American Federation of Teachers Endorses Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Democratic Primary
WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers has voted to endorse Joe Biden for president and Kamala Harris for vice president in the 2024 Democratic primary. Following an extensive member consultation process, the union’s executive council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to endorse Biden and Harris because of their profound understanding of the issues facing working families and their impassioned commitment to using government to help make people’s lives better.
Today’s announcement was made in conjunction with the AFL-CIO’s endorsement and in support of Saturday’s labor rally in Philadelphia, which Biden will attend.
“President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the most pro-labor, pro-public education leaders our country has seen in modern history,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Joe and Kamala understand in their souls the challenges families face, and how important it is to their dignity to earn a decent living and have a shot at owning a home, or securing a retirement, or affording college. They know union membership can be transformative.
“This weekend, the entire labor movement is joining together in an unprecedented show of strength and support to harness the collective power of working people determined to move this country in the direction of freedom, justice and opportunity for all.”
The AFT represents 1.7 million public school teachers and school staff, higher education faculty and other campus workers, nurses and other healthcare professionals, and public employees, across more than 3,000 locals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of Democratic AFT members backed an early endorsement of Biden and Harris in internal polling. Overall, more than 1 million contacts were made to engage members, including several national and regional telephone town halls and one-on-one outreach.
“This president and vice president are committed to reshaping the economy and government to help working people and their families have a better life,” added Weingarten. “From funding schools, to reviving pensions, to game-changing student loan debt cancellation and fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, to expanding the child tax credit—Joe and Kamala have been focused on the programs that make a difference in people’s everyday lives.
“The administration has created 13 million jobs and put in place historic economic, health and social programs, not just responding to the pandemic but building for the future—for example, through the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. And they understand public education, healthcare, higher education and public employees far better than most other elected officials.
“In the face of extremist politicians tearing at the fabric of American democracy, Biden and Harris have been leaders in defending our republic, fighting injustice and protecting our basic freedoms. They have stood up for reproductive rights, voting rights and racial justice; protected LGBTQIA+ freedoms; delivered the most aggressive climate and environmental justice agenda in history; and signed meaningful bipartisan gun violence reforms into law. They have appointed a record number of federal judges with diverse backgrounds, including the first Black female justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“This stellar record is exactly why the entire labor movement has come out to support Joe and Kamala today. It’s time to finish the job.”
The AFT and its affiliates will run AFT members for delegates to next year’s Democratic National Convention in support of Biden and Harris. The union will marshal the necessary resources to ensure our members and their families are registered to vote and are informed of the positions and record of the Biden-Harris ticket.
Today’s endorsement is for the Democratic primary. An endorsement for the general election will be considered by delegates to the AFT’s 88th biennial convention, to be held in late July 2024 in Houston.
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The AFT represents 1.7 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.