Vermont-NEA Follow Bernie's Lead, Recommends Hillary
State’s Largest Union Follows Bernie’s Lead
Vermont-NEA Joins Sanders in Recommending Clinton
PORTSMOUTH, NH – Vermont-NEA President Martha Allen today joined Bernie Sanders in recommending the election of Hillary Clinton for president, saying the stakes are too high to remain divided.
“I and my union have been unwavering supporters of Bernie for decades because of his unwavering support of students, educators and all working people,” Allen said while attending the first joint campaign appearance with Clinton and Sanders here. “And now that Bernie is throwing his support behind Secretary Clinton, we believe that uniting behind one candidate is our best chance at preventing Donald Trump from becoming president.”
Bernie said that candidate is Hillary Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president. And I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States,” Bernie said. “Together we will continue to fight for a government that represents all of us and not just the 1 percent, a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”
Vermont-NEA was the first union in the country to recommend Bernie’s candidacy more than a year ago. At the time, Allen, a K-12 librarian from Canaan, Vt., said, “We want to let the whole country in on what we in Vermont have long known. 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.”
The whole country did get to know Bernie in the year since. Running an incredible grassroots campaign, Bernie helped shape the tenor and content of the Democratic contest for president. His campaign brought issues of racial and economic justice, corporate greed, and the needs of working people to the forefront. And now the best opportunity to move Bernie’s vision forward is to ensure that Clinton is elected president in November, Allen said.
“So when Bernie says that Hillary will stand up for us all – that she will give educators a voice in the future of this country – we know he means it,” Allen said. “Already, Hillary has partnered with Bernie to propose plans to make college more accessible and give more Americans a shot at affordable health care. These ideas are now part of the Democratic Party platform, and they’re a great example of how Hillary and Bernie know we’re stronger when we work together.”
Allen acknowledged that some of Bernie’s supporters aren’t yet ready to vote for Clinton.
“I know that there are many Bernie supporters who don't want to support Hillary. I have heard from ‘Bernie or Bust’ folks and those who will write Bernie in on the ballot,” she said. “I understand this temptation, but I am strongly against this strategy. We absolutely cannot lose this election. Do we want to let a narrow minded, self-centered racist and sexist hold the most powerful position in the world? Really? Do we want to let the next few Supreme Court Justices be chosen by such a man? Absolutely not. It is up to us to make sure this doesn't happen.”
Vermont-NEA was the last state affiliate of the National Education Association to recommend Clinton. Allen said with today’s endorsement, Bernie made it clear that his desire is to support Clinton, even in a state where Bernie won 86 percent of the primary vote. Today, Allen wrote an email to fellow NEA members nationwide urging the nation’s educators to thank Bernie and join him in supporting Clinton.
“We simply must vote for the Democratic candidate for president and the many down ticket candidates who are fighting for the middle class and our public schools,” Allen said. “This will only happen if we go to the polls this fall and vote for candidates who support our values and beliefs. We may have lost a battle, but we can win the war!”
Vermont-NEA is the state’s largest union, with members in virtually every town in Vermont. The union’s 12,000 members spend their days working with and for Vermont’s children, ensuring that they have the best schools to prepare them for happy, productive lives.
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