Promptly at 10 a.m., July 2, the 2018 NEA Representative Assembly convened for its 156th annual business meeting in Minneapolis. More than 950 delegates from California made the trip to join more than 6,200 fellow educators from around the country to set education policy just days after the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision that sided with corporate interests over working people, threatening the future of workers’ rights.
In addition to the Janus decision, this year’s RA follows a year of tremendous teacher activism, as educators from West Virginia to Arizona stood with parents, students, and community groups to demand more resources for students and better working conditions to attract and retain caring, committed, qualified educators.
Delegates welcomed Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivor-turned-activist David Hogg as he joined NEA President Lily Eskelsen García during her state of the union address. He delivered a passionate, power-punched and engaging plea for reform on the use of weapons to end gun violence.
“America, hear our prayer!” he urged. “We are young, and that means we’re not going to accept the status quo and we never will. We intend to bring truth to power,” said Hogg, whose mother is a 20-year veteran and former CTA member. “Let me be very clear, we are not against the Constitution or the Second Amendment. We want a safe country, safe schools and safe reunions.”
Watch the powerful video of his remarks.
Additionally, RA delegates welcomed and heard from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFSCME President Lee Saunders.
The RA is the top decision-making body for the more than 3 million-member National Education Association, where delegates adopt the strategic plan and budget, resolutions, legislative program and other policies of the organization. NEA’s RA is also the world’s largest democratic deliberative body.
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