ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 29, 2016 — New York State United Teachers today issued an early endorsement of Buffalo Sen. Marc Panepinto and backed Jaime Williams and Yuh-Line Niou for the state Assembly in the April 19 special election.
The 600,000-plus member union’s Board of Directors voted to make the early endorsement of Panepinto at a meeting Saturday, saying the freshman senator is a strong supporter of public education and organized labor and the clear choice of NYSUT members in his Senate district.
“Marc Panepinto has been an outspoken champion of what students and educators need in his Buffalo-area district and a lion in fighting for what working New Yorkers need to climb the economic ladder,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. “Our members in New York City, too, have full confidence that Jaime Williams in the 59th A.D. and Yuh-Line Niou in the 65th A.D. will continue to fight for public schools and labor in the state Assembly.”
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said Panepinto has built bridges to parents and educators in the 60th Senate District after a hard-fought victory in 2014. “Sen. Panepinto has been a relentless foe of over-testing and a vocal advocate for the policies and resources that educators need — and parents want — in order to continue to move our public schools and colleges in the right direction,” he said. “We are excited to endorse Sen. Panepinto again and look forward to fighting alongside him for students from prekindergarten through post-graduate school.”
Pallotta noted that Niou is experienced in Albany, working as chief of staff to Assemblyman Ronald Kim, and has the knowledge and skills to fill the Assembly seat formerly held by Sheldon Silver. He said Niou and Williams, also an Assembly staff member, have impressed NYSUT members with their knowledge of education issues and their support for public education. Pallotta said volunteers will now begin working to elect Niou and Williams in the April 19 special election.
Pallotta said the early endorsement of Panepinto and the union’s backing of Williams and Niou will bring hundreds of volunteers to phone bank, hand out literature and work on campaigns, as well as financial support to help defray the cost of running for office. NYSUT will hold its regular endorsement conference in August.
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.