It’s a fraught time. Books banned from classrooms. Educators targeted for curriculum or lessons. Name calling in schools. Voter suppression at the polls.
It’s happening here in Maryland and across the country. The only answer— the proven answer—is exercising our right to vote. Vote good candidates in. Keep the bad ones out. You know who they are. If you don’t, visit MDAppleBallot.com and find the educator-recommended candidates in your area.
This year, so many of our choices are clearly defined. There are agitators in all of our counties. Some make overt and painful statements, others, more malevolently insidious, use race-baiting and dog-whistling tactics to hide behind their racism. To be sure, MSEA and clear-headed public education advocates are fighting against these messages, but many people are emboldened to spout their vitriol.
In this issue, we showcase educators who are far beyond the naysayers in compassion, empathy, and the contributions they make to their communities. They are but a few of the 75,000 MSEA members who do good work every day in their worksites and beyond.
One of them, Jessica Fitzwater, is a candidate for county executive in Frederick County. Imagine that, an educator in the top spot! Her leadership skills are defined by her work in the Frederick County Teachers Association, MSEA, and NEA and polished as a graduate of Emerge Maryland.
Elected as a member of the county council in 2014, she has put her stamp on many county initiatives. There are more educators who have bravely stepped up and put their name on their local ballot.
We have an opportunity in this election to do two big things: first, cast a vote for candidates and issues that we are FOR. We can proudly stand with educators and other educator-recommended candidates up and down the ballot. And equally as important, we can reject the politics of hate and division throughout Maryland. To win in November, we must do both. Please find a friend, family member, or work colleague and help them make a plan to vote. Whether by mail or in person, make your voice heard by November 8. It really is that important.