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Retired Teachers Chapter News

Calling Fla. political volunteers

New York Teacher
Retired Teachers Chapter leaders

Retired Teachers Chapter leaders involved in the Florida midterm call to action include (standing, from left) Christine Rowland, Lynne Winderbaum and Stewart Cohen, who attended a recent political dinner with UFT activist colleagues.

There is a lot at stake in the 2022 Florida midterm elections, with races for the governor’s office, a U.S. Senate seat and congressional representatives.

“Union values are under assault: public education, the right to organize, voter access, basic human rights,” said Retired Teachers Chapter Leader Tom Murphy. “Things sacred to union members are not only threatened, but being decimated right before our eyes.”

But, Murphy added, “we are not powerless in this fight. This is a call to arms for what President Michael Mulgrew calls the UFT members’ own daytime army.”

With seasoned UFT coordinators from Ocala to Orlando and from coast to coast, there are many actions RTC members can take to make an impact.

On the East Coast, Ken Goodfriend is serving as the UFT’s Florida labor coordinator. He helped foster broad-based coalitions of union members in the 2020 election campaign that planted the seeds for future successes. This year, RTC volunteers on the East Coast will again be working together with other unions and community groups.

On the West Coast, RTC political-action coordinators Stewart Cohen, Lynne Winderbaum and Christine Rowland have announced a timeline for their operation. Beginning in May, they plan to contact veteran RTC volunteers to reestablish links and assess needs, recruit new activists and investigate election-law changes that restrict early voting and mail-in balloting. In August, they will host a Labor Action Network event using the American Federation of Teachers’ state-of-the-art technology to call members and explain early voting and mail-in regulations. And from September until the election on Nov. 8, the plan is to work with the Labor Action Network through the AFT to set up ongoing calls recommending labor-supported candidates.

“We will use all venues available to penetrate the cloud of red state verbiage and speak with one voice in the face of anti-labor powerful incumbents,” Cohen said.

With RTC political action coordinators ready for action, Murphy said, “Let’s renew what has always been in the UFT’s DNA with this question: Up for a good fight?”

To volunteer, contact Goodfriend at or Cohen at