Convention Recommendations?

What are you looking forward to at the convention this weekend?

The obvious items are Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday morning (live, I think), and Barack Obama on Sunday morning (via satellite). Plus the Weingarten acceptance speech Monday morning (she was in the first and last pictures, by the way). Teachers for Social Justice have an email listing some of their sessions (click below and scroll to bottom). But I'm sure there are some hidden gems that you've come across.

Who are you looking forward to seeing? Most important -- where's the best place to hang out and see old friends and enemies as they pass by? Receptions to get into?

Pictured: Chinese anti-terrorist officers on modified Segways training for the summer Olympics.

AFT Convention Delegates To Elect New Leadership

Convention Also Will Focus on Politics


leadership will be the highlight of the American Federation of Teachers

convention in Chicago this month, with delegates voting for new

officers to lead the union through the challenges that lie ahead.

Delegates also will vote on a recommendation to endorse Sen. Barack

Obama (D-Ill.).


than 3,000 delegates will elect new union leadership at the convention,

which will be held July 11-14 at Navy Pier. Randi Weingarten—president

of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers, America’s largest

union local—is, to date, the only announced candidate for the union’s

presidency. Election results will be announced on Monday morning, July

14, with a speech by the new president. Weingarten’s slate includes

Antonia Cortese for secretary-treasurer (currently AFT executive vice

president) and Lorretta Johnson for executive vice president (currently

president of AFT-Maryland, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union’s

paraprofessional chapter and an AFT vice president).


a reform-minded advocate who represents the next generation of labor

leader, is known for her commitment to improving schools, hospitals and

public institutions for children, families and communities.


delegates also will vote on a resolution, recommended by the AFT

executive council on June 23, to endorse Obama, which would give him

the AFT’s full support for the general election. Obama will address the

convention via satellite video on July 13. Sen. Hillary Clinton

(D-N.Y.) will address convention delegates on July 12.


delegates will hear from retiring AFT President Edward J. McElroy;

debate and vote on policy resolutions, including one on peer assistance

and review programs that help struggling teachers improve their skills;

and rally at a Chicago-area hospital on behalf of hospital employees

and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,

who have faced years of anti-union resistance.


to the AFT convention, on July 10 there will be a health fair for the

Englewood community on Chicago’s South Side. To avert a potential

crisis of students returning to school without required health

screenings, the fair—sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union, the

Illinois Federation of Teachers and the AFT—will provide free school

physicals and immunizations, free vision and hearing screenings, as

well as free adult screenings for blood pressure, diabetes and



covering the convention should stop first for press credentials and

information at the AFT Press Office, located in Navy Pier,

Festival Hall A.

Highlights of the AFT convention:

Thursday, July 10 “Fresh Start Festival” health and fun fair

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Bass Elementary School

1140 W. 66th St., Chicago

Friday, July 11

2:30 p.m. Opening Session

Special Olympics tribute with athlete (AFT is a national sponsor.)

Keynote speech by AFT President Edward J. McElroy

Saturday, July 12

9:30 a.m. Business session

Address by Sen. Hillary Clinton

12:30 p.m. Human Rights Award luncheon


Min Zin, a Burmese journalist and democracy activist, will receive the

AFT President’s International Freedom and Democracy Award.

2:30 p.m. Celebration of AFT organizing victories

4:30 p.m. Rally

at Resurrection Health Care’s Saint Joseph Hospital, supporting

hospital workers and AFSCME, who have faced fierce resistance to their

five-year effort to unionize

Sunday, July 13

10 a.m. Business session

Satellite video address by Sen. Barack Obama

2:30 p.m. Business session

Remarks by retiring AFT President Edward J. McElroy and Secretary-Treasurer Nat LaCour

4:30 p.m. Voting begins for new AFT leadership

Monday, July 14

8 a.m. Women’s Rights Award Breakfast


Lilly Ledbetter, who took her wage discrimination lawsuit against

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,

will be honored.

9:30 a.m. Election results

Acceptance speech by the new AFT president

Press availability with new AFT leaders to follow session

# # #


AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers;

paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel;

higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees;

nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.


Panel Discussion: Fighting Back In the Schools:

How privatization, NCLB, charter schools, racism, and the

Lack of Funds are harming our students

12:30 p.m. Saturday

Moderator TBA

Steve Conn, Detroit

Rafael Feliciano, Puerto Rico

Jim Hamilton, Missouri

Lisa North, NYC

Pablo Rodriguez, San Francisco

George Schmidt, Chicago

Julie Washington, LA

Panel Discussion: Building an International Educators'


Friday evening, 8 p.m.

Moderator: Andy Griggs, UTLA

Ali Abunimah - Overview of the International Situation (focus:

Middle East)

Renate Bridenthal, PSC International Committee

Rosemary Lee, UTLA - Trinational Coalition in Defense of Public


Michael Zweig, UUP - USLAW- Solidarity with Iraqi Trade


Reception: Meet Chicago-area activists

Saturday evening (8 p.m. - 10 p.m.)

George Schmidt, Substance

"Save Senn" - fighting militarism in the schools

Rank-and-file teacher activists: Stacy Davis & maybe Brian Roa

Immigration activists

IVAW members

City Colleges representative

Featured Speakers --Sunday evening

Rafael Feliciano, president of the Puerto Rican Teacher's


Jorge Mujica

Susan Ohanian

AFT Peace and Justice Caucus Strategy/Business meetings -

Locations TBA

  • July 9 WEDNESDAY (informal) late afternoon or maybe dinner - Touch

    base and solidify plans for table, leafleting, etc on Thursday

  • July 10 THURSDAY 4:30-8:30 p.m. Steering/Planning meeting

    (we may adjourn for part of this time) Prepare for Friday morning

    Divisional and Committee meetings and for first general session;

    finalize tabling schedule

  • July 11 FRIDAY 1:15-2:15 Brief meeting (reports from committees on

    things that might come up immediately)

  • Friday, 4:30 - 6 PM Introduction to the Peace and Justice

    Caucus (first full meeting)

  • July 12 SATURDAY 5-6:30 Caucus business/planning meeting
  • July 13 SUNDAY 12:30 - 2:30 Caucus business meeting/election

    -officers/continuations committee

  • July 14 MONDAY: Continuations Committee - after end of

    general session - Navy Pier

UPDATE: I'm told that some of this above is not right, or not TSJ, and that folks should go here for the right information: This may be better or more updated than the above, which came via a TSJ email but is not confirmed.

Filed under: Events & Deadlines

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