American Federation of Teachers President AFT Randi Weingarten introduces First Lady Jill Biden during a get-out-the-vote rally in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. (Screenshot)
First Lady Jill Biden rallied for Pennsylvania Democrats in Pittsburgh with the American Federation of Teachers on Wednesday, telling attendees at a get-out-the-vote rally that the election will come down small moments of action.
“This election is going to be won or lost by where voting falls on your to-do list,” she said, addressing teachers and students.
Biden, a community college educator, joined Allegheny County lawmakers and teachers as part of a 20-day bus tour to mobilize voters ahead of the Nov. 8 general election and encourage people to vote for Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania.
The rally focused on education investments and cautioned against electing politicians who support school book bans, increased tax cuts for corporations, and attacking unions.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said the choices on the ballot represent people trying to solve problems and the “problem-makers.”
“While every election is important, all of you know that in the midterms, it really could come down to just a handful of votes,” Biden said.
In her remarks, Biden said the election presents voters with the choice between “two drastically different visions for our future.”
In one, voters could build on what she called “historic progress” by electing state Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, and Chris Deluzio to two, open western Pennsylvania congressional seats.
She warned that more Republicans in power could put unions at risk, saying the GOP is “putting Social Security and Medicaid on the chopping block” and trying to pass a national abortion ban.
“This election is going to come down to those little moments,” she said. “One ballot cast, one phone call to a neighbor who maybe forgot to vote, one ride offered to the polling place. Again and again, these small actions add up to something much bigger than anything we can do alone. It starts with you. It starts with all of us digging a little deeper, working a little bit harder, and believing that together, yes, we will win.”
Rob Mitchell, a Spanish teacher at Westinghouse Academy, encouraged voters to elect Democrats Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis as governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. He also promoted Mandy Steele and Arvind Venkat, candidates for the state House of Representatives, and Sen. Lindsey Williams, D-Allegheny, who is seeking reelection.
“If they win, we win. Pennsylvania wins. America wins,” Mitchell said, adding that voters should elect candidates who “protect” democracy, voting rights, public schools, and health care.
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