While I was visiting Jena in Ohio, the Strongsville Education Association was holding a rally against Senate Bill 5, a measure that banned the right of Ohio public employees to strike and established penalties for workers who participate in walkouts. Last week was an incredible time to be in the midwest, with similar bills sparking huge protests in nearby Madison, WI (where my creepy Amtrak seat partner was from, and would not shut up about) and similar bills coming up for vote in Chicago, IL.
These events peppered conversations in each town I visited. Jena works in school psychology and many of my classmates are employed in school libraries or publicly-funded libraries. We were both very aware that our fate is intertwined with the fates of the teachers and public employees. As Clarissa and I discussed late into one night in Chicago, the current anti-labor climate and the House Republican spending bill (cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood, public broadcasting, IMLS, LSTA, and a plethora of other programs) are two immediate threats to our social well being.
But if this kind of awful movie I watched last week is any indication, moving to Canada is not the solution.