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General: How you have been affected in this economy and what you want to hear from President Obama during his State of the Union address?

Comments: 192

I would like to hear more on a plan about fair taxation that would include people in the upper class (the rich)to help ease the burden on the lower and middle class Americans.

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Brent Duerr
OSEA
eugene, OR

Budget cuts, tax caps and leadership priorities have eroded opportunities for students and families. Please encourage President Obama to discuss the importance of community coalitions that support the optimal development of all children and enable teachers to be empowered leaders that contribute to the greater good of the children and families we teach, mentor, coach and nurture and the communities we serve!

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Debra Thomas
North Rockland TA
Stony Point, NY

I want President Obama to draw sharp distinction between Democrats and Republicans -- not just himself and Republicans. The November 2012 election is about all the candidates up for election this year, as well as about building for future elections.

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Bill Marker
MPEC
Baltimore, MD

Dear Mr. President: Please address the need for all students to acquire basic reading, writing, and math skills and discuss the policies that you have put into place to ensure that all children are equipped with these skills. We need a major overhaul of our schools and more testing is not the answer.

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Carolyn Palmer-Benion
CTU
Fairview Park, OH

I feel as if you were voted in on the backs of those of us in Labor Unions- the backs of the working class, the working poor & everyone that had been overlooked for years. However, you and Arne Duncan have done nothing but hurt public school teachers since day one. I am sad and let down. Listen to actual educators as to what we need to be most effective. Stop basing policy on information and ideas provided by people that have never been in a classroom. Stop the full throttle attempt to privatize education in the poorest of your cities-especially here in NYC. I hope you will stand by us and listen to those who actually teach.

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Jennifer Carchietta
UFT
New Rochelle, NY

I wish AFT would encourage teachers to watch the SOTU speech. There's a growing impression that teachers don't vote and the coming election will have a lot to do with education funding for the next four years. Watch the speech. :-)

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Suzanne Prescott
CNMEU
albuquerque, NM

We have seen a huge increase in the transiency rate of our students. With the economy, they move and return so often. This makes teaching even more difficult. Our students have greater needs than in the past. Families are stressed, and the children feel it. In our own home, we see groceries, gas, and other necessities costing more. We would like to see President Obama address the needs of working people. The middle class works, supports the country with taxes, and wants to be acknowledged. I would also like to see support for union workers. They are the backbone of America and keep higher working standards for all.

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Melissa Sholl
Granite City, IL

I would like the President of the United States address the issues that the 99% represent. Since the banks and wall street were bailed out, now these very institutions should be returning the favor to the government through taxes as pay back for the assistance they received. Instead of applying the cutbacks on the middle class, the wealthy should be coming to the assistance of the government in the debt crisis. When it comes the field of education, superintendents, principals and assistant principals should be held responsible for the safety and discipline of the students in the school. Each individual teacher can only do so much.

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Claire Scesney-Lundahl
UFT
NY, NY

Have you visited any of the TURN AROUND schools that you have or will change? The new list of turn around schools include some fantastic schools that should be in no need of this. How do you know that this new method is working or if big mistakes are being made?

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Nils Devita
UFT
Howard Beach, NY

Public funds for PUBLIC schools. The Charter School movement is backed by moneyed interests who seek political influence by donating large sums of money with the intent of 1. making a profit, 2. weaken or destroy teacher's unions, and 3. become major players in the "school reform " movement that has been proven to have dubious connections with anti-union groups. They seek radical change in the educational process in which children are used not served.

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Anthony LaCivita
Morton dist. local 531
Downers Grove, IL

I'd like the President to address how teachers are being made the scapegoat for what legislators have done with state budgets in the past. I want him to come out against the anti-piracy, anti-free-Internet bill working through the Congress. I want him to prosecute state legislators who use minorities to mask hate legislation, ala Arizona's discriminatory anti-immigration law. I want him to come out swinging at Rep. Boehner and the Republicans and their narrow, hateful, ultra-conservative policies.

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Terry Palin
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX

My wife was laid off from The School District of Lee County in Florida. She has a Bachelors in Psychology, a Master in Education, and Masters in Counseling. She also has 12 years of teaching experience, counseling, and as a Reading Coach with an ESOL and Reading endorsement. GiGi has to drive to Hendry County 162 miles EVERY DAY to be a reading coach because she cannot be rehired in Lee. She spends three hours a day driving and it has taken away a lot of time from us. I'd like to hear President Obama say that he'd like to see teachers go back to work instead of us seeing CEO's receive millions of dollars for a quick "hit" of profit.

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Robert Mezzio
Robert Mezzio
Fort Myers Beach, FL

Like many people, I was deeply affected by the recession and at the end of 2008, two days before New Year's, I was laid off. After six months of being unemployed in 2009, I was able to get a contract position for a year, but then the company did not want to have permanent employees and after a year they let people go. I was then unemployed for five more months in 2010; the same company contracted me back for vacation relief in December of 2010; I continued until I got laid off again in April 2011 and was unemployed for nine months until mid-December of 2011. I was unemployed for a total of more than 1.5 years since 2008.

