“At a time when banks have frozen investment and municipalities have frozen borrowing, we’ve decided to step forward,” says Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. In January, Weingarten began meeting with the leaders of other major public employee unions, including some — the Service Employees International Union, the National Education Association — that aren’t AFL-CIO members. They decided to commit a share of their retirement funds to projects that shored up the nation’s infrastructure. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) assisted them, setting up meetings between the union leaders and supportive state treasurers.


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