U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez dropped by NJEA’s headquarters in Trenton on Aug. 28 to sit for an interview with NJEA Review editor Lisa Galley.
Earlier in the month, NJEA announced its endorsement of Sen. Menendez for re-election to the U.S. Senate, where he has served since January 2006. Menendez also met briefly with NJEA Executive Director Vincent Giordano.
“I’m proud to have had NJEA’s endorsement before, and I’m proud to have it again today,” Menendez said. “Education is the key that unlocks social mobility in our country and upward opportunity. Teachers and educational support professionals are at the forefront of making that a reality. And that’s why I’m proud to have NJEA’s support.”
Over the course of an hour, Sen. Menendez offered his views on a wide array of issues including the use of student standardized test scores to evaluate teachers, health care reform, private school vouchers, privatization of support staff positions, collective bargaining, tax policy, and the importance of the re-election of President Barack Obama.
“This is going to be a landmark election,” Menendez said. “We need to educate our fellow citizens about the importance of this election. That means all of our neighbors, those who we worship with, and those who we work with. It means the public opinions sphere—our newspapers, letters to the editor, and social media.”
He encouraged NJEA members to commit themselves to volunteer for the campaign’s efforts in phone banking, on canvassing neighborhoods, and other election activities.
“There so many things that an individual can do to affect the outcome of an election that will to a very large degree affect their future and our collective future,” he concluded. “I hope NJEA members will take advantage of those things and make the difference that they have the power to make.”
Look for a feature story in the October NJEA Review to read more about what Sen. Menendez had to say about issues that affect all NJEA members, their families, and their students.