VERMONT-NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
March 9, 2016
For Immediate Release
Vermont-NEA Backs AG Candidate TJ Donovan
State’s largest union says Donovan’s progressive approach good for children, schools, families
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The board of Vermont’s largest union today announced its support for TJ Donovan’s bid to be the state’s next Attorney General.
“TJ brings a refreshing commitment to the state’s children and working people,” said Martha Allen, a K-12 librarian from Canaan, Vt., who serves as Vermont-NEA’s president. “Whether it’s his successful restorative justice programs, his work to help people reinstate their driving privileges or his unabashed support of the right of workers to form unions, we are confident he will be an Attorney General who puts the interests of working families first.”
The nod marks the union’s first for a statewide candidate this election cycle; it is also the first time in more than a decade that the board has made a recommendation in the Attorney General’s race.
“I am deeply humbled to receive the endorsement of the Vermont NEA and consider it a great honor,” Donovan said. “Our educators are the backbone of our society and every day they see first-hand the impacts of government policies and social pressures on Vermont’s children and families. I greatly value our educators’ trust and confidence in my candidacy and as Attorney General would look forward to their partnership and input.”
The board invited Donovan for a lengthy interview earlier this month, where he committed to making Vermont’s justice system fairer for working people. He told the board that as Attorney General, public safety is his top priority, and education is one of the most important pillars of public safety.
His focus on restorative – rather than punitive – justice will pay many dividends in our families, communities and schools. His pledge to help people caught in the suspended drivers’ license cycle back on the roads legally will lead to more job opportunities. And his unabashed support of unions – and respect for collective bargaining – is increasingly rare among public officials.
“When a crime is committed, a torrent of negative results erupts,” Allen said. “The impacts spread far beyond the victim and the person who committed the crime. Entire families suffer, including the children we see in our classrooms every day. We are confident that TJ’s holistic approach to criminal justice will make Vermont a better place for all of us.”
Vermont-NEA is the state’s largest union, with members in virtually every town in Vermont. The union’s 12,000 members spend their days working with and for Vermont’s children, ensuring that they have the best schools to prepare them for happy, productive lives.
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Darren M. Allen
Communications Director, Vermont-NEA
802.224.2403 (o) / 802.839.8618 (m)