July 16, 2006

NEA Representative Assembly--Orlando

The NEA held it's representative assembly in Orlando over the 4th of July holiday. The major peace and justice issuses that came up were as follows...* We asked President Reg Weaver what the NEA had done in the previous year after we adopted a call for a timetable for withdrawl from Iraq at the last rep. assembly. The President admitted on the floor of the RA that the national leadership had not yet taken any action on that New Business Item. Supposedly, the leadership will try to do something this year but there are no promises. (My own editorial comment here: This is frustrating when the elected body of representatives votes for such a commitment by our organization and then one year later nothing has been done. I urge you to e-mail President Reg Weaver and express your concern. Kudos to Andy Griggs from California for asking the question at RA!)* We failed to get a new business item discussed on the floor asking for a pull out of the troops. It was met with the old "Object to Consideration" trick. I should say that the body was pretty well split on the issue however.* We did get a commitment to give NEA's assistance (and some money) to assist the striking teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico.* Iowa's delegation raised a large amount of money to send to schools in Chiapas, Mexico. A big thanks to Muscatine's Carol Kula who donated $30 a month to the cause!* Another issue that was debated was whether the NEA should sponser/co-sponser a march on Washington D.C. to try and influence the nation and Supreme Court over the desegregation case that will be heard next year. This case could alter the desegregation plans of schools around the country. The R.A. did not feel it necessary to sponser a march based on a huge cost estimate and a doubt on some peoples' part that marches are effective anymore. Instead the NEA is filing an amicus brief with the court.Enrollment in NEA Peace and Justice continues to grow. In our Iowa delegation we signed up more people than we had last year thanks to the velvet touch of Tom Wolfe.

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