What are you doing Thursday evening? If you care about public education in Pittsburgh, I hope you will bet at the PIIN Public Action Meeting. Over 1,200 people will be there, including a veritable who’s who roster of local leaders and politicians, all coming together to commit to action on four issues: education, transit, the clean rivers campaign, and voter turnout. Yinzercation has been asked to help represent the voice of parents and the community on the key issue of public education.
PIIN is the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Action Network, a coalition of Pittsburgh area congregations and community organizations that have been working together in a powerful way for the past twelve years. On the issue of education at the community meeting, PIIN will be “seeking a commitment from Dr. Linda Lane, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent, and Nina Esposito-Visgitis, President of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, to continue to work with PIIN and our partners to achieve equity for all of our students.” [PIIN Public Action Meeting invite]
I have had a number of conversations with PIIN organizers and volunteers over the past few weeks and I’ve been particularly impressed with the way that they understand the big picture. Just like our grassroots movement, they are focused on the issue of equity – and see the connection to funding cuts as well as state and federal level policies that have colluded in this attack on public education. I particularly appreciate their call to education advocates for this public action meeting, which states that equity “can only be achieved with a partnership of parents, community, administration and teachers.” Real community engagement is too often missing in the education world. And PIIN has deep roots in communities – including many of our African-American neighborhoods – where meaningful engagement is absolutely essential.
All of us in the Yinzercation family have been asked to sit together towards the front in a special reserved section so that we can stand as a group when asked to support education. Many of us education advocates are already active in Pittsburgh area congregations and community organizations that will be sending delegations to the public meeting: if you wish to sit with Yinzercation to show a strong united front for public education, please leave a note on our Facebook call-to-action post so we know how many folks are coming. This is an excellent way to send a strong message to other community leaders that the grassroots will play a vital role in this battle for our schools.
Join us Thursday at Rodef Shalom (4905 Fifth Avenue / 15213). The doors open at 6:15PM, and the program begins promptly at 7PM. It will be an empowering evening.