Like many of you, we became educators in a North Carolina that promised a potentially-sustainable
career. We knew we would make sacrifices, but working with young people was worth it, and we could
count on regular raises, decent benefits, and due process protections. Like all of you, we have suffered
through the loss of each one of those additional positives, while it has gotten increasingly difficult to
meet the needs of our students, whose lives grow increasingly unstable.
In the face of those losses, so many of our co-workers have chosen to leave the profession, stay
despite feeling hopeless, or close their doors and focus on their own individual group. Each of these
approaches makes sense. None of them changes anything.
So many others, however, have opened up their doors to support and connect with one another. So
many others have built sustainable school communities. So many others have found hope in one
another, and taken action with each other, our students, and their parents. The movement of educators
sweeping the nation is powerful and hope-inspiring. North Carolina is an important part of that
We are running for leadership of NCAE together because we believe in educators and know that a
strong union is the key to harnessing our power and reclaiming our state from the future-stealing
privatizers who run the General Assembly. We believe in building that power through the development
of strong locals and a strong NCAE to support them. We believe that we can both defend public schools
and transform them into the places that we dream they can be.
We have travelled the state and heard your dreams for the last seven years. In our leadership trainings,
at your local meetings, or in your homes or favorite restaurants, we have asked you what you want your
schools, your NCAE, and your North Carolina to look like. We heard your answer in the Walk Ins, the
Decline 2 Sign campaign, the We Heart Public Schools campaign, and the Bring Wildin Home Now
campaign. We heard it in the streets on May 16 and May 1. We have heard it in dozens of local and
statewide meetings, hundreds of one on one conversations, thousands of emails, and countless social
media posts. We have heard it in professional development and discussions on policy. We have heard it
at the copy machine. We have listened to you and we have fallen even more deeply in love with
educators, our union, and our North Carolina.
We are running for leadership together because we believe that the love that educators have for our
students can change our entire state. Educators lead every day. In this moment of great uncertainty, we
have the responsibility to lead in a way that wins better schools, better lives, and the possibility of a
hopeful future for our students, ourselves, and each other.
Leadership is hard and scary. We are taking on this responsibility because we
trust each other and we trust you. Educators can reclaim North Carolina and win
the schools our students deserve if we are willing to do the work of building our
union. Here’s our plan.