‘Clinton is the champion working families need in the White House’
The AFT executive counciL voted overwhelmingly on July 11 to endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary for president of the United States. The AFT is the first national union to endorse a candidate in the presidential primary.
“In vision, in experience and in leadership, Hillary Clinton is the champion working families need in the White House,” says AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members, and is prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities. That fight defines her campaign and her career.
“In Arkansas, Hillary fought to expand access to early childhood education and care. As first lady, she fought for the right to affordable, high-quality healthcare and helped win that right for our youngest citizens. As senator, she fought for education funding and workers’ rights, and she defended public service workers who came to our nation’s defense on Sept. 11. And as secretary of state, she promoted democracy throughout the world, lifting up the worth and dignity of all people—men and women, gay and straight.”
As in past elections, the AFT’s 1.6 million members will be a powerful organizing force behind our endorsed candidate. Leading up to November 2016, AFT members are expected to make more than 1 million phone calls and knock on more than 500,000 doors.
“I’m proud that my national union endorsed Hillary because she’s a champion for working families,” says Kate Morris, a registered nurse at McKenzie–Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Ore.
“Working on the frontlines of care delivery, my colleagues and I understand firsthand the need to shift America’s corporate culture,” says Nicole Mankowski, a registered nurse at Christ Hospital, a CarePoint facility in Jersey City, N.J. “Putting short-term profits first—before patient care and worker investment—is not just wrong, it’s bad business. But when we invest in workers, communities and the health of our patients, it pays off for everyone in the long run. Hillary Clinton really gets it.”
The AFT conducted a long, deliberative process to assess which candidate would best champion the issues of importance to our members, their families and communities. Members were engaged online, through the You Decide website, through several telephone town halls, and through multiple surveys—reaching more than 1 million members.
Additionally, the AFT conducted a scientific poll of our membership on candidates and key issues. The top issues members raised were jobs and the economy and public education. By more than a 3-to-1 ratio, members said the union should endorse Clinton.