Don’t Mourn, Organize!

Last night was a difficult one for me, as it was for many of you. My heart is heavy right now—not only because I wanted so much to elect Hillary Clinton—but because I wanted so much a different future for our children.

It would be too easy to allow ourselves to give in to that despair, fear, and anger – to assume that losing an election means we give up, move to Canada, or go back to bed for the next four years. But that is not our way. We are educators. Instead we must realize that today is not the end but the beginning of what we do to keep our country strong for our children. Don’t mourn. Organize.


This morning we face the awesome responsibility of our profession: to comfort our children, to alleviate their fears, and to be a force for good in the world. We have an awesome responsibility to ensure that the worst of the campaign rhetoric does not become a reality—by standing up for what is right, by standing firm against values we know are wrong, and by standing firm in our efforts to build a better future.

We must ensure that the threats to lash out at communities of color and immigrants and Muslims never come to fruition. We must empower our mothers, sisters and daughters who have been demeaned by the trivialization of sexual assault to continue the fight to elevate respect above all. We must work every day to provide a counterbalance for our children—making sure that bullying is not normalized.

We, who dedicate our lives to shaping and informing future generations and who live to create hope for the fulfillment of a child’s potential, will never stand by and see that hope cut short.

We sacrifice and dedicate our lives to building a better future for our students and therefore our country.

We have never wavered in our determination to fight for our students even in the face of opponents who do everything they can to undermine our resolve and strip our students and educators of the support they deserve.

We will come together to promote our values of respect, equality and most importantly love, and we will continue to be the frontline in defense of those ideals.

We will look to enlightened leaders across this country who we know will put children and families at the forefront of every decision.

Now more than ever, we must double our resolve to bring people together and focus on building a future for all Americans where their dreams outweigh their fears and hope smothers anger and hate. We are stronger together and we will never give up on what we hold dear.

7 Responses to “Don’t Mourn, Organize!”

  1. Hank Mollet

    I spent the last year trying to organize to stop you from endorsing Hillary. How’s that seat at the table? Too bad it isn’t in the White House anymore.

  2. Phil Dodd

    I am Proud of Americans for turning out and saying “enough” of the way our Country has been heading. I am not feeling sorry for the losers, after they treated out President the way they did, and the names they called us for supporting him. As an ex-teacher, I feel extremely fortunate that our Country has Mr. Trump as our President, and I really do not care any more if the losers continue to cry and act like spoiled children when they can’t have their way. Just look at their reaction, and the example they are setting for our children. THAT is the real problem with our Country. I so hope many move to Canada and Mexico, but I believe you cannot trust what they say. God Bless America.

  3. Jack

    Hillary was not the solution any more than Trump is the solution. This whining about how Trump is divisive and Hillary was a uniter is so wrong it makes you look idiotic. Hillary is a criminal and the most power-hungry shrew around. If you want a woman in the White House, find a good moral human being who cares about America. Hillary is definitely not that. Take off your partisan glasses and try to better America rather than continuing to divide it by perpetuating this hate culture you pretend to decry.

  4. dale pound

    All of the money that you stole from your teachers and give ti the democrat party–WASTED!!!!!!!

  5. Gregory Martinson

    Dear Lilly Eskelson Garcia,
    I want you to take Tuesday’s results and understand that a number of the members of the NEA are frustrated and would like to see one major change before the next election–transparency and openness in the process of selecting an endorsed candidate. The process leading to the endorsement from this organizations that I respect and work for was deeply flawed and had me questioning my continued involvement. I had deep concerns about Secretary Clinton’s electability and I was not alone in that sentiment. Please improve your vetting and selection process. The respect of your organizations is at stake.

  6. Mark Fraad

    Lily, with all due respect this is not about mourning. No one has the time to mourn.This is a time for real fear. This is a time for action! This is a time for real leadership. Social justice, human rights, and equality for all are the targets. Make us proud!

  7. Chris Coast

    Lily, teachers are diverse, and have many points of view. Although there is no doubt that many, if not most, in our ranks would have loved to see Hillary win, there are also many who did not vote for her in the primary, or in the general election. I am concerned that this organization’s time, money and effort is focused too much in one camp, which leaves us out of the sphere of influence when an election does not turn out. I respect the NEA. I foster many of its views, but not all of its politics. As a leader in our organization, in my humble opinion, it would be better if we didn’t use the term “mourning”, because it suggests that our membership and their views are narrow, and bitter. I did not vote for the president elect, but he used to be a democrat until very recently, and I am hopeful that he will be even handed (if not empathetic) in his stewardship of this country, and adoption of education related policies that are important to our members and their students. To someone in the new administration, the language and tenor of your comments make it less likely that they will be open to our input. Please keep this in mind.


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