AFT Resolution

AFT’S Endorsement of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the 2024 Democratic Presidential Primary

WHEREAS, the 2024 presidential election will be consequential for the values and aspirations of the 1.7 million members of the American Federation of Teachers and the communities we serve; and

WHEREAS, extremist politicians are attacking our freedoms—by banning books, impairing the right to join a union and collectively bargain, failing to protect us from gun violence, restricting our right to make reproductive choices, and denying our right to live as we are—and are threatening the basic institutions that underpin our communities, including public education, public service, higher education, healthcare, and democracy itself; and

WHEREAS, because of these attacks, now, more than ever, we need elected leaders who share our values; and

WHEREAS, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have a profound understanding of the issues facing working families and have demonstrated an impassioned commitment to addressing those issues and using government to help make people’s lives better; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris share our values, know that union membership can be transformative, and have been the most pro-labor and pro-working family administration in modern history; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris fought for and won passage of historic economic, health and social programs that have, and will continue to have, a lasting positive impact on the health and welfare of this country; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris have had only a very small congressional majority during their administration’s first two years, yet have delivered a robust legislative agenda helping families, kids and communities, including: reopening school buildings safely during a once-in-a-generation pandemic, providing historic student debt relief, lowering prescription drug and insulin prices for seniors, expanding child tax credit reviving pensions, delivering the most aggressive climate and environmental justice agenda in history, and creating 12 million jobs, for the fastest job creation rate in 40 years; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris, facing the reality of divided government and a hostile Supreme Court, staved off a manufactured but potentially calamitous default in negotiations with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the debt ceiling and budget; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris have taken action to fight injustice and protect our rights and freedoms, including: fighting for reproductive rights; advancing equity and racial justice; protecting LGBTQIA+ marriages; signing bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation; and appointing a record number of federal judges with diverse backgrounds, including the first Black female justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris understand that democracy is under threat both in the U.S. and abroad and have taken steps to protect the right to vote and fight political extremism by holding accountable those who engage in political violence and addressing the root causes of division and hate, including economic insecurity, disinformation and mental health issues; and

WHEREAS, Biden and Harris have demonstrated over and over that the labor movement and an economic policy that is rooted in work, not wealth, that welcomes unions, and that leaves no one behind, is the pathway to the middle class and shared prosperity; and

WHEREAS, the labor movement—as both an acknowledgment and a springboard—is considering joining together to make an unprecedented, united commitment to and endorsement of Biden and Harris, given their record and long affinity with labor; and

WHEREAS, since Biden’s announcement that he will seek re-election, the AFT has engaged members and leaders to seek their input on whether to endorse and be part of a unified labor strategy, reaching out to hundreds of thousands of AFT members for their input via several telephone town halls, multiple surveys, digital ads, and conversations at the state and local levels; and

WHEREAS, the overwhelming sentiment among members supports such an endorsement, including in a recent poll of AFT membership, where 92 percent of Democratic AFT members supported the AFT moving quickly to endorse Biden in the Democratic primary in a unified labor movement action:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers endorses President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic primary nominations for president and vice president; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT endorsement of the Biden-Harris ticket is made in support of demonstrating a unified labor movement, and the AFT will announce the endorsement in concert with the AFL-CIO and other labor unions to underscore our commitment to labor solidarity and to the re-election of Biden and Harris; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and our affiliates will run AFT members for delegates to the Democratic National Convention in support of Biden and Harris and work to ensure that the national Democratic platform reflects the values of our members; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT and our state and local affiliates will provide the necessary resources to ensure our members and their families are registered to vote, are informed of the positions and record of the Biden-Harris ticket, and are mobilized to support the Biden-Harris ticket.

Adopted May 31, 2023