Verdaillia Turner on the Better Georgia Podcast

76 Interview with Verdaillia Turner

Verdaillia Turner on the Better Georgia Podcast

Today on the Better Georgia Podcast, we are interviewing the president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers, Verdaillia Turner.(Read the transcript). We’re talking about the upcoming Governor’s race, and the candidates that are running for the office. Listen in to learn more about Verdaillia Turner, and why she and the Georgia Federation of Teachers are supporting Stacey Evans in the Governor’s race.

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We felt that we needed to let Georgia know early on that we need to take a hard look at this [governor’s] primary and make sure the right woman wins.” – Verdaillia Turner

Show Notes:

  • What the Georgia Federation of Teachers is and why it matters
  • When Verdaillia got started in politics
  • How the Georgia Federation of Teachers chose Stacey Evans to endorse for Governor
  • Why the Georgia Federation of Teachers endorsed Stacey Evans early
  • How Verdaillia feels about Stacey Abrams and her financial trouble
  • How the reputation of Stacey Abrams is different outside of Georgia
  • What listeners can do to help the Georgia Federation of Teachers

People have forgotten what a competitive election looks like.” – Bryan Long

Links Mentioned:

  • Connect with Verdaillia Turner and the Georgia Federation of Teachers:

Email | Website

I don’t care what color you are; we need people of integrity in office.” – Verdaillia Turner

Transcript:

00:04  Introduction. [music]

01:01 Louis Elrod: Hello, and welcome to the Better Georgia podcast. Better Georgia is your voice for progress. I am Louis Elrod, the Political Director at Better Georgia, and your eyes and ears for everything that matters in Georgia politics. With me is Better Georgia Executive Director, Bryan Long. Hello, Bryan.

01:18 Bryan Long: Hey, Louis.

01:19 LE: Well, we are honored to be sitting here today with our guest that we are interviewing, Verdaillia Turner, President of the Georgia Federation of Teachers. Verdaillia, thank you so much for joining us today.

01:30 Verdaillia Turner: Thank you for having me.

01:31 LE: Well, could you tell our listeners a little bit more about the Georgia Federation of Teachers, what the organization does, and who you represent?

01:41 VT: The Georgia Federation of Teachers is the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. Nationwide, there are 1.7 million members. We have locals throughout the state, and we represent exclusively personnel who are not administrators. So teachers, paraprofessional, secretaries, and in some places, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, etcetera. In other words, the workers who are on the front line. That’s what our membership is composed of.

02:06 BL: Verdaillia, we’ve known each other for years, but we really got to know each other working together during the Amendment 1 campaign.

02:14 VT: Yes.

02:14 BL: We helped defeat Amendment 1 at the ballot box.

02:15 VT: In a big way, you did. Yes.

02:17 BL: Yeah. Well, you were a huge part of that. You were leading… You were at the front of the parade, leading us all in the right direction early.

02:25 VT: Well, yeah. What we do at Georgia Federation of Teachers is we look for the best solutions for all of our children. We believe that every American should be more than adequately educated, and we believe in public schools, and they should be among the best schools. In fact, American Federation of Teachers, the concept of charter schools came from us. We were just reading some things that Albert Shanker had in mind and it’s not like the Georgia charter schools. So we tried to influence public policy in boards of educations to do the best things and many times, the right things for the entire community of Georgia.

03:01 BL: Very nice.

03:02 LE: Well and how long have you been involved in the Georgia Federation of Teachers and Georgia politics?

03:08 VT: Well Ever since I was 28 years old and I am now…

03:13 BL: You don’t have to answer that. [laughter]

03:15 LE: Yeah, no. It’s not required…

03:15 VT: For quite a while, but I’ve been [03:17] ____ how many years. But for quite…

03:19 BL: You’re like 30 now.

03:19 VT: I wish, but for quite some time now, Louis. [laughter]

03:23 LE: So you’ve seen quite a few developments in Georgia over the years.

03:27 VT: Oh, definitely.

03:28 LE: So you’ve seen things change back when this was a Democratic state.

03:31 VT: Yes.

03:31 LE: And when it was a Republican state now, so you’ve got a good background.

03:36 BL: And you’ve seen something that we’ve been talking about on this podcast for weeks now, and that’s a competitive democratic primary. There are a lot of people who’ve forgotten what competitive primaries look like.

