The following is a transcript of the video above, from our November 16, 2022, roundtable, “Building a Movement for the Common Good.”

Sheri Davis: I think it’s important to name when we also have leadership that is willing to name and call things as they are—that we are actually speaking to a base that is beyond membership, right? That we’ve actually built relationships. Because the conversation around CTU [Chicago Teachers’ Union] and I think the beauty of having this article, is an understanding that you don’t get to wield that kind of power without doing the work.

So, there’s work that’s being done around the place where you’re in and sitting with the many issues that oftentimes we’ve been pitted against, right? There’s a way that when we started talking about what was happening with teachers, before this fight back, teachers were being blamed for everything! Literally everything!

And when we start thinking about the defensive, there’s a reason why people were coming after women, right? You have a situation where your organization is powerful enough to actually push what happens in a city or state in a particular direction. That kind of power is risky!

Like when they’re bringing a particular care ethic and thinking about things as it relates to a broader community and not in these narrow ways. And so, I do think that there’s something around leadership. There’s something around the organizations that are the vehicles for being able to do BCG [Bargaining for the Common Good] work.

It is not enough for us to talk about what everybody else needs to do and to take on the boss and to take on the primary villain. We actually have to unpack some of the reasons why we got to the places where we are as unions in many ways anyway.