Give thanks. #GivingTuesday is Tuesday, December 3.
I'M EVER GRATEFUL...that Raise Your Hand founder, Wendy Katten, was one of only half-dozen attendees at my first CPS budget meeting back in 2012, where I couldn't fathom why CPS was slashing my kids' school budget to such an atrocious level with the new student based budgeting. She said if I could keep sharing my stories with other parents, we could fight these budget cuts and make a difference.
I'M EVER GRATEFUL...that Raise Your Hand organized hundreds of furious parents, along with me, and didn't hesitate to demand our alderman, CPS, our unelected school board, and most of all our mayor, fund public education as a priority, not an afterthought.
I'M EVER GRATEFUL...that Raise Your Hand sponsored "How to Talk to Your Legislators" parent workshops where we could role-play asserting our collective voice towards elected officials, reminding them they work FOR us to represent OUR interests.
I'M EVER GRATEFUL...that Raise Your Hand has hundreds of amazingly, talented supporters and volunteers that can whip up catchy slogans, awesome graphics, polished press releases, lengthy media lists, efficient phone-trees, handy markers and poster boards on-the-ready, and we can RALLY and SHUT-IT-DOWN in a heartbeat when CPS pulls another crazy stunt, time and time again. We don’t win every fight, but we never quit fighting.
I'M EVER GRATEFUL...for the hardest working Raise Your Hand staff that has dedicated countless unpaid hours, and many sleepless nights, to make sure Raise Your Hand continues to grow into a sustainable, city-wide coalition of empowered, organized parents that fight for public education not just because our kids are worth it, but because we know every kid deserves an excellent public education.
What are you grateful for? If it includes Raise Your Hand, #GivingTuesday is the perfect time to let us know!
Board of Directors President
Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education