ALBANY, N.Y. November 5, 2008 - The 600,000-member New York State United Teachers today hailed Barack Obama's historic presidential victory and congratulated federal and state lawmakers who won races last night and will be leading New York - and our nation - during challenging times.
"Today we are celebrating our nation's embrace of hope and diversity. We are confident that Barack Obama will stand squarely with working families, supporting tax equity, job creation and worker protections," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "We look forward to working with an Obama administration on the many important issues facing New York and our nation, including increasing educational opportunities for all students, improving access to quality health care and fixing the economy so prosperity is there for everyone."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin said NYSUT congratulated candidates who won races for Congress and seats in the state Legislature. He noted NYSUT has a long tradition of supporting both Democrats and Republicans based on their support of the issues the union's membership cares about.
Lubin noted that NYSUT deployed more than 100 staff members, who volunteered to campaign for Obama in battleground states, and enlisted thousands more volunteers to make phone calls and hand out literature in state races on behalf of candidates from both major parties.
"Our endorsements are issues-based, not party-based," Lubin said. "As New York wrestles with budget deficits, our primary concern is not whether an elected assemblyman or senator is a Democrat or a Republican, but whether that elected leader will stand with us to protect education, health care and the rights of working families.
"We have a lot of work ahead. The Legislature returns in two weeks for a very important session. We're ready to roll up our sleeves and work collaboratively with the Senate, the Assembly and Governor Paterson on finding solutions that work best for New York," Lubin added.
NYSUT represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.