Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders put Denver teachers strike in national spotlight

Denver’s teachers strike has become a cause célèbre for national politicians and local elected leaders.

Among the most prominent cheerleaders for the educators: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

“In the richest country in the world, our teachers should be the best-paid, not among the worst-paid,” Sanders, a possible Democratic candidate for president, said in a Twitter post hours after the strike began on Monday.

Warren, who has declared her candidacy for 2020, posted later that she was with the teachers “all the way” in their fight “to get the pay they deserve.”

I stand with the Denver teachers. Public education is fundamental to any functioning democratic society, and teaching is one of its most valuable and indispensable professions. We need to treat educators with respect and dignity. #DenverTeacherStrike

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 11, 2019

I’m with @DenverTeachers all the way. I stand in solidarity with the teachers who are fighting to get the pay they deserve. #DenverTeacherStrike

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 12, 2019

The politicians’ comments suggest they may try to make education and economic inequality an issue in the national primary. Tuesday was the second day of the strike, which is the culmination of months of debate between educators and Denver Public Schools leadership.

Mayor Michael Hancock said his office is working with both sides. “Just know, we’re here to support you and to be sure everyone feels valued through this process. We get you and we’ve got you,” he posted. He added that “our teachers deserve better pay and a better quality of life.”

Mayoral challengers Lisa Calderón, Penfield Tate and Jamie Giellis, on the other hand, posted images from teacher rallies and expressed support.

Gov. Jared Polis could have delayed the walkout, but decided not to, saying Wednesday the sides were very close to agreement.

Jason Crow, the new Democratic congressman in Aurora, posted that he is “proud to stand in solidarity” with teachers, and state Treasurer Dave Young said he supports the strike.

Proud to stand in solidarity with Colorado teachers. Our teachers do so much for our kids and community. They deserve to be paid a fair wage and afford to live where they work. Let’s give our kids & teachers the schools they deserve. pic.twitter.com/Z1Bx5zOelW

— Jason Crow (@JasonCrowCO6) February 11, 2019

Several Denver City Council members also have expressed support for the educators’ strike, as has the Colorado Democratic Party.

Council President Jolon Clark said his family is filled with educators, and Councilman Paul López said he walked the picket line with teachers “asking for fair pay, asking for respect on the job.”

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Source:: The Denver Post – Politics


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