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Finally—it’s President-elect Biden

Patience—counseled by former Vice President Joe Biden all election week as Americans waited for votes to be counted—finally paid off Nov. 7, four days after Election Day, when Biden won in Pennsylvania and gained enough Electoral College votes to acquire a new title: president-elect. AFT President Randi Weingarten says the union’s leaders and members “can’t wait to get started” on the work ahead “with an administration that will embrace and fight for the values we hold dear.”

Your vote is your voice

AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

AFT members dive into candidate endorsement process

As the presidential elections inch closer and the field of candidates gets more and more competitive, AFT members are engaging, parsing campaign platforms, asking questions of the candidates, and voicing their priorities as educators, healthcare practitioners and public employees. Thus far, the AFT has hosted eight AFT Votes town halls in eight different locations across the country, giving members the opportunity to meet candidates in person and hear about their stands on education, working families, healthcare and other top-line issues. Also part of the AFT’s robust endorsement process: surveys, debate parties and lots of information on AFTVotes.org.

Best economy ever?

In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column in the New York Times, she writes that, despite President Trump’s claims that we have the “best economy ever,” his policies are harming working and middle-class Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. “Our political and economic systems are so weighted toward the wealthy that opportunity will only come through the power of collective action,” she writes, using “the surest vehicles to increase opportunity for ordinary Americans”—public education, labor unions and voting. Read the full column.

Autism Service Providers Vote to Unionize First Center in Oregon

Behavior technicians and administrative staff working for large autism services provider organize the first union of its kind at a center in East Portland.

Overcoming weeks of anti-union scare tactics, a group of 30 workers at the East Portland Center for Autism and Related Disorders voted decisively on Thursday, May 23 to form a union with OFNHP!

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), with sixteen locations in Oregon and over 230 nationwide claims to be the largest provider of autism services in the world. Workers at the East Portland location are breaking new ground with their successful union election. CARD Portland-East is the first center to unionize to improve working conditions and address their alarming turnover rate.

Never again

“A majority of American teens say they are worried about a shooting happening at their school. Let that sink in,” AFT President Randi Weingarten writes in her latest column for the New York Times. “Young people are demanding meaningful action beyond ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They know, as do law enforcement officers and educators, that there are effective ways to address gun violence.” Read more about the proven strategies that would enhance school safety and reduce gun violence.
 

Delivering care beyond the bedside

Members of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals didn’t let the rain stop them from standing with their community in Portland and distributing hundreds of books over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. For many members, it was the chance to deliver care beyond the bedside. “It’s important that people see unions as a part of the community and to connect with people and help them understand what unions stand for,” says OFNHP member Rhea Hindemit.