What can retired teachers do? Help win a Supreme Court decision.

“A hero is a man who does what he can.”
– Romain Rolland

What can retired teachers do?

Bob Zahniser, John Dillon, Bob Lyons, Fred Klonsky and Glen Brown. Old guys celebrating the pension victory in Illinois.

Dillon Klonsky Brown

The Illinois Supreme Court has unanimously declared the state’s pension (cutting) reform law unconstitutional.
Friday’s decree puts new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly back at the starting line.”

For years the legislators, while indemnifying themselves from prosecution, have taken money for pensions and used it for whatever sweetheart contracts their political donors wanted. Yes, many legislators were and are thieves.

Today these same elected officials claim that “Illinois Is Broke” and can survive only by raiding pensions while spreading lies via corporate media outlets. Yes, many legislators are liars.

What receives little if any corporate media attention are the immense legislative give-aways of hundreds of millions of tax dollars per year to corporate political campaign donors. Last year alone over $197 million dollars was given to nine corporations in Illinois by letting them keep the 5% state income taxes paid by all of their employees. These nine corporations, in addition to their profits and tax breaks, got to keep all of their employees state income taxes – money that was supposed to pay down state debt. Yes, a few corporate honchos were given millions that were siphoned out of tax revenues never used for state debt – and this is a tip of the tax give-away iceberg.

Who kept track of this injustice as they formed grassroots groups of people in addition to alerting, networking, goading, and educating while contacting unions and government agencies and media sources and legislators and social networking organizations?

Among others, these five retirees.

Bob Zahniser – teacher pension activist and social networker

John Dillon – blogger,  political activist, social advocate and community volunteer.

Bob Lyons – Teacher Retirement System Board of Trustees member

Fred Klonsky – activist, advocate and blogger who networks via “posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.”

Glen Brown – activist, adjunct teacher at the college level,and a “poet/musician/blogger”

Yes, there were others who worked long and hard to network and seek justice for active and retired teachers. Lots of others.

Without these five men, who knows where things would be regarding pensions in Illinois? With them, justice won the day.

“A hero is a man who does what he can.”
– Romain Rolland

This is what these retired teachers did and do.


About Ken Previti

This entry was posted in civic duty, fairness, government, legislative pillage, pensions, wage theft and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What can retired teachers do? Help win a Supreme Court decision.

  1. Steve Ruis says:

    Kudos to all of the old Union geezers (of which I am one, but from California). Never underestimate the heart of teacher!

  2. Glen Brown says:

    I wish you were in this photo with us. Kudos to you too, Ken.

  3. Phil says:

    Let’s not forget that even with all of our efforts, phone calls, emails, & etc., the legislators still passed an immoral and blatantly unconstitutional pension reform (theft) bill. If not for the supreme court we would be screwed. What this tells me is the big money interests and their mouthpieces, i.e. Ty Fahner and the Tribune editorial board, have a lot more influence than we do. We must never underestimate the enemy.

  4. Carol Hayse says:

    I am grateful to these 5 men, who have worked for us all. However, I cannot help but note–in a field dominated by women–how did it happen that 5 men are publicized? I am sure these are progressive men, but didn’t they think to recruit women for this effort? I am not sure what the backstory is….

    • Ken Previti says:

      The backstory is simple. John, Glen and I worked together for over 25 years as friends and colleagues. Fred became friends with them as did I. There are NO women bloggers that have focused on Illinois pensions – none. Fortunately, we now know many women who are active on Facebook and other social networks. They work for the cause of teacher pension justice in Illinois and in other states. Our networking is growing.
      In a field dominated by women, we have all wondered why there are no women bloggers interested in focusing on teacher pensions in Illinois.
      If you know of any, please contact me. We have many active and retired women teachers who send us information for us to research and/or blog.

  5. Pingback: Random Quotes – May 2015 | Live Long and Prosper

  6. Scott Meyers says:

    As an active teacher, I sincerely thank all of the above, including you, Ken. I read the Shock Doctrine because of you, and because of all of the above activists, I have rededicated myself to educating my colleagues on the issues, trying to turn us all into activists too.
    Please keep it up, and I would love to network with you guys in person sometime!

    • Ken Previti says:

      Thanks. Since I am the one that lives in Florida permanently, meeting me in person is unlikely, but the others are all in metro-Chicago areas and attending tons of events, The Skokie Organization of Retired Educators posts its meetings for everyone, retired or active, to attend. They would all welcome you.

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