Arizona Education Association

Winter 2020

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4 ADVOCATE | WINTER 2020 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe Thomas Joseph H. Thomas, President Arizona Education Association s this challenging year began to wrap up I set aside time on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to reflect upon 2020 and upon what I should give thanks. Family, of course, is first. Some of you work at schools my own children attend. Some are colleagues of Valerie. Some of you work or worked alongside me (and taught me much). For all of you, past and present, I am thankful. Most recently, I'm thankful that you asked Arizona voters to stand with us to invest critical resources into our schools. They listened. I'm also thankful you gave Betsy DeVos her walking papers. I'm thankful for your hard work, dedication, and boundless creativity during a pandemic and, too often, in the face of district policies and decisions that challenge your safety. And I will be thankful when we find the way for more in the community to better see the long hours you are working, what risks you are taking daily, and what sacrifices you are making to meet the needs of your students without risking their safety or yours. I'm thankful that AEA is a member-driven union that has inspired the nation twice with our #RedForEd and #InvestInEd victories for our public schools. We have accomplished much for our students, our colleagues, and ourselves over the past three years. You have shown the courage and commitment necessary to create better schools and better opportunities for our students. That benefits all of us. That same courage is necessary now as we continue to advocate for safe schools to work, teach, and learn in. There's an old union axiom, "an injury to one is an injury to all." It is the bedrock of unionism and calls us to tend to each other's needs. We must remember that only by standing together can we achieve the level of safety we need. It's not enough that one classroom, one worksite, or one district is safe. All schools must be safe, for each of us and every one of our students. That will be our next victory. Finally, I'm thankful that you continue to be educators who believe in the potential of your students and—the key element in making our victories possible—believe in the potential of yourselves. And it is that belief that I am most thankful for. AEA OFFICERS Joe Thomas President Marisol Garcia Vice President Angela Philpot Treasurer AEA STAFF Luis A. Heredia Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising The AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602- 264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887. Email: AEA's website may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. The AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Moving? Please let us know before you go. Simply clip your mailing label from the back of the Advocate and send it along with your new address to: AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532

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