by Brian Washington
After working in politics for more than 50 years, Massachusetts retired educator Bill Dooling still gets excited about attending the Democratic National Convention (DNC)—including this year’s event underway this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Over the years, Dooling has attended a total of four conventions—dating back to his first one in Atlanta in 1988, when his then-Governor, Michael Dukakis, was nominated for president.
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But Dooling believes this convention is different from all the others. He believes the difference is connected to what’s at stake for students and the entire country.
“The stakes are enormous,” said Dooling. “We’re talking about two totally different visions of where America should go. Two sets of very different priorities. President Obama believes in investing in public education and understands that it’s an economic necessity to move this country and everybody in it forward.”
Dooling is one of more than 200 educators—NEA members—taking part in this year’s DNC, which is expected to attract about 5,000 delegates. He says it’s energizing to see educators from across the country who are working hard to re-elect President Obama—who Dooling believes is the best choice for America’s students.
Dooling says he wishes those politicians who try to separate educators from their union could witness the passion teachers and education support professionals here in Charlotte have for making sure their students get what they need to be successful.
“Educators—like the dedicated people I see here in Charlotte—these are the people who make up the union,” said Dooling. “Lawmakers can’t say they support teachers, but then claim not to support our union. We are the union and we all share the same goal—making sure all students have access to a quality public education.”
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