When Was the Last Time You Talked to Your Legislators?
Meeting with State Senator Toni Boucher (3rd from right) were local Association leaders Ronna Van Veghel, New Canaan; Vivian Birdsall, New Canaan; Jeanne Deming, Ridgefield; Al Robinson, Bethel; Cynthia Rohr, Redding; John Horrigan, Westport; and Andrew Nicsaji, Wilton.
February 16, 2017
Do your state senator and state representative know who you are? Thanks to a meeting over coffee on a recent Saturday, Senator Toni Boucher now knows the names and faces of leaders of each of the local CEA affiliates in the towns that she represents.
And Boucher knows that those seven local presidents and vice presidents represent over 3,000 teachers who vote and are strong advocates for their students and their profession.
The local presidents talked with Boucher, who serves as the Republican Senate Chair of the Education Committee, about teachers' priorities for this legislative session—particularly emphasizing the need for the state to invest in all public schools. Other priorities the teachers mentioned included pensions, teacher evaluation, and transparency for charter management organizations.
"Teachers need to spend more time talking to their legislators and not just talking to each other," said Westport President and NEA Director John Horrigan. "You have to stop preaching to the choir. You have to talk with the people who are going to be making important decisions and let them know how you feel."
The teachers thanked Boucher for her time and were happy to know she valued their perspectives.
If you are interested in setting up a meeting with your state senator or representative, contact CEA Political Action Coordinator Chris Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-525-5641.
Another opportunity to speak up and share your views with legislators comes this Tuesday, February 21. The Appropriations Committee—the legislature's budget writing committee—will hold a public hearing on the governor's budget proposals. If you want to testify and share with legislators how the governor's proposals would effect your school, contact CEA Legislative Coordinator Susan Williams at email@example.com or 860-525-5641.