Statement from MEA President Steve Cook on Election 2012 outcomes
EAST LANSING, Mich., Nov. 7, 2012 — The following statement regarding the outcomes of yesterday’s elections can be attributed to MEA President Steve Cook:
“School employees across Michigan were more engaged in this election than any other I’ve witnessed, with huge numbers of MEA members volunteering for proposals and candidates over the past weeks. That grassroots activism will continue in communities across this state to advocate for the great public schools that our students and our state need and deserve.
“Proposal 2's defeat is certainly disheartening, but we remain proud of our fight for the right of working families to have a voice. We will continue to advance their cause.
“Last night’s results were not a condemnation of collective bargaining – in poll after poll, we’ve seen that Michiganders believe in collective bargaining. Were it not for the confusing, shameful, dishonest tactics paid for by corporate special interests in this election, it would now be protected in our state constitution. But even without that constitutional protection, MEA will continue to do as we have always done: collectively bargain with local school boards to make decisions in the best interests of students, employees and communities -- and continue to fight against any efforts by the legislature to infringe on our right to do so.
“Beyond Proposal 2, the re-election of President Obama and Senator Stabenow are victories being cheered today by school employees – we look forward to continue our partnership with these two true friends of public education. And Bridget Mary McCormack’s election gives Michigan a Supreme Court justice who believes in protecting our families’ interests ahead of those of corporate CEOs.
“The repeal of the Emergency Manager law and the defeat of the tax supermajority measure show that voters have no appetite for the policies of the extreme right. And that showed in the results of the State House races as well, where voters clearly rejected the House Republican agenda of the past two years: slashing school funding; taxing pensions; gutting the rights of working families; and lining the pockets of CEOs with tax breaks. Too many Republican lawmakers sided with corporate special interests over their own constituents – and their constituents clearly answered.
“A much narrower partisan margin will hopefully lead to moderate, pro-education Republicans having their voices heard more than they have been under the past two years’ extreme leadership. We look forward to working with any and all lawmakers – Republican and Democratic – who are willing to make our students this state’s number one priority.”
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5566