I’ve never been to an evening rally before. Last night NYSUT held one on the lawn outside the state capitol. It was dark, there was a soft breeze, and the people there to support funding for education held neon yellow glow sticks high in the air to light up the night.
“It’s a beautiful sight to see how we light up the darkness against ignorance,” said Andy Pallotta, NYSUT executive vice president, who oversees legislative activism.
A lone bagpiper played in the center of the lawn while activists quietly marched around the capitol.
Teachers, professors, professional staff from different campuses, and teacher assistants were among those marching.
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi, who has raised his voice at many rallies this year, spoke in a subdued tone about how this event was being held to “bear witness” to the pain being felt by students, teachers, and workers throughout the state.
“It’s our responsibility to bear witness to that pain and deliver the message about sacrifice….Kids, schools and communities are sacrificing. The wealthy are not…”
Those at the rally were there to show there’s been “a failure of the state to meet its obligation.”
Right now– Tuesday– those same rally goers are visiting lawmakers to impress upon them the importance of funding education, and letting them know all that has already been sacrificed. It’s time to extend the millionaire’s tax.