A Note of Thanks to Brian Williams

27 September 2011
Dear Mr. Williams,

I want to thank you personally for hearing the call of so many thousands of us in Wisconsin who were outraged by the hubris and audacity of the future former governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, in daring to speak in "support" of education on your "The State of Education: The Governors' Perspective" panel yesterday.

Thank you, especially, for opening up the forum by reading from the letter I wrote to you and calling out Walker on his divisive policies. The look on Walker's face was priceless as you shared what so many Wisconsinites know to be true: Walker's education "reforms" (TM) are nothing more than devastating and avoidable cuts that will have long-term affects on our students and our schools. The fact that he looked so surprised as you read the letter is further confirmation that he truly does not take seriously, or even acknowledge, the dissent of his constituents, no matter how carefully thought-out or reasonably supported by evidence.  As you'll recall, he was cc'd on the original message. Too bad he doesn't check his email.

By opening your program with this challenge to Walker, you sent the message loud and clear, and I think set exactly the right tone for your event: Walker's constituents do not support his education agenda, and whatever slick and slimy talking points he might have up his sleeve to sugar-coat the impact of his massive cuts, we are not falling for it.

In my original letter, I said I was shocked that Walker would be included on a panel on education because he's so shamefully unqualified to speak on the topic, which is true, but in retrospect I am glad he was on this panel. I think having him on made a perfect example of what will go wrong if you try to balance the budget on the backs of our children. Walker, as always, was a shameful disappointment, and I was not surprised to see he said exactly what I predicted he would about how his "tools" and "reforms are working" - his delusional lies about teachers coming up to thank him for gutting the education budget and taking away their rights were a bit beyond the pale, but we're used to that in Wisconsin by now. His inclusion on this panel was a painful reminder of the many valid reasons we have for seeing him recalled from office, and the enthusiasm around the campaign to make our voices heard on this issue only helps build momentum as we move into recall season here in Wisconsin.

The letter I sent you resonated with so many people because I was just saying what needed to be said, and what so many people are thinking. I wouldn't have had the nerve to say it if I didn't know I was speaking on behalf of so many other regular people in Wisconsin and elsewhere who are just sick and tired of the arrogance, lies and deceit that have become the norm in political affairs.  I was really humbled by all the attention it received and did my best trying to represent all of us who are so fully engaged in this struggle to take back our democracy, our economy and our social programs from the same bullies who have bought our children out from under us. While those willing to vote against their own self-interests like to frame this as a struggle that's just about unions, or workers' rights, or pensions and benefits, this is in fact a struggle that should really unite all Americans. It's about the citizens of this country ensuring that we have a seat at the negotiating table of our own future, and the future of our children. It's about holding our elected officials accountable to the people rather than those who fund their campaigns. The people of Wisconsin made clear this year that we will not take these abuses of power sitting down, but when you follow the money, you'll see all of these issues are connected. We are all Wisconsin. We are all Wall Street. We are all in this together and the time to stand up say "enough!" is now. So we are standing. And we are saying it.

So I thank you, Mr. Williams, for listening and making our voices heard yesterday. I very much look forward to the day very soon when you'll slow-jam the news that Scott Walker has been recalled.

Yours sincerely,
Heather DuBois Bourenane
Wisconsin parent, educator, PTO member, state employee and public education advocate

Thanks, too, to The Ed Schultz Show and MSNBC for the 
continued coverage of Walker's abuses of power in Wisconsin.

And thanks most of all to everyone who stood up with me to send the message
that we do not support Scott Walker or his toxic education policies. Solidarity!


  1. ...and thank you, Heather, for lending us your voice. You speak for us all...you speak for Wisconsin.

  2. Thanks to Brian Williams and you Heather. I wish when Scott Walker denies he ever called teachers and public workers thugs and worse, someone would ask him if he ever disavowed others doing it. Most of the Republican lawmakers fall into this same category with many of them having not only neighbors and constituents that are public workers but also family members.
    When my Representative, Republican Dan Meyer, told me he didn't agree with the names people were being called, I said to him, "By your silence you condone it."
    Our state has been torn apart. Scott Walker, the Repulicans and the Koch brothers did that. It wouldn't have taken much for Walker to stand up and denounce the divide and the name calling...but that would be a leader, which he certainly is not.

  3. Yes, yes - you speak for all of us. Thank you for becoming our voice! No one could have said it better.

  4. This is beautiful Heather and it is this faith in humanity as reflected in your words that keeps us going in Wisconsin, keeps us from giving up and giving in to the corporate interests that not only bought Walker's election but have been behind the manner of Republican legislative voting in Wisconsin in 2011. Giving up would be the destruction of our future.

  5. Thank you sooo much Heather for both letters...Solidarity!!!

  6. Thanks again Heather, you are the voice of many!