The American Federation of Teachers is encouraging its state and local affiliates and its members to support one of three Democratic candidates for president: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The union's executive council passed a resolution on Feb. 20 welcoming members to back any of those three candidates until the AFT makes a national endorsement at a later stage in the race.
"While several candidates in this race share our values, three in particular — Vice President Biden, Sen. Sanders and Sen. Warren — have significant support within our membership," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "There is a real connection with these three candidates because of their record of working with us over the years on public education, higher education, health care, labor and civil rights."
In 2019, the AFT hosted town halls across the country to give its members a chance to hear from and ask questions of the candidates. The union's efforts to put education and labor issues on the agenda for the 2020 election culminated in December with a televised public education forum featuring seven of the candidates.
"It was clear that the time to take this action was now, before all the delegates are chosen and before all of the primaries are over," said Weingarten two days before the Nevada caucus, "so that AFT members and leaders can help shape the race and the narrative, ensure our voices are heard and ensure one of these three candidates emerges as the nominee."