June 30, 2018 Press Releases

AFT Massachusetts endorses Mike Capuano for re-election

Citing his work as an advocate for students and a strong fighter against Donald Trump’s
dangerous policies, AFT Massachusetts supports Rep. Capuano for re-election

CHELSEA — Friday, June 29, 2018 — The 25,000 member American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Massachusetts, one of the state’s largest labor unions, today endorsed U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano for re-election. The endorsement took place at the AFT Massachusetts Chelsea union office, where AFT members cited Rep. Capuano’s strong leadership to improve the lives of all students, educators, and families.

“Mike Capuano understands that our students can succeed if they are given the resources they deserve. He shares our aspirational vision for fully-funded schools and libraries, debt-free public college, and an education system that focuses on true learning, not just testing,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “The teachers, librarians, higher ed faculty, and other educators of the AFT Massachusetts are proud to support Mike because he will be a strong advocate for our students and our schools.”

“Mike has been on the front lines fighting for the success of all students and educators,” said Don Dabenigno, President of the Chelsea Teachers Union, AFT Local 1340, AFL-CIO. “With the Trump Administration cutting protections students and teachers badly need, AFT Massachusetts is proud to have a tireless advocate like Mike standing up for us against President Trump’s dangerous policies. Mike will be our voice in Congress, and we are proud to support him for re-election.”

“With President Trump and Betsy DeVos working to make our schools for-profit institutions that do not welcome immigrant and LGBTQ students, I will continue to stand up to Donald Trump and stand with our teachers and families as we fight to have our schools be a safe, supportive environment for all,” said Rep. Capuano. “We need strong public schools that prepare our students for their lives ahead. I’m proud to have the support of AFT Massachusetts as we work together to ensure our schools are equitable places where all can learn and grow.”

Rep. Capuano has been and will continue to be a tireless advocate for children and families. Rep. Capuano was one of 41 members in the House of Representatives to vote against No Child Left Behind, because it was not sufficiently sensitive to the challenges encountered by local school districts. When No Child Left Behind was recently reauthorized, Rep. Capuano championed efforts to direct more money to educational systems for training and program expansion, as well as for provisions giving administrators the ability to consider many factors, beyond just test scores, in measuring success. He has also worked tirelessly to expand affordable and accessible health care for children and families through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Women, Infants and Children’s program (WIC).

As Mayor of Somerville, Rep. Capuano invested heavily in the construction of new schools. When his tenure as Mayor ended, Somerville had two new schools and four others in the process of being revitalized. All were equipped to accommodate future technologies. When Rep. Capuano left the Mayor’s office to enter Congress, class sizes in Somerville averaged a remarkably low 19 students, an accomplishment for any municipality, and especially for a city of over 75,000. During Rep. Capuano’s tenure as Mayor, young children had access to free full-day kindergarten, which was not commonly available in other communities at that time.

Rep. Capuano has been endorsed for reelection by an array of labor organizations, progressive champions, and local elected officials such as Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the National Education Association, and the Bay State Stonewall Democrats.

The Executive Board of AFT Massachusetts, which voted on the endorsement, is made up of elected representatives of the 25,000 AFT members statewide.

About AFT Massachusetts
The AFT Massachusetts, a strong voice for collaborative education reform that is good for students and fair to educators, represents more than 25,000 public school employees, higher education faculty and staff, and public librarians.

Contact: Audrey Coulter, 774-266-1931