Answer: Because someone hired by someone appointed by someone elected affects your life and your family around the clock.”
You’re involved in politics every day whether you like it or not.
Politics affects school salaries, classroom sizes, the availability of textbooks and equipment, school safety and nutrition, the freedom to teach, the attitude of the public toward our public schools and school personnel, and the quality of the learning environment. Politics is woven inseparably and intrinsically into ever aspect of public education.
As an organization, FEA participates in the political process at all levels with the goal of: re-establishing confidence in public education among the citizens of Florida; building greater opportunities for economic security for all educational personnel, and ensuring a quality public education system.
Part of our process is identifying, selecting for recommendation and supporting those candidates who share the Association’s commitment to children and public education. FEA measures candidates, regardless of political party affiliation, on the following issues:
- Strengthening public education at all levels in Florida;
- Protecting children’s health and safety;
- Preparing students for jobs of the future through public education; and
- Building and maintaining a quality workforce for Florida’s public schools, community colleges and universities.
Why should I get involved?
In addition to screening and recommending candidates favorable to education, FEA encourages members to register, vote and participate in political activities.
Public education is under constant attack. Every teacher and support professional needs to be engaged in political activities at all levels. The battles must be fought at the national, state and local levels. Your increased political activity will help preserve hard-won gains for students and the members we represent.
How can I help?
All candidates will promise to improve education. Our job is to make sure that the candidates publicly address the issues and explain their understanding of what it will take to improve the quality of public education both nationally and in Florida.
It is up to us to inject our issues into the campaign. How can you do it? Follow these suggestions:
- Take advantage of every opportunity to talk about your issues and why your association supports the candidates that FEA and your local has endorsed.
- Attend candidate debates.
- Call in to radio shows. Send a letter to the editor. Respond to newspaper editorials.
- Go on line and participate in candidate/issue forum chats.
- Knock on doors in your neighborhood. Hand out fliers and talk about education in Florida and the potential effects of national and state legislation such as NCLB and Senate Bill 6.
- Volunteer to participate in election efforts organized by your local or by the campaigns.
- Help fundraise. Send $20.12 to FEA endorsed candidates.
- Wear campaign buttons (off of school property) and be ready to respond to “why are you supporting FEA recommended candidates?”
- Agree to display campaign yard signs and placards.
- Help your local collect personal email addresses for all members so that they can be notified of campaign opportunities and events.
- Organize the members at your school to Adopt a Night for a local or state campaign phone bank. Provide all the volunteers and food. Provide prizes (first to arrive, last to leave, most calls completed). Take photos for the local newsletter.
- Organize an Early Vote event. Perhaps a Happy Hour during the week or coffee and Danish on a Saturday. Members who show up with their “I Voted” sticker get a free drink!
- Organize members and schedule an Educators Day sign waving for your candidate during rush hour. Add “Another Educator for” signs to candidate signs.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: pledge to vote for the FEA endorsed candidates in November.
- Urge 5 people to vote early and then take 5 who haven’t yet voted to the polls on Election Day!
Whatever you do, make it fun and always tie it back to the classroom, the cafeteria, the school bus, or your worksite. Remember WHY you are volunteering your valuable time.
Because sometimes it takes a four letter word to be heard… V-O-T-E!
Download this page to share with a friend