September/October 2022 Issue
August 30, 2022

Fight for public schools at the ballot box this November

Author: Kara Smith
Source: NYSUT United
get out the vote
Caption: NYSUT members worked throughout the summer making calls at phone banks, knocking on doors and getting the word out in support of the candidates endorsed by the statewide union for June and August primaries, and the November general election. Above, NYSUT political action committee members on Long Island host a #NYSUTHouseParty for endorsed candidates to meet voters. Photo provided.

When NYSUT fights, we win. Nowhere was this more apparent than the Aug. 23 round of primary elections. Several NYSUT-endorsed candidates won pivotal, hard-fought races.

From the nail-biter between Marc Molinaro and Pat Ryan in the 19th Congressional District special election, to the re-election win by State Sen. Robert Jackson in the 31st Senate District, NYSUT mem- bers helped put the muscle behind the statewide union’s message.

Members volunteered countless hours to support union-endorsed candidates through phone banking and other election activities, and showed up making their voices heard at the polls.

“From Albany to Washington, we need representatives who will help us support public schools as the center of every community,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “These candidates are partners who will put public school students, families and educators first.

“We stand with them in fighting to secure the resources necessary to provide a high-quality, 21st century education and to enact the policies that help our students thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”

For some time now American citizens, including millions of New Yorkers, have been failing to participate in one of our most important franchises — voting, Pallotta said.

“As we gear up for the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, we’re counting on you,” said Pallotta, noting that this year’s elections are pivotal as politicians continue to launch attacks against educators and public education.

“NYSUT members and supporters have long been our most powerful voice in the battle to protect public schools and students.”

Voting in primary and general elections is essential to keeping our representative democracy healthy and strong. Another way is to contribute to VOTE-COPE, NYSUT’s voluntary, non-partisan action fund that supports pro-public-education and pro-labor NYSUT-endorsed candidates and campaign committees. NYSUT dues dollars are not used to support VOTE-COPE.

See for a list of NYSUT-endorsed candidates and be on the lookout this fall for the union’s 2022 Voter Guide.

New York state voters can cast their ballots by mail, in-person early voting, or in-person election-day voting at their assigned local polling site. Visit the state Board of Elections site,, for voting info, to register to vote or to check your polling site.

Want to get involved? Visit NYSUT’s Member Action Center at

“What’s at stake?” Pallotta added. “Your rights, your future, your com- munity, your voice.”