Weingarten re-elected AFT president;
Kowal, Magee elected vice presidents
AFT delegates showed their strong support for Randi Weingarten, re-electing her to her fourth two-year term as the federation’s president at the AFT Convention.
UUP President Fred Kowal and NYSUT President Karen Magee were elected as AFT vice presidents for the first time at the convention in Los Angeles, along with NYSUT vice presidents Catalina Fortino and Paul Pecorale, and Secretary-Treasurer Martin Messner. NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta was re-elected as an AFT vice president.
AFT delegates voted July 13.
Mary Cathryn Ricker, former president of the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, was elected executive VP; she replaces former AFT Executive VP Francine Lawrence, who in July was appointed as chair of the Learning First Alliance's board of directors. AFT Secretary-Treasurer Loretta Johnson was also re-elected.
Weingarten has been one of UUP’s strongest allies; she has spoken at several UUP rallies in Brooklyn to save jobs and health care services at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She addressed UUPers at UUP’s AFT breakfast July 13 and told them that AFT is there for UUP.
"I want you to feel like I'm one of your members,” she told UUPers at the breakfast. “I just want to make this really personal."
Weingarten was first elected as AFT president in 2008. Before that, she served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers. In 2013, the New York Observer named Weingarten one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. Washington Life magazine included Weingarten on its 2013 Power 100 list of influential leaders.