by Félix Pérez
Today all across America, in recognition of Labor Day, flags are being raised, parades are being held, and families are celebrating with picnics, cookouts and the last road trip of the summer. Americans are honoring the contributions of the 155 million women and men who make up the nation’s workforce, including more than 4.7 million teachers, education support professionals and public school employees.
Working class Americans built the greatest middle class in the world. Yet we see a vast, growing gap between the richest and the rest. And we increasingly feel elected officials are more concerned with the interests of the super-wealthy while our families and our children fall further and further behind.
With that in mind, beginning today, Labor Day, the point in the calendar at which most people start tuning into the election, you can take five actions to elect candidates who will act on the concerns of the middle class and who will stand with children, students and public education.
- Make sure you are registered to vote. With all the recent changes in voter laws, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Go here to get everything you need. If your schedule makes it difficult to vote on Election Day or if you want to avoid long lines, vote early.
- Look beyond the ads, the speeches and the sound bites. Learn about a candidate’s record, statements and proposals. For a great place to start, read and share our Candidate Comparison Issue Guide. It’s updated regularly and includes sources for the information cited, most with hyperlinks. For information about where state and local candidates stand on public education, check the websites of state education associations.
- Receive EdVotes’ weekly email. EdVotes sifts through the news that affects public education and the middle class, and offers readers ways to take action on those issues. Challenge yourself to invite five others to sign up.
- Volunteer for a campaign. Whether it’s 30 minutes of phone banking, an afternoon of door-to-door canvassing, stuffing information packets, or some other activity, your time and energy are the lifeblood of any winning campaign.
- Tap into the power of your social media networks. Let your friends know you care passionately about students and public education. “Like” Speak Up for Education & Kids, and share EdVotes articles on Facebook and Twitter.