AFT President Randi Weingarten Leads Hundreds to Polls

Last weekend, our union was fortunate to have our national President, Randi Weingarten, lead a solidarity rally and march to the polls. Randi, alongside our local presidents Stephanie Ly (AFT NM) and Ellen Bernstein (ATF) spoke to a crowd made up of hundreds of educators and members of our labor family. Local elected officials and AFT/AFT NM/ ATF endorsed candidates, including Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, and candidates Martin Heinrich (U.S. Senate), Deb Haaland (CD 1) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (Governor) revved up the crowed before a mile-long march to the polls to early vote.

“As early vote kicks off in New Mexico, we’re talking to educators, nurses and working families who want elected officials to share our values, and help enable opportunity, good schools, living wages, and affordable healthcare. That is why we are turning out for Michelle Lujan Grisham, Martin Heinrich, Debra Haaland, and other champions of public education. We’ve seen the damage caused by an austerity agenda here — to fix it, we’re going to elect leaders who will work with educators and parents, not against them. Members of AFT New Mexico are putting in the work to put the right people in office: Hitting the doors and the phones and talking to their neighbors about the critical school, library and bus funding initiatives that will improve the lives of every New Mexican,” said Weingarten.

“New Mexicans have a historic opportunity this November to reject and replace the failed policies of the last eight years. We know New Mexicans – in particular public educators and all working New Mexicans – have been harmed by decisions made on the Fourth Floor in Santa Fe. Today’s action is about standing up and using our voices collectively to demand change that benefits all New Mexicans and then using our votes to secure change at the ballot box. To put it plainly, New Mexicans can’t endure another four years of Susana Martinez-style leadership, and today we took a stand to reject her legacy,” said Ly, Chavez, and Bernstein.

“There’s isn’t a group of New Mexicans more aware of what’s at stake this election than our teachers and our brothers and sisters in labor,” said Marg Elliston, Democratic Party Chair of New Mexico. “Today’s march demonstrated that the hard-working people of our state are engaged and motivated to get to the voting booth to support the Democratic leaders they know will stand up for the issues that matter. We are proud to stand in solidarity with New Mexico teachers and organized labor and will continue to fight to empower them in their cause.”

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