Action Now parents and community members have been active in the fight for better neighborhood public schools for years, so on the night of September 18th they were excited to celebrate the teachers’ contract victory and the end of the strike. Action Now leader Marsha Godard was interviewed on ABC News as soon as she got the news about the strike ending, “”I’m elated. I’m ecstatic. I’m so glad that the teachers got what they rightfully deserved. They fought a good fight. And they won. And I’m happy for them. I’m happy for the students.”
Action Now President and LSC Vice President Michelle Young spoke at a candlelight celebration that same night, saying, “We support our teachers. We’re going to continue to support our teachers. I’m talking to our teachers, don’t you give up. Because when you fight, we fight. When you hurt, we hurt. When you hurt, my children hurt.”
The morning before the strike ended, Action Now members held a press conference, rally and march to show support for striking teachers in their quest for better public schools and to call on CPS and the Mayor to stop neglecting schools in low-income minority neighborhoods. The press conference and rally were held on September 18th at one of Action Now’s solidarity schools (The Mirror Project at 1847 S. Pulaski) to demonstrate the role of community organizations in the strike. A solidarity school is a safe learning environment run by CTU allies, where children could go during the strike so that parents could go to work. Our solidarity schools were staffed by Action Now members that volunteered to help support students, teachers and parents during the strike.
Speakers at the press conference included parents of CPS students, volunteers at the solidarity school and a lunchroom worker. They proclaimed their support for Chicago teachers that were striking and demanded that CPS and the Mayor give teachers a fair contract.
After the press conference there was a march from our solidarity school to Penn Elementary who’s building is slowly being taken over by KIPP charter school. There are clear inequities between the resources in the charter school and the neighborhood public school even though they are in the same building, which is an important issue in the teachers’ strike.
ABC News, “Parents split on strike; rallies held for/against teachers” (video of Action Now and quote by Action Now member Windy Pearson”
ABC News, “Chicago Teachers’ Strike: 2nd week wears on parents, students” (Action Now’s solidarity school featured and member Windy Pearson interviewed)
Chicago Sun-Times, “‘Shadow strikers’ marched with CTU” (Article on the role of community organizations in the teachers strike. Action Now is a convening member of the Grassroots Collaborative)
People’s World, “Parents and students back Chicago teachers” (Mentions Action Now rally and quotes Ms. Pearson)
Indybay, “Chicago’s teachers end strike” (Mentions Action Now rally and quotes Ms. Pearson)