Milwaukee DSA Supports Derek Beyer for MPS Board of School Directors, District 8

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: milwaukeedsa@gmail.com

MILWAUKEE, WI – January 11, 2018 – Congratulations to Derek Beyer, who has received the endorsement of the Milwaukee chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Board of School Directors, District 8. Derek is well-suited for the MPS School Board not only as a former MPS teacher but also as an avowed socialist and one of the founding members of the Milwaukee DSA chapter. Derek has demonstrated dedication to the struggle against the neoliberal austerity imperatives and lingering racial injustice in the MPS system. The mainstream capitalist agenda has been deployed to destroy public sector unions and dismantle public goods in favor of privatization schemes, all while locking low-income families and communities of color into poverty.

We feel confident that we can rely on Derek to represent and promote working-class, grassroots socialism on the MPS Board. He has consistently prioritized the health and well-being of our city’s children and the teachers, staff and parents who nourish them. Our city deserves advocates on the MPS Board of School Directors who understand deeply the structural obstacles holding back transformative change in the education of our communities. Candidate Derek Beyer believes that “capitalism exploits and divides us and sadly many of our students are its biggest victims.” He understands the complex web of obstacles to learning for children of Milwaukee: generational poverty, a lack of resources in schools, a voucher program which, in his words, “has created a competitive system of ‘winners and losers,’” and a punitive disciplinary approach.

 Derek envisions our public schools as “the ‘heartbeats’ of a community” which foster and determine the relations around them. If elected as a member of the MPS School Board, Derek plans to implement changes that prioritize the whole-student approach to educating and combating the structural inequalities facing MPS students. These include:

• Working toward a moratorium on all non-instrumentality charter schools;

• Transforming existing non-instrumentality charter schools to instrumentality ones;

• Instituting restorative models of dispute resolution;

• Providing a living wage and comprehensive healthcare benefits for all MPS employees including substitute teachers;

• Building in protections for non-binary and trans MPS students;

• Harnessing the diversity of experiences of MPS students and teachers toward community-building efforts;

• Combating the red-lining that currently delineates the overall structure of MPS;

• Supporting union power and bargaining rights;

• Reducing class sizes and increasing resources to schools to create conducive learning environments in classrooms;

• Fighting to keep extra-curricular activities funded such as athletics, academic clubs, the school newspaper, school trips, musicals and plays, etc;

• Creating a clear and supportive pathway for any MPS student wishing to attend college the ability to do so.

Members of Milwaukee DSA are excited to encourage voters who live in the City of Milwaukee to vote for Derek Beyer on February 19 and April 2. We are proud to support a democratic socialist committed to building MPS schools into instruments of change in our communities and the lives of our students.

 Here are some ways in which you can help Derek’s campaign:

  • Like and share his social media posts, which include more in-depth explanations of his positions on and plans for MPS https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeyerForMPS/ ;

  • Canvass and knock on doors on Derek’s behalf;

  • Design help for his campaign literature;

  • Event organization and assembly organzing so Derek can meet more supporters;

  • Organizing help to plan canvassing activities.

  • Helping to build independent socialism through Derek’s campaign

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About Democratic Socialists of America:
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 56,000 members. DSA’s members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics.

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