Progressive Democrats of America Statement of Solidarity with the Striking Teachers in Los Angeles
By, Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America
The Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) stand in full solidarity with the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), who have gone out on strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
We feel that this strike is a landmark expression of working class empowerment in 21st Century America. The teachers of LAUSD have decided to strike not only to protest inadequate wages, but also the impossible working conditions that deprive their students of the quality education they seek to provide.
This strike reveals to the region, the state, the country, and the world that the strategy of relying on the market to improve education is a failure. Los Angeles has been ground zero in the experiment of privatizing public schools. Now, the results are here for all to see: massive class sizes, understaffed schools, overworked and underpaid teachers; and, all too often, failing students.
This strike is a clarion call against a system that pretends that privatization can solve social problems; when in reality all it does is line the pockets of the super-rich, at the expense of working people and non-wealthy communities.
This strike arrives in the wake of the powerful and successful teachers strikes that swept through the country this past year in states like West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and elsewhere. While the strike in LA has many similarities with those actions, this strike is different, if only because it is not happening in a state dominated by the reactionary Republican Party. Los Angeles, California is a city in a region in a state controlled by the Democratic Party.
We, at PDA, are Progressive Democrats and we know that real Democrats don’t flinch when it comes to supporting the working class – and, in this case, that means supporting the great people who have chosen to be teachers, the most important public service in any society; as well as supporting the students of UTLA, overwhelmingly from working class households in communities of color.
Therefore, we call upon all Democrats to do the right thing and stand with the teachers, and for the students; and stand against all those who have effectively defunded public schools in Southern California by supporting Charter Schools. We need to be serious about providing the highest-quality education to all students through the public school system. That’s what the Democratic Party stood for in the mid-20th Century; and it has be what the party stands for in 2019!. This means being serious about allocating the necessary resources so teachers can be supported – so that they can teach and their pupils can learn. This means supporting the striking teachers of UTLA!
Solidarity with the Teachers of Los Angeles! See you on the picket line,
Progressive Democrats of America