“The strike worked because teachers and service personnel all joined together to demand better, no matter their party,” says Lissa. “They really showed how much we can accomplish if we unify. It's one of the reasons I'm so proud to have received the AFT endorsement.”
Lissa notes that she has received the endorsement of the Sierra Club AND the United Mine Workers of America, both. “I’m proud of that,” she says. “It illustrates what I’ve been saying, that OF COURSE we can fight for our workers and our communities at the same time. "
We need to focus on helping working families. What we don't need, according to Lissa, is a government that is primarily focused on things like handing our property rights to corporations, or charging families for the damage corporations are doing to our roads. She says we also don't need government officials who are so ashamed by their corporate campaign donations that they regard hearing them listed out as a personal attack.
"Yeah, we need a political revolution in this state," Lissa says, "and I believe West Virginians can take the lead, just like West Virginia teachers took the lead with their strike, and inspired so many across the country to follow in their footsteps."
"The AFL-CIO is not a partisan organization," Lissa points out, noting that state teachers showed how West Virginia's long tradition of a strong labor movement "represents workers who are Democrats, Republicans, members of third parties, and members of no party. Yet the fight for fair pay and worker protection is often placed in a partisan framework, dividing us where we most need to be united."
Lissa knows there's a huge difference between supporting coal miners and coal barons, and she understands that miners and mining communities deserve better.
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