Vermont-NEA News

State's Largest Union Makes Recommendations in Statewide Races

State’s Largest Union Makes Recommendations in Statewide Races

Vermont-NEA board gives nods to Siegel, Zuckerman, Copeland-Hanzas, Pieciak, Hoffer, and Clark while expressing support for Article 22/Prop 5

MONTPELIER – The Vermont-NEA Board of Directors has announced its general election recommendations, giving the nod to Democrats and Progressives for the major statewide offices.

“In a year when public education is under attack by right-wing extremists here and across the nation, it is crucial that we elect pro-worker, pro-education, pro-union candidates to the state’s leadership,” said Don Tinney, a high school English teacher who serves as the elected president of the 13,000-member Vermont-NEA. “Now more than ever, we need elected officials who are dedicated to supporting our already outstanding public schools and the people who work – and learn – in them.”

The board is recommending the election of Democrat Brenda Siegel for governor; Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman for lieutenant governor; Democrat Sarah Copeland-Hanzas for secretary of state; Democrat Mike Pieciak for treasurer; Democrat/Progressive Doug Hoffer for Auditor of Accounts; and Democrat Charity Clark for attorney general. The board earlier announced its recommendations of Rep. Peter Welch for US Senate and State Sen. Becca Balint for US House.

Consistent with the union’s longstanding position supporting a woman’s right to privacy and choice when it comes to reproductive health, the board also expressed its support for and urged the passage of Article 22, which would enshrine reproductive rights in the state’s constitution.

In interviews with the board – and in candidate questionnaires – the slate of recommended candidates echoed the importance of policies that benefit middle-class and vulnerable Vermonters, not those that bestow more resources on the wealthy. The recommended candidates all pledged to support our public schools, especially in finding ways to ensure that public dollars never find their way to schools that have discriminatory admissions policies. They also all talked about the importance of investing in infrastructure that benefits working Vermonters and their families.

“As a union of educators, we cannot ever ignore electoral politics,” Tinney said. “The decisions made in Montpelier and Washington directly affect every teacher, every paraeducator, every bus driver, every custodian, every cafeteria worker, every school nurse – and every student. This slate of candidates will, if elected, be champions for public education.”

The board also announced a full slate of recommendations of candidates running for the Statehouse. Giving nods to members of all three major political parties, the board made its decisions based on an extensive process that involves candidate questionnaires, candidate interviews with local educators, and a review of their positions and track records.

All of the recommendations can be found in Vermont-NEA’s Election Guide,

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