AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, the mission of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers is to champion fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities; and

WHEREAS, our ability to fight for what we believe in depends on engaging our membership, involving our community and exercising our strength at the bargaining table and at the ballot box; and

WHEREAS, the country is recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression, people are still struggling, the wealth gap is growing, the middle class is shrinking, wages are failing to keep up with expenses, college is increasingly unaffordable and retirement security is out of reach—no wonder people fear the economy is rigged against them and that our politics are broken; and

WHEREAS, the stakes of the 2016 election are immense, especially the election of the next president of the United States, because we’re in a battle for the soul of the country; and

WHEREAS, the next president of the United States could appoint multiple Supreme Court justices, who could make decisions on every constitutional issue imaginable, including workers’ voice, voter rights, civil and women’s rights, and overturning Citizens United; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has spent her entire career working to level the playing field for all Americans to create well-paying jobs for the middle class, including investment in manufacturing, infrastructure and education, and will raise the minimum wage, while Donald Trump opposes the minimum wage, has declared that American wages are too high and manufactures his own products overseas; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton believes that a strong labor movement is essential to building a strong middle class, supports collective bargaining and has promised that labor will have a seat at the table, while Donald Trump has fought the unionization of his businesses, has said he “loves right-to-work laws” and has compared teachers unions to “monopolies”; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has a bold plan to ensure that the economy works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few; that corporations, CEOs and the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes; and that Wall Street, banks and corporations are held accountable; while Donald Trump supports massive tax cuts that would benefit the wealthy few, has avoided paying his share of taxes in the past, wants to roll back laws such as Dodd-Frank that protect consumers from risky banking practices, and has used bankruptcy laws to protect himself, leaving financial ruin for others in his wake; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton knows that access—in every ZIP code—to high-quality public education that provides a safe and nurturing learning environment, which includes access to early childhood programs and gives educators the tools and resources they need, will ensure every child in this country has the best opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential, while Donald Trump supports cutting funding for the Department of Education “way, way, way down,” and his tax-cut plan could cut Title I funding by 44 percent; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton opposes private school vouchers and for-profit charter schools and is committed to ensuring that public charter schools accept all children, do not replace or destabilize traditional public schools, and are held to the same accountability and transparency standards as traditional public schools, while Donald Trump supports so-called choice options that take scarce public resources away from traditional public schools, saying, “I call it ‘competition’—the American way”; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has a bold college affordability plan to ensure that every student can attend college debt-free, and in which working families would not have to pay any tuition when students go to public colleges and universities, while Donald Trump has a tax plan that would threaten federal assistance grants to more than 2 million college students, and he founded Trump University, a for-profit online school that bilked students of millions of dollars; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton is a lifelong advocate for access to high-quality healthcare for all and supports safe nurse staffing ratios, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, protecting consumer interests and reducing medical debt, and building on and improving the Affordable Care Act, while Donald Trump has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, potentially causing 14 million people to lose their health insurance; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton supports comprehensive immigration reform to create a pathway to citizenship, keep families together and enable millions of workers to come out of the shadows, while Donald Trump wants to deport millions of immigrants, wants to bar all Muslims from entering the United States, has called Mexican immigrants “criminals, rapists [and] drug dealers,” and has committed to build a wall between the United States and Mexico within the first 100 days in office; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton is committed to reforming our criminal justice system and understands that we must strengthen the bonds between our communities and police departments, end mass incarceration, reduce mandatory minimum sentences and end racial profiling, and understands that yes, black lives matter, while Donald Trump supports stop-and-frisk strategies, has likened inner cities to “the wild, wild West,” and encourages division and even violence, suggesting that peaceful protestors “maybe should have been roughed up”; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton wants to ban assault weapons, strengthen background checks, close loopholes, hold dealers and gun manufacturers responsible, and keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and terrorists, while Donald Trump opposes gun control, opposes an assault weapons ban and wants to end gun-free zones; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has been a champion for women and girls her entire career, will fight to ensure equal pay for women, will defend women’s health and reproductive rights, and will fight for paid medical leave and affordable child care, while Donald Trump has a history of insulting women and said there should be “some form of punishment” for women who have an abortion; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has the temperament and experience to be president of the United States and understands that America’s diversity is our strength and that we are stronger when we work together, while Donald Trump’s campaign is built on exploiting anger, hate, bigotry and misogyny, and pitting groups against one another and dividing our country rather than bringing people together; and

WHEREAS, Hillary Clinton has committed herself to breaking down barriers for all, and has challenged Americans to do a better job of listening to people of color and to LGBTQ people when they talk about the seen and unseen barriers they face every day, in order “to move our country and ourselves toward a future that reflects the simple, timeless notion that all of us are equal”:

RESOLVED, that for all these reasons and many more, the American Federation of Teachers endorses Hillary Clinton for president of the United States, as she is the candidate who shares our values and is committed to leveling the playing field and upholding our national principles of equality and opportunity for all, regardless of class, race, gender or sexual orientation; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, working with its state and local affiliates, will engage members to participate in the AFT’s member-to-member program to help ensure that all members and their families are informed of the candidates’ positions on these issues and are registered to vote; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, its state and local affiliates, and its members commit themselves to tirelessly and resolutely supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential election campaign in 2016 and will provide the resources necessary to help elect her the first female president in the history of the United States.