On March 22, AFT endorsed Joe Biden for U.S. President after more than a year of member engagement on the endorsement process — with more than 300,000 AFT members nationwide participating in candidate events, town halls, polls, regional conferences and other efforts — new membership polls show strong support for Biden.
In November 2020, CFT members will join voters around the country to cast their ballots for the next president of the United States. While we know that every election day is an important one, the upcoming election will represent an historic turning point for our country.
We not only have the opportunity to elect a president who understands the value of public education, but one who will stand up for the rights of working people.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said it best: “Our number one goal is to elect a president who shares our values and that means beating Donald Trump. But to win our endorsement, candidates will have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
AFT candidate fact sheets and how AFT endorses
Below are fact sheets compiled by the AFT about the candidates’s positions and track records on major topics including: Workers’ voice and labor, education, healthcare and workplace safety, jobs and the economy — and democracy.
- The AFT Votes election page provides additional opportunities for members to offer input about the issues that are important to them. The site also includes links to AFT town halls with the presidential candidates and a debate watch toolkit.
- AFT’s presidential endorsement process is spelled out in this document, also available on AFT Votes.
- – A quick guide comparing the education platforms of the eight leading Democratic presidential candidates, including each candidate’s stance on education funding, affordable higher education, early childhood education, and charters and vouchers.
- Politico’s comprehensive guide allows you to search by candidates, issues, and categories.
Watch the MSNBC Presidential Public Education Forum
Education was front and center on Saturday, December 14, during the AFT co-sponsored “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Opportunity for All” in Pittsburgh, Penn. The nation heard from top Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren, as well as two who have since left the race — Michael Bennet and Cory Booker.
Results from the CFT Presidential Surveys
Thanks again to the CFT members who took the time to answer our four presidential issues surveys. The information gathered in the surveys will be used to inform how CFT will weigh in during the formal AFT endorsement process. Below is a review of the top priorities identified by CFT members in the surveys.
- The Issues That Matter Most – CFT members who responded to our first survey indicated that their three most important issues in the presidential election include addressing environmental and climate justice, protecting public education, and healthcare.
- Education Issues – Respondents to our second survey on education issues indicated that their four top priorities were full funding for schools, professional pay and benefits for school workers, addressing the privatization and corporatization of schools, and tackling the student debt crisis.
- Kitchen Table Issues – In our third presidential survey on kitchen table issues, CFT members were overwhelmingly in favor of enacting Medicare for All. Respondents’ priorities on retirement security focused on protecting defined benefit pensions and ensuring the long-term viability of Social Security. In terms of addressing the affordability crisis, CFT members who answered the survey overwhelmingly wanted billionaires to pay their fair share.
- Climate Change and the Environment – In our final survey, CFT members were in favor of taking a bold approach to addressing climate change, prioritizing aggressively cutting CO2 emissions to fall by 45 percent by 2030 (The ‘12 year’ mark), implementing the Green New Deal, and re-entering and strengthening the Paris Climate Agreement.
Which candidates endorsed California’s Schools & Communities First?
CFT members will join thousands of activists in the coming weeks to gather signatures to place this critical initiative on the ballot. The Schools and Local Communities Funding Act will restore over $12 billion per year to California schools, community colleges, health clinics, and other vital local services.
The following presidential candidates have formally endorsed this important measure:
- Joe Biden
- Bernie Sanders