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Kelly Hart
Houston, TX

I have been caught in the finacial crisis because no one wants to hire a teacher with 18 years experience because I would make too much because of the imginary financial crisis that Perry created by not using the federal funds so he could say he cut the buget in Texas. In the Rio Grande Valley the paper reported that the schools here are losing $500 per student this year and next year will be worse. To continue in the teaching field I've had to work as a sub to pay the bills during school. Right now I have a broken foot and am trying to qualify for medicaid to get it fixed and to keep working at the same time. I hope this will be corrected

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JAMES Wayland
none right now
Mission, TX

I'd like President Obama to address how the 1%'s high-on-the-hog living has affected the availability of home-care for disabled and elderly people in this county. Let's put money into social services that support human needs, rather than into the armed forces which support corporate greed.

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Sylvia Gentile
Santa Monica, CA

I have 2 solutions, one for unemployment, one for the deficit. For unemployment: massive infrastructure spending. Our bridges, roads, schools, seaports, airports, etc. are 50+ years old. Interest rates are nearly zero. Now is the time to put people to work immediately and restore our country. For the deficit (states and the country): Put a 1-3% tax on internet purchases. In addition to raising millions, it might tempt people to buy locally.

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Robert Basinger
Cedar Hill
Cedar Hill, TX

I'd love it if the President would point out that the continuance of programs for the middle and lower classes (i.e. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) is a false choice. It was the corporatist plan all along to starve the government for money by implementing the Bush tax cuts and getting involved in two wars. By starving the government for revenue, they can now turn around and state that we can't pay for these programs and need to eliminate or drastically reduce them. The solution is simple. Raise the taxes on the rich back to what they were before, which was already an historic low, and you'll solve the problem.

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John Goodman
Texas AFT
San Antonio, TX

Dear Mr. President, Please address the employee free choice act. This is very important for the resurgence of our economy. The employee free choice act is something you talked to your union supporters about when you ran for president. I ask you to make this happen to help your supporters get a fair chance at joining a union or organize for union representation and receive good pay and benefits. Thank you for your time sir! In solidarity, Michael Andel IBEW local union 21

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Michael Andel
Bloomingdale, IL

I want to hear how he is going to assure those of us in the service fields like teaching, nursing, and law enforcement from continuing to be the scapegoat for what ails the economy. I want to know how he will assure my profession's livelihood in an era where states are "stealing" the funds needed to provide adequate care. We all strive to provide excellence of service and yet we are continuing to be seen as "easy money" to patch struggling state budget problems that were not of our making.

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Dawn Heeren
ABCFT
Whittier, CA

I want a public option in health care. Too many of my students do not have health care or inadequate health care. Do not give up on this important issue. I think you are doing a great job.

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Paula Kershaw
Flower Mound
Flower Mound, TX

As a teacher raising 2 boys on my own for 20 years, I am used to going without many things to make ends meet. Unfortunately, over the last few years the rising cost of gas, groceries and insurance while wages remained the same have made this almost an impossible feat. This year due to pay cuts, I was forced to drop all supplemental insurance policies (disability, dental, eye and life only to find the same amount deducted each check to cover the increase in medical insurance for my family. Something had to be done. My income doesn't even cover the rise in necessities. I have begun looking for a supplemental job just to cover our basic needs.

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Amy Herrmann
tsta
Dickinson, TX

Teachers are demoralized and feel disrespected because it feels as if Congress views us as expendable, overpaid employees contributing little to the future of our nation and the people we serve. How else are we to interpret the Republican attacks on teacher unions working to protect our livelihoods? Yet teachers continue to endure ever-expanding demands on our time and energy, with no cost of living pay increases (salaries frozen for the foreseeable future) and ever-expanding class sizes, because most of us are caring, dedicated professionals who continue to go the extra mile and spend our own money for needed classroom supplies & materials!

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Carol Collins
Houston, TX - TFT
Pearland, TX

Their are several isssues that I would like the President to address. One, the President should address the unfair tax rate that is a detrimental to many working class Americans in our country. We need a progressive tax rate that will be fair to all Americans. Secondly, The President needs to be strong on energy and environmental issues. These are two of the biggest threats to the future of our nation. He must create incentives for green energy now, tomorrow will be too late. Importantly, he must create incentives to bring home manufacturing job to this country without sacrificing decent wages. When workers are paid good salaries, they spend.

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Anthony Stropoli
UFT
Cold Spring, NY

Our family has been affected by the lack of good jobs. We have become a multi-generational household for the past few years with one reliable income, due to the economic problems our country is facing. I would like to hear President Obama address these economic issues - lack of jobs especially with a living wage, lack of opportunities for college graduates, and what we as a country can do to change this. I would also like to see him address social justice issues both here at home and globally. Finally, as an educator, I would like to hear his plans on how we can keep public education vital and available for all children.

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Maura Hibbitts
Broadalbin-Perth
Broadalbin, NY

I WANT TO HEAR THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL DEMAND THAT THE EMPLOYEE FREE-CHOICE ACT (CARD-CHECK) BE RE-INTRODUCED BY DEMOCRATS IN THE US SENATE AND LOTS AND LOTS OF HEARINGS BE HELD---

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Larrry Horvath
Local 4751
Ann Arbor, MI

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