03:46 VT: That’s right. That’s right. And our hearts were heavy initially. We were actually looking for the last two years for a good candidate, the same way we were looking for a good candidate for state school superintendent a few years back. We found one. Unfortunately, she did not win. But we did come up with a candidate and we’re proud of this candidate. She actually courted us and it was not a easy thing. And after we talked with her and vetted her, and sat down with her, and she was so gracious to give us so much time, we are more than positive that this candidate is the best candidate for all of the children and the families in Georgia, regardless of their political affiliation. And that person happens to be Stacey Evans, that’s E­V­A­N­S.

04:34 BL: Stacey Evans, who is running for the office of governor against Stacey Abrams. And I know a lot of people from out of Georgia know Stacey Abrams. Stacey Abrams gets a lot of headlines, but you all endorsed Stacey Evans who our listeners may not be as familiar with. Why did you endorse Stacey Evans?

04:58 VT: Well, Stacey has education right. And I don’t know many people remember Diane Ravitch, which was the assistant secretary of education under George W Bush? Diane Ravitch was a champion of No Child Left Behind. And after she saw that it was No Child Left A Dime, she actually repented and backed up. She wrote some books, went across the country, just like, I guess, in Billy Graham style, preaching the gospel about what education should be and what it’s all about. Looking at what the National Council of State Legislatures, the bipartisan group has also looked at and figured out, that the United States is doing education wrong and this is the way to get it right.

05:32 VT: Stacey Evans is following in the footsteps of Diane Ravitch. She backed up on some of her positions that initially she had at the Capitol. She was actually put through the wringer, I feel sorry for her, by the Georgia Federation of Teachers board in Savannah. We had a special meeting down there. She’s come before our Atlanta board and many of our teachers. She believes that children should have a great public education, that education should be based on the best research, evidence­based research that actually works in the classrooms, that the teachers should be paid better, classrooms should be smaller, but she has a comprehensive educational platform that we are proud of, no doubt.

06:13 BL: And your organization endorsed early. Did you think that was important? Was endorsing early any part of your political [06:22] ____?

06:22 VT: Definitely, definitely. One of the reasons we wanted to endorse early is because we know that the opposition has been planning for many years. This person has been running for governor for many years, even in their position down at the State House. And as we saw this person in operation, even as the Caucus leader, we knew what their intentions were. They had been at our office once when they were raising money and they let us know what their intentions were. This is not to be demeaning in any way, but the person told us at the time and said that they are from Mississippi and never going back.

06:54 VT: And we started looking [chuckle], we started actually looking at this person’s record and how they maneuvered, for lack of a better word, at the State House in order to, what we saw and believed, to be all about a personal agenda and about a power play. And teachers, we’re servants. I guess we’re servants by nature, many of us. And we like for our public servants to be humble. And that does not mean weak, but to also to be people who listen and we did not find that in the other candidate. So therefore, we felt that we needed to get out there to let Georgia know early on as we did with Opportunity School District, that we need to take a hard look at this primary and make sure that the right woman wins.

07:42 BL: And I’m gonna go ahead and use the name. Stacey Abrams is the woman you’re talking about who you said just now that she’s been running for governor for years. You’ve known her intent was to run for at least a couple of years, maybe three or…

07:54 VT: Yes, oh yes. At least three, it could have been more, but we don’t hold that against her. But at what price is that when a person purposes that they are gonna be governor regardless?

08:08 BL: Well this brings up a good point. Now I wanted to ask you about this. If you’ve known for years that Stacey Abrams wanted to run for governor, were you surprised at all when you read her personal financial disclosure that she released herself, just after qualifying, were you surprised to see that she was in debt? I think it’s around $76,000 in credit card debt, $100,000 to Yale Law School, and $50,000 for missing two different years of payments to the IRS. Did that surprise you?

08:40 VT: We were surprised but not disappointed. We have tried to deal with leader, well she was former Caucus leader, Abrams for several years now. We’ve been disappointed each time that we’ve tried to work with her, and to meet with her on various issues. We were even… We’re not very surprised because we also look at what we believe, best character traits are. But the problem here is that if you’re running for the governor of Georgia, you should be above reproach, and therefore you should not owe Uncle Sam. You should pay your taxes on time. I know I paid mine on time.

09:21 BL: Right.

09:21 VT: And definitely, you should be paying your debts. 09:24 BL: And she’s a tax attorney.

09:25 VT: And she’s a tax attorney, and now that was shocking to know that she was not paying her taxes, and I believe as far back as 2012. Maybe she had a lien on some property during that time for not paying her taxes. There’s really no excuse.

