Sawant and O’Brien: “If teachers go on Strike on May 1, We’ll Have Your Back!”

by Kshama Sawant and Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Councilmembers

Over the next week, members of the Seattle Education Association (SEA), the union that represents educators in Seattle’s public schools, will be voting on whether to take an important step in defense of public education.

If this vote is approved by the SEA membership, our city’s public school educators will hold a one-day strike on May 1, International Workers’ Day and historically a day of immigrant rights protests.

We applaud the incredible courage Seattle educators are showing in considering strike action on behalf of their students, their schools, and all those in our community under attack from the Trump administrations. Your bold actions are an inspiration for working people everywhere.

May 1 will be a historic day of resistance, with immigrants, women, students, and workers taking the streets across the country. In California, a coalition of SEIU locals, United Service Workers West, and workers center members (nearly 350,000 workers altogether!) are preparing to go on strike.

From the Fight for $15 to the NoDAPL campaign, Seattle’s movements of working people have again and again acted as a catalyst for change nationally. Now, Seattle’s labor movement is helping lead the way on bold May 1 action.

UAW local 4121, which represents graduate student workers at the University of Washington, are also voting on a similar strike action. And importantly, last week, the Martin Luther King County Labor Council passed a resolution in support of local unions taking strike and protest actions on May 1.

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that the state legislature is unconstitutionally failing to fund public education, and yet this outrage has continued for years. Underfunding of public schools impacts students of color in particular, as well as young people from low-income households.

Trump’s budget proposals include major new attacks on public schools, and combined with right-to-work (for less) legislation, the need for bold action from educators has never been greater.

Our students deserve fully funded schools with adequate resources. Seattle’s educators have been willing to take a clear stand for their students and schools, and they deserve our full support.

Let’s send a message of solidarity to educators in Seattle: if you decide to go on strike, we’ll have your back!



3 thoughts on “Sawant and O’Brien: “If teachers go on Strike on May 1, We’ll Have Your Back!””

  1. This is pathetic. Seattle needs to vote in new blood into the City Council. If Killary would have won there wouldn’t be any of this childish behavior going on.

  2. Here is a crazy idea…. Instead of spending our time marching around the streets of seattle, forcing parents (single parents in particular) to find day care for their kids because the teachers decided to take a day off, how about we do something that REALLY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE and start getting democrats elected to state and Federal offices.

    I say this as someone on the very left of the political spectrum; I am really sick and tired of “resisting” what already exists and offers little to NO hope of change. The Occupy Seattle movement “resisted” while the tea party movement went out and got their candidates elected. 8 years later who do people remember? Who was more effective in producing change? Now, not in small part due to their efforts, we have a bunch of crazy Republicans and right wingers in state and Federal offices around the country.

    To offer up as a “resistance” as response to a President who was elected by less than 50% of the country show a lack of vision for what needs to be done. The reason why Sawant is successful is some of her police ventures is NOT from walking around downtown Seattle and encouraging people to do the same. It comes from effecting change A COUNCIL MEMBER who helps craft and write policy. Seattle has done some things in with regard to supporting like minded candidates and I applaud them for it. However if people like Sawant and Obrien put just half the energy into getting like minded candidates into positions where they can draft up and vote on policy, as they do these RIDICULOUS walk-a-thons and strikes, we would be MUCH closer to getting rid of Trump and is band of American oligarchs.

    Wake me when you people are serious about doing something other than burning calories?