ALBANY, N.Y. Aug. 11, 2016 — New York State United Teachers today announced endorsements in races for Congress and the state Legislature, backing candidates who have championed public education, health care and workers' rights.
After two full days of productive debate and deliberation by members of the union's political action committees and hundreds of local presidents, NYSUT's Board of Directors formally voted late Wednesday to cement endorsements in races for Congress, Assembly and state Senate. About one dozen endorsements - including NYSUT's backing of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer - were announced earlier this summer.
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said candidates' voting records and their working relationships with NYSUT members in their home districts were among the important factors in whether a candidate earned the union's support. "Candidates earning NYSUT's endorsement this year have shown a willingness to listen to our members in public schools, colleges and hospitals. They value their relationships with our more than 600,000 politically active and energized members and champion their interests," Magee said.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the NYSUT endorsement process "is truly a grassroots, organic process, with PAC members and local presidents surveying their own members in their own communities about who they wished to see NYSUT support in this year's elections," Pallotta said. "Those candidates who earned NYSUT's endorsement have won the backing of members in their home communities."
As a result, Pallotta said a NYSUT endorsement means that, in addition to financial contributions to help defray the cost of campaigns, "Their campaigns will benefit from the union's massive phone bank operations and boots on the ground - volunteers who will hand out campaign literature and lead a get-out-the-vote effort at the grassroots level."
"NYSUT members live and vote in virtually every community in our state. They are passionate about the issues, actively volunteer their time and have strong feelings about those candidates who are willing to fight alongside them for public education, health care and the rights of working families," Pallotta said.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.