09:39 BL: Yeah and so you brought up a good point. Thanks for mentioning that. I think one thing that many people are forgetting right now is that she is a tax attorney by profession, by training, and she has had problems with the IRS previously back… She missed payments in 2010 and the IRS put a lien on her property that was disclosed in 2012, as you mentioned. And I think what I was getting at with my question is she knew she was going to run for governor three years ago, it seems, from your telling of the story and yet two of the past three years, she has not fully paid her taxes.

10:15 VT: Exactly.

10:16 BL: What does that… Does that like disqualify her in some way in your mind?

10:18 VT: It will. In our mind, we are looking at what else? The questions become what else is it that we do not know because as more comes to light, I think the public would be shocked at trying to elect the person to be governor that’s not paying their debts, or paying Uncle Sam. But again, if you are running for governor, you should be above reproach and especially since you knew that you were gonna run.

10:44 BL: Before we change subjects, I just wanna get back to what she owes. I think her defense is that she has written and said that she is taking care of her family. She’s taking care of her parents down in Mississippi. I think she’s paid, she didn’t say what she’d paid to support them, but she’s saying that she’s learned a lot of lessons over time. She made some bad decisions when she was in college as in regard to credit card debt. And a lot of people can relate to that. People can relate to family problems and not being able to pay their bills. The way you’re looking at me tells me you’re not buying that.

11:19 VT: No, we’re not buying it at all. And in fact, many times we hear this person say that… I’m not quoting her, but I didn’t know, already I passed the book on to someone else. This woman is very well­educated and…

11:34 BL: Yale Law School.

11:35 VT: Yeah, Yale Law School, very well­educated, graduated valedictorian of her class in high school. That’s no excuse. I have parents to take care of also. One of the reasons why I made some personal decisions in my life [11:48] ____ and that’s on a teacher’s salary. My colleagues have done the same thing. That’s really not an excuse that Georgia should buy.

11:56 BL: When I hear Stacey Abrams say that she’s taking care of her parents and so she couldn’t pay this debt, I find it interesting that she put $50,000 into her own campaign of her own money. She personally invested $50,000 of her own money into her campaign, yet she still owes this debt. It’s a very interesting nice, round figure. I don’t know that I trust the supporting of her family excuse.

12:25 VT: Exactly. Well yeah, and I don’t know if her parents still are able or still living here in Georgia. I believe that Miss Abrams has other sisters, also siblings that may be sharing the responsibility, or could share into the responsibility. I think her parents were also professionals, but I took care of my mother, Bryan, until she died, and I’ve made some real hard decisions also, but… And many times, I didn’t do things because I made those life decisions. But now this person is asking to be Chief Executive of our state, and they’re gonna handle the budget, the money and those poor choices, and this is a middle­aged woman, still is inexcusable. Now we commend her for taking care of her parents and I don’t think that she has children to take care of. Many people have children and they’re in debt, and they still take care of their responsibilities, etcetera, but that’s absolutely no excuse.

13:21 BL: And so if she becomes the Democratic nominee for Governor after this May 22nd primary, how do you think the Republicans are going to view her debt? Are they gonna give her a pass?

13:36 VT: Oh, they’re definitely not gonna give her a pass. And in fact, if I may go a little further, we see her nomination as devastating. We’ve watched the commercials on television and we’ve not heard any platform. But we have heard the fact that, “I’m a woman.” We’ve heard the fact that, “I’m black,” or some people say African American. I remember when President Obama was running for President and he said, “I’m running for President for the entire nation. I’m not running for a particular race.” But we definitely see that as devastating. There are, Republicans are gonna be loaded for bear in this state and we may as well just hand the state right on over to them there.

14:13 BL: So that’s an interesting point that you just made regarding President Obama. He did try to step around the issue of race as much as he could. He gave one really big speech on race for sure.

14:26 VT: Well, he was the elephant in the room already. [laughter]

14:28 BL: Yeah. It was obvious. But we’re seeing with the Stacey Abrams campaign, race seems to be at the forefront of her campaign, and you’re saying that’s an issue.

