This week’s organizer spotlight features Chris Hambuch-Boyle of the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN):
1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020?
It was a year of connecting to a growing team of organizers at WPEN, who remain committed to ensuring that all children and staff in Wisconsin Public Schools get what they need to thrive. We engaged with all candidates running for the legislature in Northwest WI, asking questions about their commitment and policy asks for public schools. Sharing this information with their constituents helps educate all on the complexities and long term funding deficits that directly impact the equity offered in our schools across the state.
2) What sustains you? Where do you get the energy to keep going with the work?
The energy that sustains me in continuing the work is my roots in my union, WEAC, where we work for the common good of ALL; my family, who supports my time spent away from them; and the WPEN team I am lucky enough to be part of. My professional working conditions, the resources given me to provide a high level of relational instruction, and my retirement all came from those that worked hard for the common good before me and I am so very grateful for them. I want to give back to those that have chosen my profession and continue to model the highest form of public service to children and families in Wisconsin.
3) What is your vision for community organizing post-election?
I plan to keep reaching out to others, expanding the WPEN’s footprint, and helping others to advocate for their public schools where they live. We need more leaders to step up and coalesce with each other, advocating with each other, being clear that we are in this together. Now is our time. I can feel it.