The American Federation of Teachers is approaching the 2020 presidential primary with a new endorsement procedure. The union faced criticism for its early endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2015, which left some of its members feeling left out of the selection process.
This time, the union has outlined an extensive endorsement process that will feature what the union calls “deep engagement and honest conversation before any decision can be made.” The process will feature a candidate questionnaire, member survey, focus groups, town halls and social media forums. Thirty thousand AFT members joined a national telephone town hall to discuss the process.
The union will also invite presidential candidates to learn what educators face in their daily lives by spending a day with an AFT member.
“Our No. 1 goal is to elect a president who reflects our values, and that means beating Donald Trump in 2020,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “But to win our endorsement, candidates will have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. As we look ahead to Election Day, we are committed to engaging our members at every step of the way.”
The Associated Press, March 20