‘Set an example and vote’: one educator’s appeal to other educators


by Deb McMahon, retired Iowa teacher

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After participating in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on February 1, it became apparent from the results here that each and every vote counts. Hillary Clinton won on the Democratic side, but it was truly a nail biter. It was the closest contest ever in our state’s history. Senator Ted Cruz beat out Donald Trump, who was favored in the polls. It truly is all about getting out the vote. Iowa set records on participation for both parties, which sets the stage for the rest of the country, beginning with today’s New Hampshire primary.

Deb McMahon
Retired Iowa teacher Deb McMahon

Now it is up to you. Let’s keep the momentum going!

As a retired civics educator, I taught that with rights come responsibilities. It is important to be informed and study the issues. The candidates stance on public education is paramount when making your decision.

Look for a candidate who is a friend to public education and will fight hard for all students and staff.  Experience and their public service record should show where their  heart is and what they value. It is a privilege to choose our next president, and we should remember that many fought hard for that right.

Teachers, paraprofessionals and others working in public education have an obligation to set the example by participating in this election. So, just like we tell our students, do your homework! Be informed and cast your vote for the candidate who meets your criteria as the best leader for education.

This election is too important to sit on the sidelines. Make a commitment to cast your vote for the best candidate and be sure to encourage others to do the same. You will be making history by participating, which means you are setting an example for those who come after. It is an honor to vote and if you feel like cheering afterwards, be sure to take your pom poms with you!

Deb McMahon is a retired educator, political activist and regular contributor to A Better Iowa. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Reader Comments

  1. Been active in the political arena since my college days when I supported JFK after hearing his brother speak i(Robert) in Toledo Ohio at an Ox roast. What always bothers me is how liittle attention candidates running for our state offices get during a Presidential or even an “off year” election when turnouts drop dramatically, Your state rep or state senator often has DIRECT impact on the classroom teachers working conditions, bargaining rights, school funding, student state assessment tests etc. I enjoy talking to my neighbors when going door to door campaigning for pro- education candidates – wish more young teachers would get involved – their future and the future of public education depends on it!

  2. As a retired school system OT I take voting seriously . In the past I have voted from Spain, Germany and sent my ballot in today from Costa Rica. With what the NC legislature has done to teachers this past year is unforgivable! I will do all in my individual power to try to help elect representatives and senators who have the promise to treat educators fairly and support he magnificent teachers in our state. We need legislators who value the teachers contribution and honor their hard work and support adequate funding so that teaches can teach and students can learn!

  3. Our system is already corrupt with big money buying elections. The division in our country over so many issues is something I have never seen before. There is so much intolerance for people who differ from ourselves and a lack of compassion for our fellow man.

  4. When you vote, do not forget there are many issues: national security, immigration issues, military strength, environment, perceived and real, most importantly, the economy. A strong economy, with good jobs, will cure many problems. The nation’s problems will not be cured by throwing more money at everything pretending socialism is a panacea and suitable replacement for accountability, hard work and individual responsibility. Acceptable candidates must have character that shows they are not attached to some singular agenda. Be sure to report any observed voting irregularities like non-citizens being allowed to vote and corrupt our system.

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