For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Tomlinson
Lessons from Chicago – Local Activist and Freeholder Candidate, Melissa Tomlinson speaks at the People’s Summit
Melissa Tomlinson is a local teacher, education activist, and Green Party candidate for Freeholder at Large in Atlantic County. Melissa Tomlinson is not new to education activism, many may remember her as the teacher who was yelled at by Governor Chris Christie at his Sommer’s Point campaign stop in 2013. Melissa currently serves as the assistant executive director of Badass Teachers Association. In this capacity, she was a co-writer of an Amicus Brief for the Supreme Court case Friedrich’s vs. CTA that sought to undermine the collective bargaining rights of teachers, Most recently, she was named as a co-chair of the education committee of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change. She has been a speaker at state and national events from Public Education rallies in Trenton to the SOS March event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This past weekend she was an invited speaker at The People’s Summit in Chicago Il, where she participated in a panel discussion titled “Beyond Betsy: Organizing for Educational Justice”.
Melissa plainly demonstrated to the office how the proposed cuts to the Federal education budget are nothing short of racist, concluding that education is “the next civil right’s issue that our country will be facing.” With millions of dollars on the chopping block to 21st Century Grants, pre-school expansion, and professional development, she discussed how these cuts would most harm the public education systems in communities of color. These cuts would stop funding for afterschool programs that provide a safe space for youth to be as well as provide assistance with homework and even snacks and meals. Melissa talked about how early education needs to be a priority in these communities, and how a cut of monies spent on professional development would cause harm to the initiative that all students deserve a highly qualified teacher.
Melissa’s platform for her candidacy for freeholder focuses in connecting the government to the people in Atlantic County. “Our families in Atlantic County need help and it is our responsibility to make sure they are able to benefit from the services available by providing direct assistance to caretakers and individuals.” Some additional points of her platform involve new solutions to tax relief for Atlantic County, increasing government transparency, and advocating in Trenton for the specific benefit of South Jersey.