By Matthew Hardy
Aaron Hall and Sunny Dawn
Milk Elementary School third-grade teacher Aaron Hall gets up early these days. With a brand-new baby boy born this summer, he’s got his hands full changing diapers, learning to swaddle, and helping his partner navigate all of the joys and surprises of the first few weeks of parenthood.
But he’s also got another reason he’s waking up early — to make sure he gets out to school sites before the school day starts.
Along with fellow teacher Sunny Dawn from Cleveland Elementary, Aaron took the semester off to help organize San Francisco teachers and paraprofessionals to turn out in record numbers for the November election. Though he’s already tired even before the day begins, he knows that with all that is at stake, the sacrifice is worth it.
“This election isn’t just about my future, it’s about my students and my family as well,” says Aaron. “It’s not exaggerating to say that if we lose this election, we’re just one big domino falling after Wisconsin.”
Dennis Kelly, president of the 6,000-member United Educators of San Francisco, gave a similar warning at the UESF campaign kickoff and rally on Sept. 22 — especially about the need to defeat Proposition 32. “The labor movement in California protects more than public education,” Kelly said. “If Prop. 32 passes, we will be unable to defend the environment, health care, and the social safety net from the same Super PACs that are wreaking havoc across the nation.”
The UESF mobilization for the election began with a pledge card campaign asking members to commit to voting to support schools. UESF members can still fill out a pledge card online at www.uesf.org. San Francisco educators are also signing up for ongoing phone banks.
“We’ve got a big job to do, but I know we can do it,” says Aaron.
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