Each injustice, however small, must be confronted. That's how we change history. That's really what the "progress" in "progressive" should mean.
Chicago Public Schools history teacher Jennifer Johnson was tired of watching her colleagues being bashed by out-of-state special interest groups and opportunistic politicians. Many of these groups fashion themselves as being part of some kind of progressive movement and attend cocktail parties on that side of the aisle.
One of these groups from Oregon, calling itself "Stand for Children" used its billionaire-backed coffers to fund a campaign with the progressive activist website Change.org. Change.org hosted a petition by Stand filled with misinformation about the current CTU/CPS contract negotiations.
Johnson was shocked. She fought back.
Students, parents, and school employees won.
Johnson wrote this petition urging Change.org to drop Stand, which received thousands of signers within days.
Initially, Change.org was hesitant to change course.
As the grassroots momentum pushed Johnson's campaign forward, Change.org did the right thing and dropped Stand -- as well as the teacher-bashing group fronted by former embattled D.C. schools boss Michelle Rhee -- from its client list.
Click on the video to watch Jennifer Johnson and her colleagues explain why they signed the petition.
Stand and other out-of-towners are not going anywhere. They now have friends in a new group of "venture philanthropists" who will throw more money into the school privatization trough.
Although those who support strong public schools with strong unions do not have venture capitalist money, a movement of stubborn, persistent, and engaged citizens can take back our schools, our cities, and our world.
Connect. Stand up. Fight back.
Follow Kenzo Shibata on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kenzoshibata