bullying.

As we fight back against the new Trump administration and fight forward for what’s essential to our members and those we serve, our operating principle will be to connect with our members and allies and engage them in meeting the many challenges presented by this presidency. By fighting for the values that define us, and our mission, we will rebuild the trust of others in every community who share our values and can become valuable allies in the fight ahead.

Now is the time to take action. There are more votes to come, and inevitably more executive orders that threaten our values, undermine our American sense of fairness, or trample on our Constitution. So we must stay engaged in this fight and be ready to mobilize.

SAVING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Republicans in the House of Representatives have finally released their version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans are determined to turn everything in our healthcare system into a corporate profit center. If they succeed in this repeal effort, they not only will make healthcare inaccessible to millions of Americans, they also will hurt Medicare and Medicaid. They seem determined to “Make America Sick Again.” We will be working with allies in Congress and elsewhere to try to keep that from happening.

 

 

PROTECTING PUBLIC EDUCATION

We made history in the fight against Betsy DeVos by forcing the vice president, for the first time ever, to break a tie vote on the confirmation of a cabinet secretary. In the process, we saw an unprecedented national mobilization in support of public education. Watch this section for more updates on the fight to protect public education.AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Confirmation of Betsy DeVos

  • Fact sheet: Private School Vouchers Don't Help Kids
  • Educate other AFT members and get them to commit to this fight for great neighborhood public schools.
    • On Jan. 9, AFT President Randi Weingarten delivered a major education speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., laying out a vison for high-quality public education for all—with great neighborhood schools that welcome and include students of all backgrounds, identities, origins and abilities. Watch Weingarten’s speech
  • Bring your local elected officials into the discussion. They have direct investments in local public schools and a keen interest in seeing that they succeed and remain under the control of locally elected officials.

    Ask your school board, city council and local labor council to adopt the sample resolutions below.

  • Get more information on #PublicSchoolProud, our new campaign that helps members and parents show off the great things happening every day in our schools.

 

OPPOSING THE NEIL GORSUCH SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

This could be Donald Trump’s most worrying nomination yet: Judge Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch has ruled again and again on the side of big money and corporate special interests—and against the rest of us. His record includes denying American women the right to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act and depriving students with disabilities of the full protections of the IDEA. Time after time, he’s put corporate power and profits ahead of the health, safety, and rights of American workers. The Senate needs to take a careful look at Gorsuch’s record because he could be the swing vote on the court for decades to come.

 

THREATS TO IMMIGRANTS

President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigrants and refugees run counter to the AFT’s long-standing positions on these issues. We oppose these orders, the racist and xenophobic logic that underlies them, the havoc they have created in the lives of those affected, and the damage they have done to America’s standing in the world and to our national security. The section below has information and resources to fight back against these order.

Read more on the AFT’s “Protecting our students” page on AFT.org.

Train-the-trainer curriculum and materials

Our members want to fight back and stand up for their students. But they need our guidance on how to do it. To help, the AFT has developed a training curriculum and materials designed to teach activists about their rights as educators during immigration enforcement raids; prepare educators to train their colleagues on their rights and the rights of their students; and help educators develop school-specific plans for how to handle immigration raids in their communities.

Additional resources

 

OTHER EVENTS THAT ARE PART OF OUR FIGHT

  • March 20 - Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings begin
  • Week of March 20 - House floor vote on ACHA/Trump Care
  • March 23 - Affordable Care Act Anniversary Day of Action. Check this site for events.
  • April 10-21. Next congressional recess.

Want to join the resistance while your members of Congress are home for recess?

Tens of thousands of parents, teachers, students and community members took action to reclaim our public schools on Jan. 19. Read more about the day of action.

What does it mean to be #AFTAllin?

  • #AFTAllin means picking ourselves up, extending a hand to our neighbors and our colleagues, and recommitting ourselves to the task of fighting for an America where everyone has a fair chance. 
  • #AFTAllin is about joining together so that no one is demonized, threatened, or excluded. 
  • #AFTAllin is how we lift each other up rather than let anyone push any of us down. 
  • #AFTAllin means that we bring a renewed passion and a sense of urgency to the fight to strengthen the institutions that support democracy - like our schools, our public services and our unions - and we double-down on our efforts to engage and mobilize our members, and speak-out for the communities we serve.