Dear HEA Members,
Congratulations to all of us on an amazing Day of Action! We stood strong together with colleagues, students, families, and other supporters to send a clear message to Olympia that we expect them to keep their promises to fully fund public education! You can see photos of our day on the HEA Facebook Page.
Well over 1,000 of us were out sign-waving at picket sites yesterday morning, joined by students and families, and the community was overwhelmingly supportive! Drivers matched our enthusiasm with honks, waves, thumbs-ups, and fist pumps; supporters such as retirees and classified staff brought treats; the Starbucks employees at one site even sent out "make your own iced latte" supplies to us. It's clear that our community appreciates that we are fighting for the funding needed to provide the great education our students deserve.
We were also out in force in the afternoon, as waves of walkers streamed into Moshier Park and filled the bleachers and baseball diamond for the It's Time Rally. Many thanks to the amazing musicians and singers who set the tone for us -- and to the inspiring educators, students, parents, and guests who shared their stories. State Reps. Tina Orwall and Steve Bergquist urged us to keep up our efforts, saying that they are making a real difference in Olympia. King County Councilman Dave Upthegrove and Highline School Board President Bernie Dorsey were also in attendance, as was WEA Executive Director Armand Tiberio and Everett EA President Jared Kink.
What's next? First, all of us should continue to send messages to our legislators that we expect them to fully fund McCleary and Initiative 1351, honoring both the will of the voters and their own promises to students. Emails can be sent from http://ourvoicewashingtonea.org/ or call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Then, we must continue to be active locally -- attending School Board meetings, stepping up to help with HEA's Bargaining Support Team -- advocating for local change and actions in support of Highline students and educators, as well.
We did it -- together! A huge thank you goes to everyone who stepped up and took on leadership roles. Without you, yesterday would not have been the success that it was. Thank you, as well, to all of you -- who showed up with smiles, enthusiasm, positive attitudes and such great energy! I could not be more proud to represent all of you as HEA President, and I look forward to our continued great work ahead!