February 7, 2012
American Federation of Teachers Endorses President Obama
Obama Is Only Candidate Who Will Fight to Preserve and Expand the Middle Class,
Fight for Economic Opportunity for All Americans
Los Angeles—Declaring that President Obama is the only candidate who will fight to preserve and expand the middle class, close the inequality gap and ensure everyone has a "fair shot" at success, the 1.5 million strong American Federation of Teachers announced today its endorsement of President Obama and Vice President Biden for re-election.
Biden spoke to the AFT Executive Council by telephone following the unanimous endorsement vote. While speaking to the Council, Biden reaffirmed the Obama administration's commitment to building a strong economy and a strong public school system.
"This election is a choice, not a referendum," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "It's a choice between very different economic visions for our country, and at stake is the simple yet powerful notion that everyone deserves a fair chance to achieve the American dream."
Today's announcement kicks off an aggressive grass-roots effort by AFT members to engage their fellow members and their families in broad-based efforts aimed at re-electing Obama. AFT President Weingarten will travel to Colorado on February 9 to meet with members and kick off the AFT's election efforts in the state.
"AFT members work hard every single day to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of the people and children we serve," said Weingarten. "While we have not agreed with every decision President Obama has made, he shares our deep commitment to rebuilding the middle class and ensuring everyone has an opportunity to achieve the American dream."
Kathleen Hofmann, a music teacher in Cincinnati, is one of thousands of members committed to getting her family and co-workers engaged in this election. "I know how much elections matter to our ability to provide a quality education to our students and rebuild the middle class," said Hofmann. "I'm supporting President Obama because he is the only candidate willing to stand up for the rest of us and fight for economic fairness in our country."
The endorsement was voted on by the AFT's Executive Council following months of surveys, meetings, online forums and conversations with thousands of AFT members who made it clear that they support the re-election of Obama.
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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.