14:36 VT: Yeah. Well, we believe that Stacey Abrams will win even if she loses because there is… What’s happening is that the African American race has been historically one to vote Democratic. And people make a business out of registered people to vote, making sure that they have influence over particular people. It’s a big money making business all over the country. So this person will be able to garner more black influence, and there’s some others in other states doing the same thing now and they’re coming together. The pause in here is that when Americans or anybody look to particular people to get their signals and messages from, and not necessarily think for themselves because they don’t have all the information, then many times, we’re misled. And that has happened throughout the years in politics. So I’m African American, and I do not want to see not only African Americans misled, but our Latino brothers and sisters, our Caucasian brothers and sisters misled. But the business of politics and influencing politics based on race is becoming big business.

15:53 BL: Well, we may circle back to that before we’re done, but I wanna talk about one other story. When we were talking about Stacey Abrams’ debt, you said it makes you concerned about what else there might be out there.

16:07 VT: Yes, definitely.

16:08 BL: The day after the public learned about Stacey Abrams’ deep indebtedness from her own personal financial disclosure, and I just wanna make it clear to our listeners here that this was not a political opposition hit. This was not an attack piece. These were her own personal finances that she released. And so the day after we learned that, the AJC reported that Stacey Abrams had a contract with the State of Georgia at the same time she was negotiating to roll back the HOPE Scholarship, the full funding of the HOPE Scholarship. We didn’t know that. I did not know that.

16:44 VT: Well, we did. Yeah. [laughter]

16:46 BL: I have followed the HOPE Scholarship… Better Georgia started, because we were fighting one of… Our first issues was to preserve the HOPE Scholarship, the full funding. And I had been curious the entire times, all these years, why Stacey Abrams stood by the Governor’s side, negotiated with the Governor to give away this full scholarship program, and then attended his photo op and had her picture made with him. And then when I saw that in the AJC, Verdaillia, I was frankly shocked by that, but you weren’t.

17:19 VT: No. And let us go back to the First Amendment 1, the Charter School Amendment. And in fact again, we would just read what Albert Shanker had in mind about charter schools, and we could be glad to share… The Original Charter School Vision by Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter, and this was written August 30, 2014. The problem here is that with Amendment 1, with all the amendments that have been put on the ballots in Georgia, since Governor Deal has been in office. The House Dems’ votes were necessary in order to get any of those amendments on the ballot. You have to have to have two­thirds of the House and Senate in order to get anything put on the ballot. And when the language is on those ballots, oh it looks all so nice and so peachy, so people would vote for it. But the House Dems had voted no to Amendment 1, 10 days took place and a lot of gnashing of teeth and lobbying went on and etcetera, and Miss Abrams went in and told her Caucus, “You can vote your conscience”, and then vote was opened back up and they went to town and Amendment 1 got on the ballot.

18:32 BL: So, you’re saying after the Democrats had blocked it once…

18:34 VT: Yes.

18:35 BL: She came back and said, “Vote your conscience.”

18:37 VT: Power of the leader. And then, after the State said, “No,” with a “H” in front of it, and I like to say, “Heavens no,” to that, to the Opportunity School District, 152 counties out of 159 said, “No.” Ms. Abrams wrote an op­ed for House Bill 338, which is actually the Opportunity School District. See, in other states such as Michigan and Louisiana, there was a statute for Opportunity School District. This state got so bold, because they have so many American Legislative Exchange Council members, etcetera, another subject, until it went for a constitutional amendment. And so Ms. Abrams championed that, and then did not take a vote in her Caucus to go against this darn thing, went to the well, her Caucus was split. Knowing… Now, let’s say something else about this.

19:26 VT: Knowing again she was gonna run for governor, she ran for House leader, that’s a two year term. And she stepped down at the first year. She had opposition also. I think it was Representative Winfred Dukes that run against her, and about six people were absent. She barely won. But the power of the Caucus, a leader, is powerful. Those are the people… That’s the person that goes in and negotiate with the Governor, close the door, don’t take anybody in with them. Some Caucus leaders in the past did take folk with them. I know Abrams…

19:57 BL: But Abrams did not?

20:00 VT: She didn’t. I know Emanuel Jones did; I know Representative Keith Heard was the core Caucus leader at the time, they would take people with them. And there are some others that have not done it, so a whole lot of deal cutting that’s going on. And so, this woman became Caucus leader, and led the agenda knowing darn well that she was gonna run for governor. Never should have been the Caucus leader. But, when House Bill 338 surfaced and she did what she could to make sure it passed, it passed. So Georgia actually has…

20:28 BL: And that was the Amendment 1, the Opportunity School District, sort of, part two. 20:32 VT: In statute.

