The forced payment of dues is unconstitutional. Your choice of how you use your money was taken away. Some may feel taxes are unconstitutional, but the UFT is not the USA. Trump wants to kick 'illegal' non-tax payers out, much like the enlightened elitists of the UFT would like to do to the non-due paying teachers. Would the UFT have its members refuse undocumented children? No, only non- due paying teachers (and ATRs even those that pay dues, of course). Optional dues will be devastating for those unions, like the UFT, that do little or nothing for its members. The NYFD, NYPD, etc. won't have that problem as they work for their members. I want a union that represents us fairly. I want the UFT to do that. I would like to continue to pay dues. I believe in unions, but the UFT is not a union. There are those that say we must work from inside to make the changes we want to see. That is impossible. The entire operation is rigged from elections, voting, decision making and the indifference it exhibits (that is as devasting as targeted aggression). The UFT sees what's coming - having door knockers beg us isn't going to work. It's all about the dues for the UFT, but it doesn't acknowledge that it's NOT about the dues for most of us. It's about respect, being able to teach and having some type of security. When the UFT came into my former school to answer questions concerning 150 of us becoming ATRs, we were told to adapt, (the rest of the sentence was purposely left unfinished - or die). I would suggest the UFT follow its own advice. If or when the charter schools almost completely take over, the UFT can blame those that will opt out - but that opting out and its eventual demise will be because of its systemic indifference and languid long term sale of our hard earned rights.