Member activism, excitement for 2018 campaign continues as Walz, Smith win primaries

Education Minnesota’s endorsed candidates for governor and U.S. Senate, Tim Walz and Tina Smith, are now officially the DFL party’s nominees after the primary election Aug. 14.

Tuesday's near-record turnout proves that educators across the state are ready to organize and elect pro-public education candidates in November. 

Turnout was the highest in a primary since 1994, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.

Not only did Education Minnesota members show up to the polls, but they are showing up to help organize for the campaign. More than 1,000 educators have now been trained as worksite political action leaders or digital engagement leaders through our new political action program.

In 2014, 33,000 educators did not vote and more than 8,000 activists were disengaged in 2016. Educators can make the difference in the 2018 elections if we unite in voting and grassroots action. 

The excitement around the 2018 campaign has already been seen in our union’s endorsement process, which led to Walz and Smith being recommended.

More than 1,000 educators made their voices heard during the process, which was the most open and transparent in union history.

“Tim is an educator who cares about families and who brings people together for the common good. He’s one of us and we’re ready to work with him all the way to the governor’s residence,” Education Minnesota President Denise Specht said.

“Sen. Smith is committed to protecting the rights of all workers to join unions, expanding economic justice and making smart federal investments to close opportunity gaps, including in early learning and after-school programs,” Specht said. “We need more people in Washington with the intelligence and competence of Tina Smith. We’re proud to support her.” 

The Education Minnesota Political Action Committee will announce endorsements in more races over the next few weeks.

If members would like to get involved in that process, please contact your PAC representative. You can find your representative and their contact information on our website.

Members will also be starting to organize get-out-the-vote activities at worksites as the new school year begins. 

There are still numerous opportunities for educators to get involved, including the United Early Voting Day for Educators on Oct. 19 and United Grassroots Engagement Days throughout the fall.

Find out how you can get involved in the 2018 campaign!