20:32 BL: Yeah, Part B.

20:32 VT: In statute, exactly.

20:35 BL: It basically accomplished by statute what the voters had turned down.

20:39 VT: On amendment. 20:39 BL: And she led that.

20:41 VT: Yes, she definitely did. And I happened to get a call from our national office at the time, and they said, “Turner… ” And I don’t wanna call the officer’s names, there are a lot of… And they said, “What the hell is going on with Stacey Abrams?” I said, “Well, we’ve always known this. And in fact, when you all were putting her on EMILY’s List, and introducing her to labor unions, and she was collecting money and… ” Most lawyers are pretty good at talking, and etcetera, and filled a void in Georgia because the Democratic Party was suffering. Then… We knew this, but we could not get it across to anybody, and they were not listening.

21:10 BL: Do you have a sense then, that her reputation is different outside of Georgia, than it is inside?

21:16 VT: Oh, definitely, definitely so. The further you are away from the source of politics, the less people know. And all politics happens to be, what? Local. So, when you’re at home… I think it’s in the Bible where it was said, “A prophet is not honored, necessarily, in their own home.” And there’s a reason for that, because you usually know that prophet very well. [laughter]

21:34 VT: So he’s got to be, what? A good prophet. So, definitely so, there is a different image there. Now, there was another activist in another city, I won’t call his name, he didn’t give me permission to say this.

21:46 BL: Sure.

21:47 VT: Was letting us know that, when they got ready to go the Democratic Convention, that they wanted Shirley Franklin to be the spokesperson, and Ms. Abrams got on the phone, called the party, somebody at the party, and they were the ones that were celebrating Democratic National Convention on stage. So I will say that she has a good PR firm, if she has one, I think she does, a good image [22:04] ____ and making firm, and etcetera. And as I say, she’s been running for governor for quite some time. We don’t see a lot of substance there. We asked Ms. Abrams when she went to Louisiana with the Governor and a few others… Teach For America paid for that, and looked at the schools in New Orleans, and I saved the emails; Had to ask her five times, “What did you see?” Because we already knew what was happening down there. And she finally told me that she didn’t have an opinion and we found that to be a problem, because most lawyers do have opinions, most… Everybody have an opinion…

22:35 BL: Well, law… She was elected to have an opinion.

22:37 VT: Yeah, definitely, and she would not answer us. But I went to see her after the National Office asked me to, our National Office, and we called a meeting, and there was a national person from the AFT, and there was a political director from the CWA in that meeting with us, with Ms. Abrams, about House Bill 338. And that was before the vote went down. That’s when she wrote the op­ed. And she was very cold; She was, in my opinion… I’m trying to figure out the right adjective for it, stern. She did let us know that our tactics would not work for her, that she did not need us or… We extended an olive branch and asked her to include us as people who could help her with her educational policies, but she definitely let me know that we weren’t necessary. At the end of the meeting, she texted the National person that she wanted to continue to work with them, and she didn’t understand that those National staff people actually work for us. So…

23:39 BL: And this is the labor structure that we’re talking about, unions…

23:41 VT: Exactly.

23:43 BL: You’re saying right now that…

23:45 VT: She tried to go past me.

23:45 BL: She didn’t wanna talk with you, she wanted to talk with your bosses in Washington, DC.

23:49 VT: Well, she wanted to talk with that staff person. She wanted to keep the relationship going, and then she’d let me know. In that meeting, that she had relationships with people higher than me, there’s no such thing in the AFT as people higher; we’re all teachers that were elected. And our National President is elected by us, and the State Presidents [chuckle] are elected by the local President. And so, she didn’t understand that structure. But, that shows the boldness, it also has shown that she does not have a willingness to work with people. Now, I had heard that through the years, but I had never had to directly deal with her, but this time, we’ve had to directly deal with her in education, and I saw it for myself.

24:29 BL: Well, our time is short, but I wanna circle back just once more to the State contract because I was so surprised by this.

24:35 VT: Yes.

