On Feb. 14, the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) endorsed their candidates for the June 2 Democratic primary, including D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president, Jordan Grossman for the Ward 2 council seat and challengers Janeese Lewis George and Anthony Lorenzo Green for the Wards 4 and 7 council positions.
Elizabeth A. Davis, president of the WTU, said her organization supports liberal candidates “who will work with educators to improve education and address the barriers that our students face across our great city.”
“The WTU is also excited to join other educators from across the nation in endorsing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary for president,” Davis said. “Senator Sanders’ education platform focuses on the challenges teachers face each day in their classrooms and promises to dramatically boost funding for public schools, as well as change the federal government’s role in education.”
The WTU’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) facilitated the endorsement process by issuing questionnaires to candidates, conducting candidate surveys, polling union members and presenting its recommendations to the executive committee. The executive committee then presented on Feb. 10 its recommendations to the WTU Representative Assembly for approval.
COPE Chair Laura Fuchs said her group supported candidates who “will work for all of our students.”
“The WTU believes this progressive group of candidates is willing to challenge the status quo and take a strong stand on behalf of our public school community,” she said.
Later this year, the WTU will make endorsements for the city’s at-large council and D.C. State Board of Education seats prior to the Nov. 3 general election.
Green said he embraces WTU’s support.
“Apart from our parents and grandparents, teachers are probably the most influential adults we come into contact as children,” he said. “The WTU endorsement is a clear sign that my campaign understands the needs of teachers and students in Ward 7. I am excited and ready to do right by them and bring the change we want to see in our schools.”
Batchelor’s Single Focus: Support In All Eight Wards
Markus Batchelor, who represents Ward 8 on the D.C. State Board of Education, has received endorsements from a wide range of leaders throughout the District in his race for the independent at-large seat on the D.C. Council.
Batchelor’s supporters include Ward 8 advisory neighborhood commissioners Salim Adofo, Betty Scippio, Darrell Gaston and Regina Pixley. Ward 7 advisory neighborhood commissioner Tyrell Holcomb also supports Batchelor as well as Ward 1 D.C. Democratic State Committeewoman E. Gail Anderson Holness and Ward 3 political activist Matthew Frumin.
Ruth Wattenberg (Ward 3) and Frazier O’Leary (Ward 4), Batchelor’s colleagues on the council, have also endorsed his candidacy. Batchelor said the endorsements reflect his citywide campaign strategy.
“This group represents a broad array of activists, advocates, organizers and elected leaders with deep connections to our communities, already doing the critical work needed to tackle our city’s toughest issues,” he said.
Batchelor will compete with a number of candidates for the independent at-large council seat that will be vacated by Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) early next year. The independent at-large city council election will take place on November 3.
Batchelor said that as he travels throughout the District, he stresses his credentials and citywide vision.
“I have the longest record of being an elected official of any of my announced opponents,” he said. “I also have the longest record of continuous community service with stints as a youth mayor of the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute, president of the Ward 8 Democrats, a member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, an advisory neighborhood commissioner and now as the vice president of the State Board of Education. I am the candidate who has a perspective for the city for the next four to 10 years and how to make that vision work for all District residents.”