MTA members played a huge role in the resounding defeat of Question 1, which went down by a margin of 70 percent to 30 percent. They were joined by voters throughout the Commonwealth in turning back the risky and irresponsible proposal to eliminate the state income tax.
This was a vote for public schools and public higher education, for our communities, for a strong and healthy economy, for helping fellow citizens in need and for maintaining fair and reasonable tax and budget policies in a time of great economic uncertainty.
Many MTA members were also active in the Barack Obama campaign, so they had more than one great reason to celebrate Tuesday night. The evening also featured the impressive re-election of Senator John F. Kerry, a real friend of public education, and numerous MTA-recommended members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Legislature.
Truly, it is a new day of hope in this state and in this country.
The positive outcome of the vote on Question 1 is a crucial step for students and public education. Early polling indicated that the “yes” and “no” votes on this proposal were almost equally divided. MTA members helped turn that around through their grassroots efforts and by participating in the Coalition for Our Communities.
The impressive grassroots efforts included:
- Holding meetings of educators.
- Contacting friends and family members by e-mail, text messaging, postcards and telephone.
- Talking about the issue at community forums and in the local media.
- Writing letters to the editor and calling talk shows.Phone-banking.
- Wearing buttons, putting bumper stickers on cars and displaying lawn signs.
- Holding “visibilities” before Election Day.
- Holding signs at the polls on Election Day.
MTA members also contributed considerable funding to the grassroots-to-airwaves efforts of the Coalition for Our Communities. These activities included direct mail pieces, voter identification and significant TV and radio ad buys in the weeks before Nov. 4.
All of these efforts combined gave us a substantial and decisive win. The people of this state have sent a clear message in electing strong leaders and rejecting this proposal rather than choosing to destroy the vital public services on which we all rely.