As someone who is committed to public education and who sees up-close the condition in which our students learn and live, you are in a unique position to help influence public policy. Over the years, the UFT has often called upon its members to speak their minds and tell the truth in lobbying visits, at legislative hearings, public forums, and print and broadcast interviews. You can do this without fear of retribution. You have the right to comment on Department of Education policies publicly, but you should make it clear that you are speaking for yourself only. If any official should attempt to pressure you against speaking your mind or retaliate against you for doing so, the UFT will stand with you. However, the union strongly advises you to consult with your UFT district representative before taking such action.