By Bob Peterson (This article was published in the 2018 summer issue of Rethinking Schools)
“I’m from Wisconsin, I’m from your future!” I start off my speech. Despite my love of science fiction, I’m not talking to sci-fi fans. I’m talking to teacher and other public sector activists at a conference in New York City on the future of labor and public institutions.
“My future, your future,” I continue, “started when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dropped the bomb in 2011 with an unprecedented attack on teachers, their unions, and the public’s schools.” A few months earlier, Walker had been elected governor during the 2010 Republican sweep of statehouses across the nation, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision enabled the 1 percent to tighten their stranglehold on many state and federal elected offices.