ALBANY, N.Y. July 21, 2016 — New York State United Teachers pledged Thursday to wage a vigorous defense of its endorsed candidates who come under attack from those seeking to harm public education.
The vow comes in wake of a report that a right-wing group — funded by wealthy Wall Street interests pushing for private-school tax breaks that would siphon millions from public schools statewide — is targeting four state legislative candidates backed by the statewide union.
The candidates —who received early endorsements this week from NYSUT — include state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and Assembly incumbents Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood), Pamela Harris (D-Brooklyn) and Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn).
"These candidates have earned NYSUT's endorsement by being dedicated to protecting public education and improving the lives of working families," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "We are not only proud to support their candidacies, we will be fierce in our defense of any attack waged upon them by anti-labor forces and wealthy extremists who seek to inflict damage upon the state's public education system for their own benefit."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the early endorsements — approved by the union's Board of Directors — are intended to jumpstart the four campaigns, adding that NYSUT will be "absolutely relentless" in its defense of the candidates.
"Make no mistake: Our members not only stand ready to work tirelessly on behalf of the candidates we have endorsed, but will also confront head-on any attack made against public education and the working class," 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.