I am member of DSEA Retired—even though I am not yet retired, (I am 0n a leave of absence from teaching) and even though I am not planning on retirement for a few more years. Back in 2010, they made an offer for lifetime membership that I could not refuse. In the most recent issue of NEA Today: This Active Life/ The Magazine for Retired Members, the editors polled members to find out more about their engagement in election year activities. They asked the question: “What activities, large or small, will you undertake this election year to promote and support public education?” One retired member, Alan Holland of Salem, Oregon, sent the following response.
I will again do for this election cycle what I have done since retiring 10 years ago:
- I will read up on issues so I can vote and talk with acquaintances intelligently.
- I will meet candidates, discus their positions on education, share my views, and urge their support.
- I will support pro-public education issues and candidates with donations and register voters, canvass (neighborhoods), work phone banks, and volunteer to strategically place and deliver signs where requested.
- I will remain active as a precinct committee person with my political party, seeking to influence candidates and others for the common good and betterment of public education.
- I will share my enthusiasm and live with pride for my contribution to the lives of thousands as a public school teacher.
- I will personally thank teachers and school board members I meet for their contributions to public schools.
- I will not let disparaging remarks about public schools or teachers pass without a positive, informed response.
- Finally, I will strive to remain positive and pleasant in my relations as I work in the activities listed above.
WOW! Talk about words of wisdom and dedication. I hope that there are hundreds and thousands of members, retired and active, who understand their roles in American political process this clearly, and who make even a portion of the commitment that this fellow describes. I am impressed—and inspired.
Just thought that this was worth sharing. I have been a politically active citizen since I turned 18. I would never miss an election or an opportunity to express my views and support by participating in voting for a candidate or issue. This is what democracy looks like.