(This article appeared in an issue of the Ohio Education Association magazine)
(Earlier this year) hundreds of OEA members from across the state gathered at OEA headquarters to march to the Ohio Statehouse to take part in the Working People’s Day of Action rally.
National Education Association (NEA) Vice President Becky Pringle and OEA member Gina Daniels (Licking Heights) joined other local and national union leaders in addressing the crowd of 3,500 at the Columbus rally, part of a national day of action being held in 10 cities across the U.S. to fight back against attacks on workers. Pringle said Ohio, and the Midwest in general, seem to be at the epicenter of the attacks on workers, despite also being at the epicenter of the birth and expansion of unions. She said Ohio was an important place for her to be to talk about both that history and the future. ????????
Speaking to those gathered at the statehouse, Pringle said, "We are in the fight of our lives to save the very institution that was designed to be that great equalizer, that engine of opportunity in a democratic society.
"These well funded forces who are attacking us understand that an educated citizenry gets in the way of their goal. They are doing everything that they can to strip away our ability to raise that 21st century generation of critical thinkers who value collaboration and community and social justice.
"That’s why workers across this great state and throughout the nation are rising up and saying, enough!
OEA President Becky Higgins said the Working People’s Day of Action was a call to action to remind the citizens of Ohio just how important unions have been to creating a strong middle class that has, in turn, created a strong Ohio.
"We want to remind people how important unions have been not just to union members, but also to Ohioans at large," Higgins said.
The OEA worked in partnership with AFSCME and other local unions and community groups for the Day of Action to give voice to the need to protect the middle class and speak up for the rights of all working Americans.