Yesterday while at Mesa College I encountered paid signature gatherers near the I-400 building collecting signatures from students for the initiatives that would take away our pensions, remove our voice from the political process, redistrict the state so allies of Schwarzenegger could more easily be elected to the legislature, and weaken tenure rights of teachers.
It is appalling that this is happening on our own campus! I understand that these paid signature gatherers are allowed to be on campus due to free speech requirements, however, we also have free speech rights, and we can–and indeed we must–dissuade our students from signing petitions that attack our profession.
I have attached a flier that I urge you to forward and reproduce to give to all of your students, friends, and family members. We must spread the word far outside of our education community about the perils these initiatives hold for all public workers, and that the true intent of these initiatives is to focus the public debate away from the real problems facing the State and the Schwarzenegger administration’s record budget deficit.
Please engage the debate with these paid signature gatherers wherever you encounter them, and hand out copies of the attached flier to would be signers. Also, please immediately call the AFT office at 619-640-1155 if you encounter any of these paid signature gatherers on your campus so we may counter their efforts.
(We are also interested in hiring workers to hand out our message wherever we encounter these paid signature gatherers. If you know of anyone who may be interested I working for us at the rate of $10/hour, please have them call the AFT office. Interested persons must be able to handle conflict.)
MESA COLLEGE FACULTY AND STAFF: I just received word that these signature gatherers are again collecting signatures outside of the I-400 building. Please come out and help our AFT staff who are present dissuade students from signing the petitions.
(Please do NOT reply to this email. Please send email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.)