It rained pretty hard in Madison at the first annual WEAC Region 6 back-to-school party at the Henry Vilas Zoo on October 14, but we had a great time anyway. All Region 6 members and their guests were invited to stop in under Region 6’s big tent for donuts, coffee, cider, carousel and train rides, face painting, bean bag toss, button making and door prizes. Lots of you took us up on the invitation. I hope you had as much fun as I did.
If a party at a zoo seems like an unusual thing to read about in the union newsletter that is because it is. We are trying new things and brainstorming new ideas. The world is changing, public schools are changing, and our union is changing, too.
We are talking more about our union and what it does. We are becoming more active in our communities, our schools’ governance and local elections. We are trying harder to communicate with the media and the general public to make our voices heard.
Our zoo party is symbolic of these changes and serves as a good illustration. Some members who have difficulty attending our traditional meetings were able to make it to the zoo on October 14, and learned a little bit more about their union and who is in it. We hope to see you and your family at the zoo next year! Mark your calendars for September 29, 2018.
Camaraderie and communication are crucial building blocks in the strength of a democratic, member-run organization like ours. Another first-of-its-kind Region 6 event is taking place November 2 and November 9 in Janesville and Monroe, respectively. We are screening the new, critically acclaimed documentary, “Backpack Full of Cash” for union members and guests. The film is about the devastating impact that school privatization is having on students and communities.
We are able to show the film and host the event for you through an arrangement with the filmmakers and because of financial support from the WEAC Organizing Grant program. Our statewide organization has this program to encourage regions and locals to try new things and take some risks. If the new ideas work then other regions and locals throughout the state will be more likely to replicate them.
I hope you can make it. Even if you can’t, make sure to tell the union members you know about the zoo and the “Backpack Full of Cash” events. Talk to your colleagues about the union and what we are doing, and encourage them to talk to their colleagues, too. That is how we grow and get even stronger.
Please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Region 6 office at 1-800-397-2287, with questions and suggestions. And, if you can, join me for zoo and a movie.
President of WEAC Region 6