Change.org Drops StudentsFirst And Stand For Children

This is excellent news! After discussions with the progressive community and pressure brought to bear through petitions, blog posts, and social media, Change.org has decided to drop StudentsFirst and Stand For Children as clients. Here's the

This is excellent news! After discussions with the progressive community and pressure brought to bear through petitions, blog posts, and social media, Change.org has decided to drop StudentsFirst and Stand For Children as clients. Here's the backstory if you missed it.

Via Huffington Post:

In a surprising reversal, Change.org, the progressive online powerhouse that channels grassroots energy into petition-based activism, has dropped two anti-union clients, including Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst, according to multiple sources familiar with the decision.

The move comes after intense pressure from the labor movement and other progressive allies, who accused the for-profit company of betraying its liberal roots by partnering with Rhee, the former head of Washington, D.C., public schools, and the similarly aligned group Stand for Children headed by education advocate Jonah Edelman. The ouster of Stand for Children was confirmed by a Change.org spokesman, who declined to comment on Rhee.

Leaders of Rhee's group were outraged. "We're surprised at their decision," Nancy Zuckerbroad, spokeswoman for StudentsFirst, told HuffPost. "When we spoke to them this afternoon, they couldn't point to a single one of our petitions on their site that violated either the terms of use or spirit of their organization. Not a single one. In fact, they said they agreed that much of the work of our members were in line with the progressive values of the organization. And it's clear that the Change.org community does as well, as tens of thousands of them signed our petitions fighting for the civil rights of all children to receive a high-quality education. For instance, more than 47,000 people signed our petition in support of the Dream Act, compared to fewer than 4,000 who signed the heavily organized protest petition on a different site against Stand for Children."

Oh, Zuckerbroad and StudentsFirst, I don't know. Perhaps it was your union-busting "let teachers have 401k plans" petition, or the one calling to support teachers by eliminating their tenure. Or maybe it was seeing your Dear Leader partnered up with corporate wingers like the DeVos family, or that union-hating Governor Scott Walker. Maybe Change.org saw the corporatism through your thin plastic progressive coating.

I had to laugh at Zuckerbroad's framing:

"Instead of making this decision based on values and principles, they pointed to a number of business and operational factors with their high-value partners who were pressuring them to take this step," Zuckerbroad said. "We believe this is an unfortunate decision on their part, and we imagine a disconcerting one for progressives -- whether they agree with the work we are doing or not -- that instead of standing by their principles, Change.org is standing by their pocketbook.

Uh, yeah. That's why they just dropped two clients funded by billionaires. Sure thing.

At any rate, props to Change.org for making the right choice, and special props to everyone who spoke up on behalf of teachers and embattled union members everywhere. A job well done.

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