"The march and rally are about hitting the streets and taking concrete action to change our nation to once again become the place where everyone has a shot at the American dream."
WASHINGTON—Thousands of members of the American Federation of Teachers will be joining labor and community allies on Saturday for the March for Jobs and Justice in Washington, D.C., to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and to continue his fight for educational opportunity, economic justice and civil rights.
The AFT, a co-sponsor of the march, will be joined by community leaders, parents, students, and a diverse contingent of labor and human rights organizations, including the National Action Network, the National Council of La Raza, the Urban League, the National Education Association, the Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the AFL-CIO.
"We are in the midst of a major economic crisis. Millions of Americans are jobless, our schools and infrastructure are under-resourced, our kids are being denied real educational opportunities and their futures are at risk. It's no wonder that people are frustrated," said AFT President Randi Weingarten, a featured speaker at the rally. "The march and rally are about hitting the streets and taking concrete action to change our nation to once again become the place where everyone has a shot at the American dream."
The AFT is one of the groups leading a national call to action to fight for passage of President Obama's American Jobs Act. Tuesday's defeat in the Senate is a temporary setback, but the fight is not over. Weingarten said, " It would put nearly 2 million Americans back to work; prevent more than 280,000 teacher layoffs; enable school districts to hire and/or rehire early child educators, counselors, paraprofessionals, literacy coaches and tutors; and fix 35,000 schools in need of renovations and repairs, as well as roads and bridges. Additionally, it would provide employment opportunities and training for some of the 6 million youth who have lost jobs during the recession."
AFT affiliates across the country also are promoting the jobs act through the AFT's Bake Sale for America's Future, a reminder that our children and communities can't rely on bake sales to give us the resources to create great schools.