Today, we are writing this open letter to our friends, neighbors, and state politicians. Over the past couple of weeks, democratic representatives have walked out of the State House and are taking a stand against legislation that will have long-term ramifications on Hoosier families. We applaud them for there tenacity and courage. The working families in Indiana will never forget their decision.
The common threads on the bills before them are singular – they enhance the powerful and erode the rights and privileges of working families and their children. So-called right-to-work legislation is a thinly veiled attempt to silence the voices of Indiana working people. The legislation at creating more charter schools and diverting already scarce funds out of the public school system and into pseudo-regulated private enterprise can only damage the future of education in Indiana. These things cannot be taken lightly.
We are in a unique position in time. Men and women that will probably not be here to see the results of their decision-making are determining what the future holds for our children and future generations. That is unfortunate and the stakes are high. These decisions will affect the social, economic and life building abilities of our children and grandchildren. There can be no future without access to a decent and affordable education. There can be no viable future for families without the ability to make a living wage. There can be no future for a house built on sand.
The state of working families is in the hands of the Indiana legislature. Think hard before you cast that vote against us. Deliberate long and realize that after your last election is over, Hoosiers across the state will live by these acts for better or for worse. Lastly, choose wisely the legacy you leave our children.
USW Local Union 809 President, Jeff Hooker
USW Local Union 5840 President, Russ Oberg
USW Local Union 9550 President, Chuck Owens
USW Local Union 6805 President, Rick Richardson
USW Local Union 905 President, Tina Smythe
USW Local Union 12273 President, Frank Troyer
USW Local Union 1052 President, Nena Defeberche