From eight local unions to 3,000 locals and 1.6 million members
World War I and the Depression: The American Federation of Teachers was founded in Chicago, with eight locals signing on as AFL President Samuel Gompers welcomed the union into its fold in 1916. The union operated from one room of AFT Financial Secretary Freeland Stecker’s five-room bungalow in Chicago. President Charles Stillman lived next door.
You have created a mighty, mighty union with mighty, mighty values,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told attendees of the CFT Convention. “You bend the arc towards justice every day. Now we have a fight like never before, a fight to the finish, and we must win.”
From helping pass Proposition 30, which raises billions of dollars for education, to fighting back against Vergara v. California, a lawsuit filed on behalf of nine student plaintiffs which seeks to dismantle teachers’ rights, AFT President Randi Weingarten stands up for California educators and students.