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PFT President Jerry Jordan in Inquirer Op-Ed: The moral and constitutional imperative for investing in young people

May 31, 2022

Read the op-ed here.

With burgeoning resources in the Commonwealth’s coffers, coupled with an evergreen moral (and constitutional) imperative, this year’s state budget must meaningfully and sustainably address years of continued disinvestment in our young people.

Just over two weeks ago, a white supremacist targeted a predominantly Black community in Buffalo, NY, killing 10 community members — a teacher, a bus aide, a community activist, and so many others who were deeply loved. And since that day, our nation has endured 33 mass shootings. Over the holiday weekend in Philadelphia, 13 people were murdered, including a 10-year-old boy and his father. Just over a week ago, we saw horror unfold at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman terrorized a community and stole the lives of nineteen precious fourth graders and two beloved teachers. In both Buffalo and Uvalde, these acts were carried out by an 18-year-old with legal access to an assault rifle.

The crisis of gun violence is intolerable, and we continue to call for both local and national solutions, including common sense gun reform. Further, both the gun violence crisis and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected Black and brown children and their families.

Decades of disinvestment in public education has also hurt Black and brown children. In 2022, communities are still deeply immersed in the fight for equity for our young people — and continue to be forced to justify resources that are seen as nonnegotiable in wealthier, whiter school districts. In fact, advocates have had to sue the Commonwealth for its abject failure to meet its constitutional mandate to provide all of Pennsylvania’s children with a thorough and efficient system of public education.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Second Anniversary of the Murder of George Floyd at the Hands of Minneapolis Police

May 25, 2022

"The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police should continue to horrify us all. Today, I reiterate this union’s commitment to the fight for racial justice.

"The systems of oppression and racism that we work to dismantle every day remain deeply embedded—in policing, in education funding, and in nearly every facet of our society. Today and often, the loved ones of George Floyd are in my thoughts. Black Lives Matter."

Read our principles of racial justice here.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Mass School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

May 24, 2022

"The news out of Uvalde this afternoon is simply horrifying. Today, because an 18 year old with a gun wreaked devastation on a sacred place of learning, fourteen children and a teacher won’t return home after a day at school—and countless others’ lives will never be whole again.

"This level of catastrophic gun violence that continues to tear families apart is simply too much to bear. There are no words that could adequately convey my sadness, my rage and my deepest sympathies for the students, staff, and entire community of Uvalde."

Philadelphia City Council Public Comment on Bill No. 210685-AA by AFTPA & PFT

May 19, 2022
Philadelphia City Council Public Comment on Bill No. 210685-AA by AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry T. Jordan 

“We thank Councilmember Green and his staff for their work on mandatory asbestos testing and the ‘School Building Safety Advisory Group.’ For decades, our union has been demanding the remediation of toxins like lead, asbestos, and mold from our school buildings, and for decades those calls have largely been met with silence, inaction, or even obfuscation from the School District of Philadelphia. 

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Primary 2022 Election Results

May 18, 2022

Reflecting on the 2022 Primary Elections, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA—"Yesterday was exhilarating--to relish in so many hard-fought victories for progressive champions in Philadelphia and beyond was a reminder of both the progress we have made and the work ahead:

"In the state legislature, our message and our fight clearly resonate with voters. The victories of our strong allies Representatives Elizabeth Fiedler (HD184), Rick Krajewski (HD188), and Chris Rabb (HD200) are a testament to not only the power of organizing, but to a round rejection of sinister attempts to buy elections and reject the will of the people. Despite the rejection of these three champions by the Democratic party and despite last-ditch efforts to sully their names and their work, including tens of thousands of dollars poured in by nefarious right-wing organizations, Representatives Fiedler, Krajewski, and Rabb were able to run and win on unapologetic platforms rooted in fighting tirelessly for the communities they represent. We were also pleased to support the reelection campaign of Representative Stephen Kinsey (HD201) and look forward to our continued partnership.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Deadly White Supremacist Terrorist Attack in Buffalo

PRESS RELEASE

May 15, 2022

"It should horrify and shock any person of conscience that once again, a white supremacist with access to guns targeted and terrorized a predominantly Black community, and in his racist massacre took ten innocent lives—the lives of Buffalo community members shopping for groceries on a Saturday afternoon.

"This monstrous act of terrorism is another devastating reminder of the inherent danger of being Black in America.