AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

RESTORING RESPECT AND APPRECIATION FOR THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN OUR DEMOCRACY

WHEREAS, support for government and the public sector is essential in maintaining the strength and vitality of our communities and the nation; and 

WHEREAS, government at all levels provides essential services necessary for the safety, growth and well-being of all citizens and serves as a mechanism for problem solving to advance the public interest; and

WHEREAS, our government is a changing institution directly affected by the perceptions of the public and the political leaders we elect to hold office; and

WHEREAS, we have witnessed an organized assault on the public perception of government effectiveness and value over the past 20 years by anti-government think tanks, pundits and politicians; and

WHEREAS, this assault has been supported by voters who, too often, elect politicians opposed to the very government they seek to lead; and

WHEREAS, expectations of government continue to expand as a result of devolution, Department of Homeland Security initiatives, accountability measures, rising healthcare needs, changing demographics and other changing developments in our society; and

WHEREAS, funding and adequate resources for quality public services are constantly under pressure as a result of the reluctance of leaders to advocate for appropriate revenue and additional support; and

WHEREAS, the lack of support and funding for government services helps feed anti-government perceptions of those convinced of the ineffectiveness of our government:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers work in partnership with other civic-minded organizations and leaders across the country in a deliberate effort to rebuild the vision of our government as an essential institution for the development of our democracy.  By advancing the ideals of community and broad common purposes, we can hope for a resurgence in the belief that public service is a worthy endeavor for those wishing to contribute to the future of our society. With more of the public viewing government as a trustworthy tool for problem solving, we can rebuild faith in the public sector as a vital structure for improving our communities. Such respect and appreciation is essential in attracting and retaining talented public sector professionals, in allocating resources for quality services and in promoting the public interest.


(2006)