AFT members applaud Clinton's push for equality

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AFT members and leaders were on hand at two Sept. 10 events with Hillary Clinton, who focused on promoting equality for all. At the first event in Columbus, Ohio—part of a "Women for Hillary" initiative—she reiterated her support for equal pay, for reproductive rights and for paid maternity leave, as well as making college more affordable.

Hillary Clinton with Ohio members"Hillary spoke to the challenges facing mothers, grandmothers, students and all Ohioans," said Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper, who is an AFT vice president. "It's inspiring to hear from a candidate who has hopes and dreams for our future and a vision to make all people's lives better by talking about affordable college education, access to pre-K and supporting educators to create positive learning environments in our schools."

Registered nurse Jessie Frymyer, president of the Ohio State University Nurses Organization and a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, said she's excited because Clinton is someone who can find common ground and bring people together from all sides to make the changes our country needs. In addition, Frymyer added, "Hillary Clinton is a champion for high-quality healthcare. She recognizes that nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and that we are professionals who deserve a voice at work."

OFT member Erin Stamm, an adoptions assessor and child welfare caseworker at Franklin County Children Services, said Clinton spoke to the needs of the children and young people she serves in her work. "I have committed my life to ensuring they have a better life, and it's clear that Hillary shares my values in making sure they have the access to high-quality education, healthcare and the opportunities they need to succeed."

Hillary Clinton with Wisconsin membersClinton continued her Midwest tour with a stop the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, talking about many of the same issues of equality and opportunity. She also took the chance to get in a few jabs at the state's Republican governor, who happens to be running for president. "It seems to me just observing him that Gov. Walker thinks because he busts unions, starves universities, guts public education, demeans women, scapegoats teachers, nurses and firefighters, he's some kind of tough guy on his motorcycle. Well, that is not leadership."

Registered nurse Mary Milton, a member of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, was in the crowd. "I support Hillary because she will fight for women, for my patients and for America's working families," she said. "She has always been a champion for affordable, quality healthcare. I believe she is the right candidate to take on the complex and growing challenges our healthcare system faces."

[Dan Gursky, Jesse Drews, Debra Kosloske]