June 25, 2015
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—Following on the heels of the South Carolina AFL-CIO’s executive board resolution to support Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential candidacy, Vermont’s largest union of educators also announced their endorsement.
According to yesterday’s VT Digger, Vermont’s statewide news website that publishes watchdog reports on state government, politics, consumer affairs, business and public policy, the Vermont National Education Association issued a statement explaining why they are endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination for president.
“Bernie’s core values are in line with ours: he is pro-family, pro-worker, pro-education and pro-labor and we believe the time has come for his vision to become a national reality,” said Martha Allen, the organization’s president.
Ms. Allen noted that the union and its members made the decision to endorse Sanders because they believe his policy platform would help working families nationwide.
“We believe that with Bernie in the White House, America’s working families will be able to flourish and grow. His ideas around banking reform, student debt, and public education are refreshing and exciting,” Allen said.
The 12,000-member union announced in its news release that 350 NEA members live in New Hampshire and they would help spread Bernie’s message there; a recent Suffolk University poll of likely voters in the New Hampshire primary found 41 percent supporting Hillary Clinton and 31 percent supported Sanders.
“With the board’s nod, members will begin to spread Bernie’s message, particularly to the state directly east of Vermont’s border.”
Ms. Allen told VT Digger that the union would be allocating resources.
“There are 350 Vermont NEA members who live in New Hampshire … our organizers are going to start to identify members, and connect them to the (Sanders) campaign, phone banking, leafleting,” and essentially, “whatever the Sanders campaign needs,” said Allen.
The Sanders campaign has also picked up support from the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, which issued a resolution at its May 28-29 General Executive Board meeting saying that Sanders has been a strong voice in American politics for working families.
Just as the South Carolina AFL-CIO in its resolution called on the national AFL-CIO to support Sanders’ candidacy, the Vermont State AFL-CIO Labor Council also urged the national AFL-CIO to support Sanders, calling him “the strongest candidate articulating our issues.”