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Join Us in Supporting the Los Angeles Teachers' Strike!
Source Alan Benjamin
Date 19/01/18/16:49

*Join Us in Supporting the Los Angeles Teachers' Strike!*


JANUARY 14, 2019 — This morning, 34,000 Los Angeles teachers walked out on
strike to defend public education against the privatization agenda of
Austin Beutner, a former investment banker and current superintendent of
the L.A. Unified School District — the second-largest school district in
the country.

The demands of the teachers' union — United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)
— include a 6.5 percent pay increase, smaller class sizes, more funding
for school counselors, nurses, and librarians, and a cap on the
proliferation of charter schools throughout their city

We write this memo to urge all our supporters to extend your support to the
Los Angeles educators, who are in the fight of their lives in defense of
public education, the cornerstone of our democracy. At the conclusion of
this presentation, you will find a Fund Appeal from the Alliance to Reclaim
our Schools (AROS), which is working in close coordination with UTLA and
the American Federation of Teachers to raise funds to support the strike.

*"The Stakes of the Strike Are Extremely High"*

Editorial writer Danny Feingold, writing in the *Capital and Main *magazine
(Jan. 10, 2019), described the meaning of this strike:

"The stakes [of the strike] are extremely high not only for teachers,
students and parents in L.A., but for public education across the U.S.
... Sometimes strikes are exactly what they seem to be – battles over wages
and working conditions, with relatively few implications for anything or
anyone else. But sometimes a strike is about something much bigger: a
fundamental clash over vision and values, with repercussions that extend
far beyond the warring parties. Call it a meta-strike."

This is a "meta-strike" first and foremost because it is challenging the
corporate drive — promoted by both Democrats and Republicans — to dismantle
public education.

Superintendent Austin Beutner, a Democrat and former deputy mayor of Los
Angeles who heads the school district, was not appointed to this position
because of his academic skills: he never claimed to have any," Feingold
writes. "He [Beutner] is a businessman who made his fortune in an
investment company, Blackstone, before founding Evercore Partners, an
investment bank. And that is precisely why he was chosen: for his
experience and qualities in the field of brutal restructuring in the
private sector!"

"As a result," Feingold continues, "Beutner has become the most popular
figure in the nationwide movement demanding the uncontrolled restructuring
of public schools. Beutner hired a consultant, Cami Anderson, who used to
work in Newark, N.J., where she was the head of the city's public schools.
It had imposed a restructuring plan, organizing 32 'school networks' that
it managed like a portfolio of shares on the stock market. It resulted in
keeping the 'good' schools, and simply closing the 'bad' ones, just as in
the stock market one gets rid of unprofitable economic sectors.

"In Newark," Feingold adds, "Anderson was behind the closure of many local
schools, massive dismissals of teachers and principals ... and finally a
revolt by the parents of students who eventually drove her out of the city!"

The strike of the Los Angeles teachers is also taking on the L.A. Board of
Education, which was bought in a multi-million-dollar election campaign
funded by charter school foundations and other corporate entities (like the
Eli Broad Foundation) — all of which got their head start under Arne
Duncan, President Obama's secretary of Education.

This is also a "meta-strike" because it extends the 2018 wave of teachers'
strikes that erupted in the "red states" (West Virginia, Kentucky Oklahoma,
Arizona) into the "blue state" of California.

UTLA President Alex put it this way: “Educators across the country are
rising up like we have never seen before. We find ourselves in a defining

It is, indeed, a defining moment for the entire labor movement. The
strikers in the "red states" won most of their demands because of their
tenacity. The obstacles in Los Angeles — particularly the obstacle of the
Democratic Party — are perhaps greater. But with the support of working
people and their unions and community organizations all across the country,
the L.A. teachers can win their demands.

They must win!

Presentation by:
The Organizing Committee of the
Labor Community Campaign for
an Independent Party (LCCIP)

* * * * *

*National Call for Solidarity with the Strike of the Los Angeles Educators
and Their Union (UTLA*)

On behalf of Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

*We Are ALL LA! — Join Us This Week*

After nearly two years of bargaining, the teachers in Los Angeles walked
out of their classrooms on January 14 in the first major mobilization for
education justice of 2019.

This strike is about so much more than salaries. Teachers are demanding
education justice. They want smaller class sizes, more counselors,
librarians and nurses. They are demanding funding for community schools and
less testing. They are demanding an end to disruptive and humiliating
random searches of students in their schools.

This strike can be the opening salvo for a nationwide demand for the
schools all our students deserve.

We need you to help shine a spotlight on Los Angeles. Because in fact,

*We Are All LA!*

Here are 4 things you can do this week to help.

*1. Give to the Los Angeles Teacher/Parent Strike Solidarity Fund*

Reclaim Our Schools LA (ROSLA) is the labor/community coalition that has
been ensuring that the demands and aspirations of students, parents,
educators and school staff are at the forefront of the fight in Los
Angeles. If there is a strike, ROSLA will be engaging parents and community
in support of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and the broader,
collective campaign for the schools all our students deserve. ROSLA
members will be on the picket lines, supporting the students, paying visits
to decision-makers, and taking action against some of the billionaire
corporate actors that are destroying public education in Los Angeles—and it
cities across the country.

AROS has helped establish a Solidarity Fund to support this work and make
sure the demands being put forward in Los Angeles are heard across the

*Please make a contribution to the Solidarity Fund at this link

For more information on ROSLA, go to

*2. Share This Link Through Social Media*

Please spread the word about the Solidarity Fund. Share the link with
partner organizations, other education justice advocates, and on social

*3. Wear Red*

Take a selfie of yourself and your friends wearing RED and post it on
social media!

Help us send our pro-education, pro-community schools, pro-justice message
to reverberate all over the country.

Let us support the bold action of parents, educators, students and school
personnel as they take to the streets in Los Angeles this week. Their
struggle is our struggle.

*We Are All LA.*

Thank you for your help. Let us struggle in solidarity as we fight for
justice, and for the schools ALL our students deserve.

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

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