September 15, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten, President,
American Federation of Teachers,
On D.C. Mayoral Candidate Vincent Gray’s Democratic Primary Victory
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers congratulates Vincent Gray on his primary victory in the Washington, D.C., mayor’s race. He ran an impressive campaign focused on issues important to the people of the District of Columbia. We will continue to work in the weeks ahead to support his campaign and help ensure victory on Nov. 2.
Chairman Gray was endorsed by the Washington Teachers’ Union, our local affiliate. Their support, and ours, was driven by a desire to see a fully engaged chief executive in D.C., one who believes that collaboration and inclusion are characteristics of strong leadership.
The AFT is confident that Vincent Gray will bring a culture of positive, sustainable progress to City Hall, through leadership, hard work, a willingness to listen and engage, and a commitment to ensuring that parents, community members and elected leaders are all rowing in the same direction. Earlier this year, the district and the WTU entered into a contract that was approved by 80 percent of the membership. It has provisions that challenge teachers and the district to think and work differently to improve teaching and learning in all our schools. There is no turning back on our commitment to give our children the great education—and city—they deserve.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.