Albany, NY, Jan. 5, 2011 - New York State United Teachers has launched a statewide advertising campaign designed to remind New Yorkers that the union is made up of their friends and neighbors who accomplish remarkable things every day in their classrooms and communities.
The two radio ads feature elementary school teachers - Margaret King of Long Island and Andrea Figueroa of Jamestown - discussing how, through their profession, they touch the lives of children and families. Other voices and stories of NYSUT members - including members from higher education, health care and other professions represented by the union - will be added in coming months.
The tag line for the 30-second ads is, "It's what we do."
"This is a campaign about what we should be celebrating in education, and who is responsible for that," said union President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Others - political candidates, Hollywood filmmakers, critics of public service - have tried to define and sometimes demonize NYSUT and its members. But lost in the rhetoric is that NYSUT is 600,000-plus men and women who go to work every day and successfully take on the most important responsibilities a society has: educating its youth and caring for the sick and indigent.
"It's what we do … and the public should be reminded of that."
Margaret King is a second-grade teacher at Medford Elementary School and a member of the Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers. She has taught for 28 years and was honored last year with the Alfred Williams Literacy Award, which recognizes individuals dedicated to improving the nation's literacy rates.
Andrea Figueroa has taught for 10 years in the Jamestown schools and is vice president of the Jamestown Teachers Association. She is a proud graduate of Buffalo public schools and has inspired her students with the love of learning.
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.