Quolke's Corner 11/8/11

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Since February we all have known that Senate Bill 5 is unfair, unsafe, and harms families. Today citizens of Ohio overwhelmingly proved that.
The citizens of Ohio have vetoed Senate Bill 5. Issue 2 has been defeated.
Tonight, all over the nation firefighters, teachers, police officers, nurses, bus drivers, hard working men and women are cheering - because in Ohio our citizens vetoed a law that would have taken away the voice of teachers, firefighters, police officers and the workers of this state. They vetoed a law that would have made communities less safe and would have hurt families in every part of this state.
By using their citizen’s veto, Ohioans said loud and clear: “We do not turn our backs on the people who watch our backs.”
We thank the citizens of Ohio for using the power of their vote to veto this legislation and for the first time in our nation’s history upholding collective bargaining rights on a statewide ballot.
Many people have been looking forward to November 9th and getting a break from the last hectic months….if only that could be the case. Tomorrow the work starts again. The problems of Ohio’s economy still exist. A Republican run House, Senate, and Governor’s mansion still exists. Demonization of educators still exists. Today we can be proud of the hard work that we put in to this citizen’s veto. Today we can hope that this veto sends a message to our legislature and Governor that Ohioans will not stand for attacks on the working people of Ohio, the middle class, and collective bargaining rights. Tomorrow we go back to work. Tomorrow we must continue the coalition that was formed by workers all throughout Ohio. Tomorrow we must work with state legislators to do what is right for Ohio.
Next week I begin meeting with Republican legislators and I’m starting with those legislators that attended the October 25th board meeting to voice support for Issue 2. We have shown that we are not part of the problem, but rather part of the solution and must begin that dialog immediately. 
I want to thank the 2,000 CTU volunteers that phone banked, labor walked, were a part of the petition drive, and community education that led to the citizens Veto of Senate Bill 5. Over 500,000 phone calls (yes that number really is half a million) were made out of the CTU Offices alone. Tens of thousands of doors were knocked on as we did what we do best - talk to citizens and educate. I am proud of the so many people who helped turn this Moment into a Movement.
Special thanks to Michele Pomerantz who led the Cleveland Teachers Union effort to defeat Issue 2 and repeal Senate Bill 5. Her organization, relentless energy, and passion made CTU a leader in this citizen’s veto and was crucial to our overwhelming support and success in Cuyahoga County and throughout the state. Special thanks also to Team Awesome (Pat Zawadski, Danny Kelly, Hazel Hicks, Tom Luvison, and Pam Hummer), Kurt Richards, the members of the Executive Board, and all of the people that are still answering the phone when Michele Pomerantz calls. You knew every time you answered your phone when she called from Labor Day to today it meant she was asking you to come to a labor walk, a phone bank, a press conference, a trip to Columbus, etc. and you still continued to answer your phone. 
To all CTU members, this is a great night and a great victory. Tomorrow we go back to work.
In Union,