With the retirement of Sen. Barbara Boxer after 24 years as a progressive champion, Californians are heading to the polls to fill the first open U.S. Senate seat in decades.

And the ballot is crowded: 34 candidates have filed to replace Boxer, although the clear front-runner is Democrat Kamala Harris.

The CFT is proud to endorse Attorney General Harris, joining the California Federation of Labor and the California Democratic Party. The first key date in the process is the June 7 statewide primary election.

As Attorney General of California, Harris has taken the lead on a number of issues important to educators. She worked to reduce elementary school truancy in order to set young students on the right path to educational success. Before that, as San Francisco District Attorney, she worked closely with United Educators of San Francisco to tackle the problem of absenteeism.

Harris also created the Bureau of Children’s Justice to protect our state’s youngest and most vulnerable population. And she fought hard against the big banks during the foreclosure crisis to defend the very communities in which we work and live.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Harris has crafted a platform that puts values shared by CFT at the forefront. She advocates securing stable funding for early childhood and K-12 education, providing affordable child care for working families and early childhood education for all, fostering collaborative school environments that respect educators’ expertise, and providing services that meet the social, economic, and health needs of students.

In higher education, Harris shares our commitment to a high quality, affordable education. She supports making tuition free at community colleges, increasing the size of Pell Grants, lowering tuition at public colleges and universities, and ending the predatory practices of for-profit colleges.

Because of her strong commitment to our shared values of educational equity, fair funding, and respect for educators, the CFT urges you to vote for Kamala Harris on June 7.

— By Jessica Ulstad, CFT Political Field Director

Get education-friendly choices on your phone or device 

>> Go to cft.yourvoter.guide and type in your home address. A page tailored to your individual ballot will load, showing endorsed candidates ranging from U.S. Senator to trustees in your local school and college board races, as well as local and state ballot measures. You will also see a map showing your polling location.

The positions on The Educators Choice represent the endorsements of your local union and the CFT.

Sacramento voters: Choose Darrell Steinberg for mayor

The CFT is endorsing former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for mayor of Sacramento. As a member of the California Senate and Assembly, and the Sacramento City Council, Steinberg consistently advocated for the issues that matter to CFT members. “As Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg pushed for universal preschool and passage of Transition Kindergarten,” says Jeff Freitas, CFT Secretary Treasurer. “He was an advocate for career-technical education and prioritized environmentally sustainable efforts. We need people like Steinberg in our state Capitol and our city halls.”