Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Educators, parents, students, and supporters of the Los Angeles teachers strike wave and cheer in Grand Park on January 22, 2019 in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Applauding His Record of Standing Up to 'Charter Billionaires,' United Teachers Los Angeles Endorses Bernie Sanders

"Critically, like UTLA, Sen. Sanders believes in building a national movement for real, lasting change."

Jake Johnson

The 35,000-member United Teachers Los Angeles overwhelmingly voted Thursday to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, citing the need for an "unapologetic, longstanding ally of progressive policies to make public education a priority in the White House."

UTLA, the second-largest teachers union local in the nation, said in a statement announcing the endorsement that 80 percent of its elected leadership voted in favor of supporting Sanders.

"Sanders is the first viable major candidate in 25 years in the Democratic Party to stand up against privatization, the charter billionaires, and high-stakes testing and to stand up for a massive redistribution of wealth to schools and social services," said UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl. "Critically, like UTLA, Sen. Sanders believes in building a national movement for real, lasting change."

Teachers have consistently ranked among the most common donors to Sanders' presidential campaign. As the Washington Post reported, "K-12 teachers have donated more money to Sanders than to any of the other Democratic presidential candidates."

UTLA's decision to back Sanders came on the eve of National Nurses United's official endorsement of the Vermont senator, which is scheduled for a press conference in Oakland, California at 4:30 pm PT.

NNU first announced its endorsement of Sanders earlier this week.

"The teachers and nurses unions with the strongest track record of fighting for their students and patients are endorsing Bernie 2020," tweeted environmentalist and author Naomi Klein, who endorsed Sanders last weekend. "Think about that. They know he's a fighter too. This is how we build power."

The two major endorsements came as Sanders headed to California, a critical Super Tuesday state, for a weekend of campaigning.

David Sirota, Sanders' speechwriter, argued Friday that the endorsements from UTLA and NNU—combined with recent polling—show the Vermont senator is "surging" in California.

"Polls, endorsements, and the ground game show that Bernie is poised to win the crucial Golden State," Sirota wrote in the campaign's Bern Notice newsletter. "Bernie's California campaign has already surpassed 8 million attempted voter contacts, held more than 3,000 events, and more than 760,000 people have taken action with the campaign—holding house parties, volunteering at rallies, and making financial contributions."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

US Progressives Express Solidarity With Iranian Protesters After Death of Mahsa Amini

"The right to choose belongs to us all, from hijabs to reproductive care," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Julia Conley ·


Critics of Louisiana LNG Project 'Hopeful' as Huge Sales Contracts Canceled

"The fight is not over," says one activist, but "from tax breaks to pollution and now to these recent financial downswings, we have all the evidence we need to understand that Driftwood will be a parasite."

Jessica Corbett ·


DHS Officials Urge Biden to End 'Disastrous Leadership' of Embattled IG

In an anonymous letter, the Homeland Security staffers say Inspector General Joseph Cuffari's actions "embarrass the entire agency."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Big Climate Win': California to Ban Sale of Gas Heaters and Furnaces by 2030

"This is the first state to do it," noted one advocate. "Who's next?"

Brett Wilkins ·


44 House Democrats Push Biden DOJ to Investigate DeSantis Over 'Cruel Migrant Flights'

"The actions of the officials in Texas and Florida were not only fundamentally cruel and uniquely un-American; there remains a likelihood that federal laws were violated."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo