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MTA members play key role in election victories

“This is a great day for Massachusetts,” said MTA President Paul Toner, commenting on the election of Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate and the re-election of President Barack Obama. “With what we hope will be bipartisan cooperation, we can now move forward with reforms needed to improve our economy, further strengthen our schools and colleges and support working families.”

Toner expressed thanks to the many MTA members who supported pro-public-education candidates and offered special appreciation to those who participated in MTA campaign activities.

“Our members are extremely busy, but many of them contributed three hours or more to our member-to-member campaign because they recognize that elections have a huge impact on their students and their communities,” Toner said. “Their efforts – and the efforts of so many union members across the country – made a big difference in this election.”

MTA members and staff made tens of thousands of calls on behalf of association-recommended candidates in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 election, working in concert with their Legislative and Political Action Teams and local Political Action Leaders. The MTA also sent hundreds of thousands of direct mail pieces to members.

In addition, the association mailed voters, placed ads supporting pro-education candidates, and participated in other independent expenditures in key races.

MTA Vice President Tim Sullivan joined Toner in applauding the election’s outcome.

“We are extremely fortunate that we will be represented by a new U.S. senator – Elizabeth Warren – who truly understands the needs of students and educators,” Sullivan said. “As a former special needs teacher herself and a graduate of public schools and public colleges, she will be an effective advocate who puts the interests of working families ahead of all others.

Jean Fay

Jean Fay, a kindergarten paraprofessional in the Amherst-Pelham school district, and a member of the MTA Board of Directors.

“It’s also great that voters had the wisdom to give President Obama another four years in the White House,” he added.

Andy Daitsman, a Spanish teacher in Plymouth who serves as coordinator for the Legislative and Political Action Team in the Bristol and Norfolk Senate District, said that in the days leading up to the election, he detected “a great deal of enthusiasm” for Warren.

“I think people want to be represented by someone who is smart, compassionate and an advocate for the issues we care about,” Daitsman said.

Members also saw the positive results of their hard work in the results of congressional and legislative races.
All of the nine candidates the MTA recommended for Congress – Michael Capuano, Bill Keating, Joe Kennedy, Stephen Lynch, Edward Markey, Jim McGovern, Richard Neal, John Tierney and Niki Tsongas – won in their districts.

Toner vowed that the MTA will remain a leader in the fight to provide a high-quality education to all students in the Commonwealth, to narrow the achievement gap and to overcome other challenges.

“We will work with the entire Massachusetts delegation to pass laws and approve budgets that support quality public schools and public higher education – essential services that benefit all Americans, regardless of political party affiliation,” Toner said.

In important legislative races, numerous MTA-recommended candidates for whom the MTA had contacted members and reached out to voters were the winners of hard-fought contests. Complete information will be posted on www.massteacher.org.

More Election 2012 Photos