Phyllis Scherrer for Vice President

Phyllis Scherrer, 48, has been a schoolteacher in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for the last fifteen years. She has been a socialist and a fighter for the working class for her entire adult life.

A lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, Phyllis grew up in a working class family and was raised by her mother, a custodian for a local phone company. Scherrer was won to Trotskyism while studying abroad in Europe. Her studies included a review of the barbarism caused by capitalism in the 20th Century, along with visits to Dachau and other Holocaust camps.

Opposed to the militarist and anti-working class policies of the Reagan administration and the US political establishment as a whole, Phyllis joined the Workers League, the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party, as a student at Chatham College in 1984, where she took part in the party’s election campaign that year. She played an active role in the struggle to provide a leadership to steelworkers as they battled against mill closures, union-busting, and the betrayals by the United Steel Workers Union. She fought for a socialist program in the struggles of coal miners in the 1980s and 1990s in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Phyllis Scherrer has been witness to the human cost of capitalism’s deindustrialization and the corresponding attack on the working class over the past three decades. The day-to-day toll that has ravaged thousands of small towns across what is commonly called the “American Rust Belt” can be measured in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the return in many areas to social conditions not seen since the 1930s. As a schoolteacher in the Pittsburgh area, Phyllis has seen the impact on schools of the closure of the mills and the electrical industries, which led to a sharp fall in the tax base.

As a writer for the WSWS and a member of the Socialist Equality Party, Phyllis has been involved in the fight to defend public education from the attacks of the Bush and Obama administrations. From Bush's "No Child Left Behind," to Obama's "Race to the Top," the ruling class in the United States has been engaged in a wholesale attack on the ideal that everyone should have access to quality education as a basic right. She has fought to connect the struggles of teachers and young people to a political movement of the working class against the capitalist system.