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AFT Michigan Endorses Whitmer, Benson and Nessel

Last night, the  Administrative Board endorsed Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel for reelection to their current offices. Both the Governor and Secretary of State are former AFT members.  Following the endorsement, Governor Whitmer addressed the Board.

In a statement put out following the endorsement, I stated that  “Throughout her first term as governor, Governor Whitmer has served as a stalwart advocate for public pre-K12 and higher education in Michigan. Last year, she secured historic funding for pre-K12 education along with significant increases in higher education that will provide many of the resources that our students need to succeed. The Governor is the last person to rest on her laurels and recognizes we have more to do to support our students and educators at all levels and she’s committed to seeing the job through and pursuing equity in education funding.”

“The Governor has vetoed DeVos-backed voucher legislation that would funnel money away from public schools, stood for the truth in the face of an aggressive push to undermine honesty in education, and worked hard to reconnect adults to education programs to meet their needs and the needs of our state. There are still challenges ahead for our educators, students and schools at every level and we need an ally in the Governor’s Office. Gretchen Whitmer is that ally.”

“‘From voting rights to labor rights and beyond, Attorney General Nessel has fought tirelessly on behalf of working families and students across Michigan and worked to ensure those who attack our rights are held accountable. With a fighter like Attorney General Nessel in office, we can rest assured that Michigan’s top law enforcement official will protect our communities no matter their ZIP code, wealth or makeup.”

“As educators, we also recognize that protecting our voting rights and ensuring the health of our democracy is a crucial part of securing the future of public education. With that goal in mind, we have also chosen to endorse Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Secretary Benson’s work to defend voting rights and modernize our elections is critical, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with her to ensure that access to the ballot is never threatened for any community.”

Administrative Board Honors John McDonald

At Monday night’s Administrative Board meeting, the AFT Michigan Vice-Presidents voted unanimously to rename the President’s Award, presented at our biennial convention, the John McDonald Award.  The award is usually presented to honor the outstanding work of a local union, although at times it has also been presented to a community ally.   Given John’s 43 year tenure as president of the Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers and his community activism, naming the award in his honor is so fitting.  John passed away earlier this month.

Member Spotlight: Annette Hobrecht, Macomb ISD Teacher

Annette Hobrecht, a social worker at the Macomb ISD, was nominated for our AFT Michigan Member Spotlight by her colleague Carol Kitchen.

Annette is a fantastic school social worker.  She was Michigan’s Social Worker of the year in 2016, and was also the president of the Macomb County Social Workers for six years.  She has developed, organized, and innovated many support programs for staff, students, parents, and families, which help open communication and prevent crisis situations from occurring.  

Annette has participated in the parent teacher organization for many years. This group has sponsored many extra-curricular fun activities for the special needs students at her school.  She recently helped organize the school’s trunk or treat activities and has been instrumental in spearheading holiday baskets for families in need for the 40-plus years she has been working at the Macomb Intermediate School District. Annette has demonstrated great leadership and has shown so much compassion to others in her everyday activities, including supporting staff members in need of help.  She recently organized a food delivery for a colleague that broke her foot and was homebound. 

Reflecting on her time as a social worker, Annette said “ I’ve had a great career at the Macomb Intermediate School District and definitely feel blessed to have so much opportunity for personal and professional growth over the years.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  As I have often told my own three adult children since they were young, find something you like to do and are good at, and go for it. In my list of what I’m grateful for, being a school social worker for so many years has been very defining and fulfilling.  What a wonderful journey it has been!”

Help us highlight the amazing work members from across our constituencies do every day for their colleagues, students, communities, and our union. To make sure more people hear their stories, follow the link to our website and fill out the form to nominate an AFT Michigan member to be recognized for what they do at work, in the community, or our union!

Contribute to the AFT Michigan PAC Today

AFT Michigan fights for our members, students and communities all year round and we need your help. Can you donate $1 a week to aid us in this fight? Please visit the AFT Michigan website and set up a recurring gift to make a big difference in protecting public education and building a better Michigan future! 

Upcoming Union-Building Workshops

Treasurer Tuesday: Internal ControlsTuesday, February 1, 20227:00 PM8:30 PM
Communication Tools for Local LeadersWednesday, February 2, 20225:00 PM6:30 PM

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In solidarity, 

David Hecker


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