FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 13, 2016
Oakland – The California Federation of Teachers Executive Council endorsed Hillary Clinton for president this past weekend. The CFT had not previously endorsed a presidential candidate, but given Secretary Clinton’s win in the California primary and her status as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, the CFT leadership decided that now is the time to pivot to the general election.
Secretary Clinton’s candidacy is historic. As the first woman nominated by a major party for president, her candidacy embodies the striving for equal rights of half the population underway since the Seneca Falls convention of 1848. Secretary Clinton has been a staunch advocate for women’s rights: the right to choose, equal pay for equal work, quality affordable childcare and much more.
Hillary Clinton also brings a deep practical knowledge of national and global politics to her candidacy, and a firm understanding of the importance of unions to our democracy. She is for restoring union collective bargaining rights, increasing the minimum wage and strengthening overtime rules, protecting retirement security, and expanding investments in green infrastructure to create good union jobs while fighting climate change.
We recognize that a substantial proportion of our members supported Bernie Sanders and his fight for single payer health care, a $15 minimum wage, reining in Wall Street, and creating a “political revolution” in this country. We believe that this struggle must continue, and CFT intends to play a leading role alongside the rest of organized labor in this ongoing transformation of our American political culture.
Donald Trump’s candidacy represents the biggest threat to democracy in our lifetime. His hateful comments in the face of the past weekend’s unspeakable tragedy in Orlando, his racist anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican rhetoric, his misogyny, as well as his denial of climate change, underscore his complete inability to provide leadership at the most crucial times.
The populist message that emerged in the primary is an indication that many Americans want change. We must build a progressive alternative to business as usual, strengthen working and middle class values, and embrace and welcome diversity. With our help, Hillary Clinton will be the president who will make that happen.
The California Federation of Teachers is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and represents more than 100,000 certificated and classified employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education.