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NEA members push Hillary Clinton to victory in key states

Educators for Hillary pledge to keep turning out vote ‘through November’


WASHINGTON - April 26, 2016 -

It seems nothing can keep high school English teacher Jennifer Martin from showing up to school, even when classes are out and the building becomes a polling site. After casting her own ballot for Hillary Clinton, the 15-year classroom veteran spent hours doing important visibility as an “Educator for Hillary.”

Martin, who spent the weekend pounding pavement in her Montgomery County neighborhood ahead of Maryland’s primary, says she’s supporting Clinton because of her strong record on pro-public education issues.

“When people ask me how I find the time with my busy schedule, I tell them, ‘I’m too busy not to volunteer.’ You make the time for things that are essential,” said Martin. “Hillary is a proven leader, and she is someone who is able to accomplish things and actually follow through on a vision. As a teacher, it’s a necessity that I get out in public and advocate for what my students need. The public needs to know which candidates will serve our children best.”

Martin is one of the thousands of members of the National Education Association who are volunteering to get Hillary Clinton elected as the next president of the United States. The support from NEA members is a major reason for Clinton’s decisive victories today, as she racked up big wins as voters went to the polls in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

“NEA members know there’s too much at stake in this election to sit on the sidelines,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Ask any educator, and they’ll tell you: It’s not enough to diagnose the problem. You have to offer real, viable solutions. We’re witnessing a real-life civics lesson that has very huge consequences for the future of this country. Now, more than ever, we need a leader who can unite us and get things done. Hillary is the leader educators have been waiting for.”

NEA’s Educators for Hillary program — which is designed to organize, engage and encourage NEA members to volunteer for Clinton — has played a critical role in the grassroots effort that has pushed her pledged delegate and popular vote leads to insurmountable levels in the Democratic presidential primary. Through the program, NEA members do volunteer activities such as phone bank, canvass and visibility as well as conduct voter registration drives and provide rides to the polls for voters.

“Our school mascot is the patriot,” added Martin who teaches at Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School in Rockville, Md. “Teaching is one of the most patriotic professions, and public education is the building block for our society. We educate citizens and future leaders. It was natural for me to volunteer and be at the polls today to educate voters. For public educators, it is essential that we participate in public life. We do this not for ourselves, but for our kids.”

Martin’s sentiment is shared by fellow educator Cindy Lawn.

“Hillary is exactly the kind of person we need in the White House,” said Lawn, who works as an instructional assistant for emotionally distressed students in Council Rock Public Schools in Newtown, Penn. “Education is a second career for me. I came from the business world that was a very male-dominated industry. We were often paid a little less and given fewer hours. It was accepted way to do business.”

Lawn credits Clinton for speaking up on equal pay for equal work.

“No one is talking about these issues except Hillary,” she added. “Having someone like her up on these issues, instead of being silent about them, really brings them to the forefront because, yes, these issues still exist.”

NEA members have been especially enthusiastic this cycle, with the number of activists more than doubling from 2012’s contest when 9,000 members took action on the ground. Since Clinton earned the NEA recommendation last October, nearly 25,000 NEA members have been knocking on doors, making phone calls, and participating in other grassroots activities for the presidential hopeful across the country.

“What’s also impressive about NEA’s robust program, and speaks to the enthusiasm of Clinton among our membership, is that we’re getting requests from NEA members who are either in states that had previously held a contest or hail from a state that’s further down the calendar,” said Eskelsen García. “Our data-driven program is allowing our members these volunteer opportunities.”

NEA’s timely endorsement in the presidential race is also yielding a positive ripple effect down the ballot.

“I signed up as an Educator for Hillary so that I can talk to my neighbors about why it’s so important to have our voices heard in this election,” said Lawn. “I ended up not just talking about Hillary’s record, but about our local candidates’ records, too. And I plan to keep talking about how Hillary is going to help students and educators right through November.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA Communications
202-270-5333 cell, smaiers@nea.org


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