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President's Message: The Deciding Factor May Be You

Barbara Matteson,

Throughout this electrifying political season, today’s youngest voters have proven to be more politically involved than previous generations were at their age.

Hasn’t it been wonderful to watch tomorrow’s leaders excitedly participating in the political process?

But there’s another age group that always has a tremendous impact come election time, and that’s us.

Seniors, Retirees, Older Americans—however we’re labeled, we’ve consistently been the age group most likely to exercise our right to vote (and that’s not just in presidential elections).

I have no intention of telling you how to cast your ballot—that’s a decision that every American has to make on his or her own. But I will ask you to consider carefully how the candidates stand on key issues that affect our schools and educators’ lives, from their student days all the way to retirement.

The candidates have clear differences on how they would change public education—everything from school vouchers to NCLB to protecting education employees’ rights to organize. Please take a look at NEA’s candidate comparison chart on page 9.

See which candidate will protect retirees by strengthening Social Security and repealing the Government Pension Offeset/Windfall Elimination Provision.

You’ll see which candidate supports school vouchers, and which knows that vouchers can only hurt our public education system. Then all that’s left to do is vote your conscience.

You’re sure to be inspired by the members featured in this issue’s cover story. Their activities will remind you just how many ways there are to get politically involved, even in the final weeks before this historic election takes place.

Remember: You were and always will be an educator. Your years in the public schools give you a unique perspective on what will truly benefit the greater good. You are a trusted voice in your community. Your voice counts!

We may once again be the deciding factor in this election, so let’s make sure we do everything we can to elect candidates who will do right on the issues important to us.

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