24:35 BL: And I know it’s not a surprise to you, but it was for me. And in the article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, she said that somebody from Sam Olens’ office, Attorney General Sam Olens, had given her verbal approval for this contract, didn’t have it in writing. So, Republicans knew that she had the contract, but as far as I can tell, Democrats in her own Caucus didn’t realize she had this contract, and she was collecting a fee, a salary from the State, in essence, through her company; at the same time she was negotiating with these Republicans, does that…

25:12 VT: Oh, that’s a red flag. I mean, it’s almost a burgundy flag, it’s so deep red. I wonder how many Caucus members did not know that she had those State contracts, now that was all negotiated. Now, I think she has about 16 or 17{21a0f2e682527d5e15328a793158bcc0a9b8955c1b60e5cb556db3e7991c3fc5} interest in a particular contract, and I think the law says if you have 25{21a0f2e682527d5e15328a793158bcc0a9b8955c1b60e5cb556db3e7991c3fc5}, don’t quote me, I may be a little off, that you have to divulge certain information. But the question still becomes, as a lawyer, if she’s advising this… In Corporate America, this is how things happened also; then, how much was she paid for her fees, and then how much was she paid for the profit? But this is definitely something that… If there’s any reason for the Caucus to back away from her, and any other Democrat in the State of Georgia, that should be one right there.

26:01 BL: And I said that we would wrap it up, but I wanna circle back to, we did talk about race a little bit, and you were very open and honest…

26:07 VT: Yes.

26:08 BL: And I appreciate your viewpoints on that. Some people will say that we should not attack… And they will consider even this conversation an attack on Stacey Abrams because she’s a black woman, and it is time for black women to be elected to offices like the Governor of Georgia. Do you find merit in that argument? Or what do you… How do you respond to people who make those sorts of arguments and accusations?

26:36 VT: Well, I was born and raised in the same city as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And in his speech “I Have A Dream”, he said that he was looking for a country that his children could be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

26:58 BL: You’re getting emotional, this means a lot.

27:02 VT: It does… I don’t care what color you are. We need people of integrity in office. We need honest people. People who are transparent, and folk who are gonna look for the best possible solutions that would include all of our citizens. One day, and I hope I will live long enough Bryan, to see it, we will have a black governor. We will have a Hispanic governor or an Asian governor. But if we had the right African American woman on the ticket, I could support her, but this is not the right African American woman. The day that we endorsed Stacey Evans, there was a post put up calling us monkeys; we know who did it and it was taken down. I think that was smart, [chuckle] for the folk to take it down. Black is not an excuse. I know that some of my friends around the State who helped us fight the Opportunity School District, called me up and told us the State representatives and the operatives for Ms. Abrams, who said to them, “You mean you’re gonna support a white woman over this black woman?” That’s bullying. And it’s racist.

27:02 VT: There is such thing as being racist even if you’re black. [chuckle] I don’t know if people have ever looked at that. So, we pray… We actually beg and pray Georgia to support a better candidate. Is Ms. Evans perfect? No human is perfect, but Ms. Evans is the best candidate for the Democrats during this election cycle.

28:57 BL: Wow. Thank you for that. Here at Better Georgia, we have struggled with how to talk about this race for the Democratic primary for governor, because we do understand the historic nature of what it would mean to elect Stacey Abrams governor. But it does seem… And again, you’re not surprised by this, you have worked with Stacey Abrams for a long time, but we are learning this, sort of, on the fly. We’re learning more and more about her financial issues, her state contracts, her working with the Republicans on a regular basis. And quite frankly, it has been difficult for us to learn that, and not talk about it in some way. So thank you for giving voice to that.

29:43 VT: You’re welcome. You’re welcome.

29:45 BL: I didn’t expect this to be as emotional as it was, I can tell this means a lot to you.

29:49 VT: It does.

29:50 BL: And Louis, I have nothing else to say here.

29:53 LE: Absolutely. Well, we… President Turner, we really appreciate your time. And it’s important, at the end of these podcasts, we always ask, what our listeners can do for you and how they can get in contact with your organization. What can our listeners do to support the Georgia Federation of Teachers?

30:08 VT: If you know an educator… We’re not after money, we spend most of our money lobbying, and on cases. We give money away to scholarships, etcetera. If you know an educator, ask them to join us, please. But our phone number is 404­315­0222. And you can reach us at gftaft@bellsouth.net.

30:36 LE: Alright, President Turner, thank you so much for joining us today. That’s all the time we’ve got for now. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Better Georgia podcast coming to you from Tucker, Georgia. We will be coming back next Monday. If you like what you hear, rate us on iTunes, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Better Georgia is your voice for progress. Find out more about Georgia’s progressive movement at bettergeorgia.org. Questions, comments? Send your thoughts to podcast@bettergeorgia.org or find us on Twitter @bettergeorgia. We’ll see you next time.

[music]

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