Nation’s biggest union fast tracks Obama endorsement

CHICAGO - Delegates to the convention of the nation's largest union, the National Education Association, will vote July 2-5 on whether to immediately endorse Democratic President Barack Obama for re-election. Its leaders recommend the 3-million-member group do so.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said the union is moving to back Obama early to send a clear political signal after the 2010 GOP sweep brought rabid foes of workers and unions to office. "This is the time to make decisions about the direction of our country, and we have real choices to make. As activists - engaged educators - we should get involved now," he added. The decision will be made at the union convention in Chicago.

"Will we allow Congress to gut Medicare, slash education and cut Social Security, and continue to make it just fine for hedge fund managers and corporations to sidestep paying taxes?" Van Roekel asked. "Or will we act and assert the real American values of hard work and responsibility, a commitment to a vibrant middle class, to college affordability, and the opportunity to reach the American Dream?"

"It is time to stand strong for what we believe in and what is right for students and families, schools and the nation. President Barack Obama has proven he deserves a second term," he declared. If the union endorses Obama, it will do so at a conclave meeting very few miles from the president's house on Chicago's south side.

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  • It is absolutely critical that Obama be reelected; however, his " race to the top" education program is a major attack on teachers and collective bargaining. If the NEA gives him a free ride early endorsement, it will totally undermine the efforts of progressive teachers to change or end RTP. Reference New York Times article of a year ago " Last Stand for Teacher Unions".
    The difficult role of progressives at this juncture is to be able to criticize Obama when he is mistaken, but support him in the elections.
    We need more direction on how to do this!

    Posted by Elliot, 06/05/2011 7:36am (3 years ago)

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