AFT for Biden

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AFT Biden


America is simultaneously confronting three crises that threaten our future as a nation. Americans need a proven leader who won’t abandon them in the ongoing fight to overcome a public health pandemic, an economic recession and systemic racial injustice.

Joe Biden’s lifetime of service has led him to this moment. From his first election he has been driven by a deep desire to extend opportunity and justice to all and to ensure everyone in our country can live without fear and pursue a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.

Read more: The Leader America Needs (PDF)

Biden on the Issues

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris has a long history of supporting public education. She has consistently engaged with our union and our members, from her time in state politics in California to her recent campaign for president. She’s been committed to fully funding public education; she supports the right to organize; and she has a history of fighting for voting rights, LGBTQ equality and women’s rights. When our members went on strike in Los Angeles in 2019, she was one of the first national figures to publicly support our members. And in this long-overdue moment of racial reckoning, her leadership on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is what we need.

Harris was first elected to the Senate in 2016. Harris is the former attorney general of California, having served in the position from 2011 to 2017. She also served as San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 to 2011 and served as deputy district attorney for Alameda County from 1990 to 1998. Harris earned a B.A. from Howard University and earned her law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law.

Biden—a lifetime of sharing our values

Biden is a man whose character was forged in Scranton, Pa., where his family faced the economic and social ups and downs faced by so many families. He has been tested by unspeakable loss and grief in his life, and has been nurtured through public service, a love of people and the belief in the dignity of every human being.

It is through these life experiences that Biden has developed an empathy and understanding of what our members, communities and country need. Whether as a U.S. senator, where Biden earned a lifetime AFT voting record of nearly 100 percent, or as vice president, where he provided a voice for the middle class and workers and helped ensure passage of the Affordable Care Act, Biden has a demonstrated commitment of listening to and fighting for working families.

As vice president, he was our “go to” person in the Obama administration, always being willing to listen and to be helpful on the issues we had with policy, like the overemphasis on high-stakes standardized testing, which was ultimately mitigated in the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in 2015.

As president, a Biden administration would continue to put middle-class values front and center. He is with us on investing in public education; making healthcare and college more affordable; knowing that healthcare is a right, not a privilege; and rebuilding an economy that puts the needs of everyday people first. His agenda and proposals reflect these priorities, including:

  • Tripling funding for Title I, fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, investing in school infrastructure and expanding community schools;
  • Building on the Affordable Care Act and making healthcare more affordable by offering a public option and reducing prescription drug prices;
  • Offering free tuition to attend public colleges and universities for families making less than $125,000, and providing $10,000 per year of student debt relief for those working in public service;
  • Protecting the rights of workers to collectively bargain and making it easier for workers to join a union, including supporting the PRO Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act; and
  • Ensuring the United States achieves a 100 percent clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050.


About Jill Biden

Jill Biden is an accomplished public school teacher, professor and author and is the founder of a number of organizations and initiatives that serve communities such as military families and people with cancer. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware, where her studies focused on maximizing student retention in community college. She has been married to former Vice President Joe Biden since 1977.

Biden has been an educator for nearly 40 years. She taught English and reading for 13 years in public schools and taught at a psychiatric hospital for children with emotional disabilities. She has been a professor at community colleges since 1993. Biden continued to teach as a full-time professor at Northern Virginia Community College while serving as second lady.

Biden started the Biden Breast Health Initiative in Delaware in 1993. The project has educated thousands of high school girls about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. While Joe Biden was vice president, she teamed up with Michelle Obama to create the Joining Forces initiative, which educates and encourages people to ensure that members of the military, veterans and their families have the tools and support they need to succeed. She is also co-founder of the Book Buddies program, co-founder of the Biden Foundation, and active in Delaware Boots on the Ground.

As the mother of a member of the armed forces, Biden wrote a children’s book titled Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops in 2012. The book talks about the experience of a military family dealing with deployment and lists a number of resources available to support military service members and their families.


Biden—the right leader and the right time

Over the course of the primary season, Biden was counted out so many times. He has shown fight and resiliency, and an ability to build the necessary coalitions of support to defeat Trump. Those victories came because voters recognize that he is the strong, effective, experienced, compassionate leader that this country needs right now, with an agenda to address the problems facing this country.

The fight for the soul of America is now more important than ever. In this moment of extreme crisis, it is clear that Trump poses an existential threat not just to our democracy but to our health and safety, as well as to our economic well-being and security as a nation. As our country navigates the worst crisis we have had in generations, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that we rally around one candidate who can show courage in the face of uncertainty, and leadership that has been so clearly absent from the Trump administration. We need a standard-bearer who is actually looking out for us, and who has a proven track record of steering the country successfully through economic upheaval.

We need decency over cruelty, compassion over fear, effectiveness over bluster, and a proven track record to help save lives and ensure people’s economic well-being.

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Earning the AFT endorsement

After the most extensive, transparent and inclusive presidential endorsement process in AFT history, which included more than 300,000 members engaging, Joe Biden has earned the endorsement of the AFT for the Democratic primary.

The AFTs endorsement is based on three criteria: a candidate who shares our values, who has the support of the members and who can defeat President Trump. Biden has met all three, now having consensus support of the AFT membership by a 2 to 1 margin.