Michigan Education Association

Bay City political rally to focus on Michigan’s students and schools

NEA president to encourage voters to get to the polls; discuss education’s importance in this election.

BAY CITY, Mich., Oct. 29, 2008 – With only days left before voters head to the polls, educators in the Bay City area want to make sure that candidates and voters don’t forget the important role of education in this election.

On Thursday, Oct. 30, the Bay City Educators Public Affairs Council will sponsor a “Get Out the Vote” rally. The rally will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 1 Wenonah Park Place in downtown Bay City, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Several local and state candidates will be there to discuss their education platforms, including U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee, state Representative Jeff Mayes, state House candidate Garnet Lewis, and Michigan Supreme Court candidate Diane Marie Hathaway.

“On Tuesday, voters need to elect friends of public education to ensure a bright future for Michigan’s students and Michigan’s economy,” said Michigan Education Association President Iris K. Salters, who will also attend Thursday’s rally. “From local school boards to the White House, our elected leaders make decisions that affect how our public schools prepare students for 21st century jobs. Voters need to keep that in mind as they head to the polls.”

The keynote speaker for the event is National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. A 23-year classroom veteran, Van Roekel is beginning his first term as president of the nation's largest professional employee organization. A math teacher from Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz., he has served in numerous key association offices, including NEA vice president and secretary-treasurer, Arizona Education Association president, and Paradise Valley Education Association president.

“Sen. Barack Obama has made clear that his plans for a healthy economy will include investment in public education and college affordability,” Van Roekel said. “Quality public schools will be the 'engine' we need for economic growth. But to be that engine and provide students with a 21st century education, our schools need adequate resources and our school employees deserve respect. Our elected leaders – from Bay City to Lansing to Washington, D.C. – must provide that support.”

The Michigan Education Association is the state’s largest school employee union, representing approximately 160,000 teachers, faculty, education support staff and school retirees.


Contact:  Saun Strobel, MEA 12-A UniServ Director, 989-686-4940. Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Communications, 517-337-5508


Updated: February 17, 2009 4:33 PM