A victory is a victory. Small or large. We need to celebrate it and build upon each win as we force larger societal change. In just a few days the work of online writers, activists, and Chicago teachers helped hold a progressive ally accountable. Change.org announced they will drop Stand for Children as well as StudentsFirst as clients.
The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reports:
The move comes after intense pressure from the labor movement and other progressive allies, who accused the for-profit company of betraying its liberal roots by partnering with Rhee, the former head of Washington, D.C., public schools, and the similarly aligned group Stand for Children headed by education advocate Jonah Edelman. The ouster of StudentsFirst and Stand for Children was confirmed by a Change.org spokesman.
First and foremost, a hearty thank you to Change.org for doing the right thing. The entire point of my writing on this issue was to keep Change.org accountable. The company is a valuable tool of the progressive community and it was unacceptable for them to take money from anti-labor organizations and deceive progressives with petitions that were only aimed at collecting email addresses.
By dropping StudentsFirst and Stand for Children the petition site has adhered to its own client policy and its goal to empower people. These two so-called reform groups actually disseminate a corporate agenda and harm public education. In response to the decision, StudentsFirst spokesperson Nancy Zuckerbrod told Grim:
“Instead of making this decision based on values and principles, they pointed to a number of business and operational factors with their high-value partners who were pressuring them to take this step,” Zuckerbrod said. “We believe this is an unfortunate decision on their part, and we imagine a disconcerting one for progressives — whether they agree with the work we are doing or not — that instead of standing by their principles, Change.org is standing by their pocketbook.
The irony must be lost of Zuckerbrod as it was StudentsFirst who paid Change.org for emails. The petition site actually abandoned their pocketbooks by dropping a major client in StudentsFirst and a possible growing client in Stand for Children. They stood by progressive ideals of supporting worker’s rights, community actions, and listening to a collective voice. It was principals that determined the right move and most certainly not the pocketbook.
Comments on this site (and others) recommended never signing another petition from Change.org. I never suggested this move and I whole-heartedly endorse the idea of signing petitions on Change.org. They have resulted in major victories against big banks, local governments, and many others. I hope to celebrate more of those types of victories just like I celebrate Change.org’s decision today.
So, I say thank you to Change.org for doing the right thing. THANK YOU!
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.