An exemplary life

George may not have remembered but we met in Chicago in 1968, and then again in Chicago in the early seventies for several contentious union meetings. We were on the same side, raising hell with the rank and filers, as we always were.

Before a WTTW interview in 2011.In the earlier sixties, George and I worked in different parts of the anti-war movement. Most of my work was with students in SDS, while George worked, for the most part I believe, with vets and active duty soldiers.

That’s when I first heard about George. One SDSer quoted him to me: “The draft won’t be defeated as long as there are men with empty stomachs.” That insight stuck with me forever and it guides my work with vets even now.

George presented at the first Rouge Forum conferences and always helped out with sound advice about what to do and, especially why.

George’s courage in exposing those high-stakes standardized exams, and sticking it through his firing and the grotesque lawsuits is unforgettable and needs to be emulated more.

Of course, there is Substance News where I published fairly regularly, and nearly always on the NEA representative assemblies, year after year. Substance became a beacon for school workers and allies, primarily in Chicago, but everywhere.

George had hundreds of friends and admirers. His was an exemplary life.


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