Legislative Action (COPE)
Why should educators get involved in politics?
Because politicians get involved with you and your students.
There's an old saying in union land: "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu." Across the country, educators are waking up to the fact that not all legislation, and not all legislators, have the best interests of educators, students, and our communities in mind. We've seen politicians strip funds from education, refuse to invest in the changes we need as educators, try to stop us from organizing together in union, and enact legislation that harms our communities and working people.
To change our working conditions and to make education better for our students, we need to fight back in the political arena. We need to win the right to a collectively-bargained contract. We need to repeal the harmful anti-union "Right to Work" laws aimed at weakening our power to fight for our members. We need lawmakers to find the resources to fully fund our public education and meet the needs of the school system.
Through our Committee on Political Education (COPE), FCFT raises money for our legislative efforts and organizes together to make change in the political system on behalf of our members and working people.
Through the COPE Committee, we decide in a fair and democratic way who really has our best interests at heart. We figure out how to apply pressure to elected officials, how to pass legislation that supports our rights as working people, and how best to engage in local and state elections. The COPE Fund is our union's way of ensuring we can finance independent political action on behalf of our members. The COPE Fund lets us be truly independent - since we're relying on member donations, we're never beholden to political parties or to big corporate interests.
If we're always reliant on somebody else to do our fighting for us - if we leave politics to the political parties - we'll never be at the table when the time comes to make the big decisions that affect our lives. Instead, we'll be on the menu.
Help us fight back.
Fill out the form below to donate to the COPE Fund.
Then email firstname.lastname@example.org today
and ask about getting involved with the COPE Committee.
Union membership dues are never used for political contributions or activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does COPE Stand for?
COPE is an acronym for the Committee on Political Education. It is our union’s voluntary independent Political Action Committee used for political and legislative activities. Our Union does not use our Union dues for political contributions or activities. COPE was established for this purpose.
How is the Money Used?
All COPE money goes into FCFT’s Political Account for use in local and state activities only. It does not become part of the general treasury. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects FCFT members and their families.
Who Does FCFT Support?
FCFT supports pro-FCFT, pro-worker candidates in local and state election campaigns. FCFT is independent of all political parties and we reserve the right to support candidates of all political parties who support our issues.
FCFT Executive Board Statement:
As it is consistent with other AFT locals and AFL-CIO unions’ legislative / political action agenda to promote effective COPE policy, and as salary, benefits, and working conditions are influenced by local policy and elected officials, and as the purpose of Contributions Pooled for Education (COPE) is to elect pro-educator candidates to positively influence educational policy for members.
We, the Executive Board members of the FCFT hereby resolve to maintain a policy for political endorsements and distribution of associated funds that is representative, collective and democratic. This policy will focus on providing members with information on candidates and will encourage them to participate in the political process. We resolve to expand our political influence in order to effect policy, which will benefit our membership. To this end we will work to increase our members' participation in the political process and COPE funds, and expand our political action campaign.
Thank you for contributing to our COPE Fund!
In an attempt to provide members with a more efficient and interactive process, FCFT will solicit member candidate preferences through a variety of means. These may include balloting, web-based voting, interactive member meetings with candidates, and as well as other formats.
Regardless of the format used, FCFT members are assured to always be given adequate advanced notification of the process being utilized and associated timelines, and all members will be given the opportunity to vote for the candidate(s) of their choice.