JEFF PRICE has been politically active in the past but not quite to the degree that he is this year. A social studies teacher at Philadelphia's Edison High School, Price believes that when you compare the positions of Barack Obama and John McCain on issues like healthcare, the economy, retirement security and education it's a clear choice.
That's why he's been supporting the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' efforts to rally members around the Obama-Biden ticket.
"I believe Barack Obama has the best ideas for improving both education and our economy," Price says.
He thinks Obama's plan to cover the tuition costs of college students who agree to teach in high-need areas "is a great way to bring some much-needed young people into the profession."
Another Philadelphia teacher, Valerie Braman, agrees with Price on the importance of electing the AFT-endorsed Democratic presidential nominee. "The next president will be making decisions that not only will affect us as educators but will likely determine what kind of career opportunities my students will have in the future."
Price and Braman are not alone in their desire to work for change. AFT members across the country are doing their part to connect with union households to emphasize the clear differences between Obama and McCain on the key issues.
Electing Obama should be a priority for all AFT members, AFT president Randi Weingarten says, because "the children we are educating today will be most affected by the next president's policies."
The stakes are too high not to be involved, members like Maryann Padilla believe. A retired teacher, Padilla has been a fixture at the phone bank run by AFT affiliates in New Mexico. "I think Obama deserves my allegiance. He supports all the programs I'm in favor of-healthcare, Social Security and generally helping the middle class."
For Kelly Singleton, a member of the Association of Cincinnati School Office Employees in Ohio, two issues stand out above all -healthcare and the economy. She says she likes Obama's healthcare plan. "Affordable healthcare for all Americans should be a priority." Singleton also would like to see the government provide "incentives to keep jobs in the United States."
Tracey Smith, a high school teacher and a member of the Van Wert (Ohio) Federation of Teachers, stands behind the Obama-Biden ticket : "What I really like about Barack Obama is that he's positive. He wants to listen. He's not cynical. Obama is very forward-looking in his vision for America."
On the economy, Smith feels the Democrats will take a safe and measured approach to fixing the ills on Wall Street. "Both Obama and Biden will look at how to improve the economy without sacrificing other aspects of our society, like the environment," she says.
Pittsburgh school …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Obama Biden. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: American Teacher. Volume: 93. Issue: 3 Publication date: November 2008. Page number: 18+. © American Federation of Teachers Feb 2009. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.