State of the Union


State of the Union 2022

The last two years have been a time of unprecedented crises: A global pandemic. Climate change.  Culture wars. Gun violence. Attacks on our democracy. And, for many, a renewed awareness of the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its inception. In the face of so much prolonged struggle, we could just give up. But at the AFT, we rise up. We band together with our community partners and move forward.

We fight for good jobs for all, in workplaces that are safe, welcoming and equitable. We fight for resources—including staffing—that enable us to do our best work for our students, patients and the public. We achieve these things through solution-driven unionism: by bargaining contracts, negotiating with employers and partnering with our communities. When we have to, we agitate, rallying and even going on strike, not just for ourselves, but for those we serve.

Every moment in history can be viewed through a lens of hope or fear, aspiration or anger. The extremists want to turn back the clock: to squelch voting rights, labor rights and reproductive rights. They want to stoke resentment and fear instead of appreciating the strength our diversity.

As we so often say: Together, we can accomplish what is impossible to do alone. Aspiration overtakes fear each time we engage with our communities. When we connect families to the candidates who care about their issues—like well-resourced schools, healthcare and public services—we are strengthening our democracy and our labor movement.

As the State of the Union 2020–2022 demonstrates with myriad examples, we are the aspiration agents.