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Fighting for what's right is worth it

11/10/2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I know how many of you are feeling, because I'm feeling it too. I felt it as results poured in Tuesday night, and I saw it in my daughter's eyes the next morning.  

Despite winning the popular vote, Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. It came as a shock to many. To others, perhaps, it was no surprise at all. 

The days ahead will be filled with analysis and opinions. I hope they are also filled with kindness and compassion. We must find ways to bridge our differences in this country. It won't happen on Facebook, and it won't happen on cable news. It will happen in our homes, our schools and workplaces, in our communities and unions. 

Most importantly, I want to say thank you. It is because of your hard work that we made some important statewide strides in Illinois. 

While Bruce Rauner was investing historic amounts of money into legislative races, IFT members – teachers, school staff, college faculty, and public servants – were knocking on doors and calling friends to talk about the values we share: Strong public schools and services. Vibrant communities. Rights for working people. And an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the very top.

As I traveled the state, I saw firsthand the difference you made by engaging thousands of voters. Together, we helped send a true hero, Tammy Duckworth, to the U.S. Senate. Together, we replaced the Governor's hand-picked Comptroller with Susana Mendoza, who will be the independent fiscal watchdog we need in Springfield.

In the Illinois House, the Democratic majority will decrease by four seats. And while Senate Democrats protected seats in the suburbs, the supermajority decreases by two in that chamber as well.

(You can view the full list of results here.)

Friends, we've weathered hardship before, so I know we can do it again. And I know that many of you have already started that work. You're back at your worksite providing great public services or in your classrooms doing what you always do, teaching this moment to our children.

So I'll end with what Secretary Clinton said to those young people yesterday: “Never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.”

It always is.

Thank you for all that you do.

With appreciation and solidarity,

Dan Montgomery, IFT President

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