C.O.P.E. (Committee on Political Education)

COPE - The Committee on Political Education - is the political action committee for the Washington Teachers’ Union. COPE enables WTU to engage the membership in both creating our political agenda and in making meaningful financial contributions to support candidates who will champion our legislative agenda.

We have several goals that we strive to accomplish: 

  1. Communicate our memberships’ priorities to those running for office and elected officials
  2. Find out which candidates will work with us to support our students, schools and communities 
  3. Facilitate an inclusive endorsement process that is open to all our WTU members for the final decision 
  4. Empower WTU members to get involved in government and community decision-making
  5. Hold elected leaders accountable for their promises and policies 

It is made up and run by WTU members. To keep COPE strong and competitive, a payroll deduction of $1 or more will make you an active member. The WTU is not allowed to spend your union dues in politics. Every COPE contribution is used to support candidates, get involved in community engagement, get out the vote, and enrich our political status in the Washington metropolitan area.

2016 Candidates Endorsed by COPE


Becoming a Member: 

To keep COPE strong and competitive, a voluntary payroll deduction of $1 or more will make you an active member.

By becoming a member of COPE you can be involved in a highly active WTU Committee. Below are just a few of the opportunities you get from being a member

  • You can VOTE on all of our actions, including recommendations for endorsement
  • You can attend regular small group and whole group meetings where your voice will be heard
  • Get informed through our regular emails on upcoming events, opportunities, and further actions
  • Take on a leadership role within the WTU.
  • Inform the direction of our committee. 
COPE Standing Meeting:
1st Monday of the Month, 5:30PM at WTU Headquarters

Why Join COPE:

In the upcoming months we are facing a critical election here in Washington DC that can help determine the fate of our communities, schools and livelihoods. The wide variety of issues that we deal with on a daily basis – from trying to teach children who are hungry, increasing class sizes, to having our school budgets frozen – are all directly impacted by the policies that our government puts into place. It is imperative that we develop a united voice of our concerns to those who are running for office and to continue to develop that relationship once they are elected so that the needs of our schools are met. 

Nobody is in a better position to advocate for our students, schools and communities than WTU members. We are the ones who face our students every day. We are the ones who have the most direct connections to parents. We are the ones who have a deep understanding of how to educate. We are the ones who see how our government’s policies can either help us or hurt us. 

We need your voice. We need your active support. By joining COPE you are showing our government that you care about our schools and communities, and that you will hold our government accountable to them. If you join you will receive updates about upcoming opportunities to engage in the process and can play an integral part of rebuilding our systems and membership.

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.


2016 DC Democratic Primary Candidate Endorsement Process

Date  Action
March 13 DC Republican Primary
March 16 DC Local Elections Filing Deadline 
March 21-25 Contact candidates with questionnaire 
April 4 COPE Monthly Meeting 
April 4-14 Collect responses for questionnaire 
3rd Week of April Interview Candidates – City Council 
4th Week of April Interview Candidates – State Board of Education 
4th Week of April COPE Recommendation on Endorsement Meeting & Vote 
Saturday, May 7 Present COPE’s endorsement recommendation to the WTU Executive Board 
Tuesday, May 10 Present COPE’s endorsement recommendation to the WTU Rep Assembly and/or General Membership Meeting for a vote 
May 11 - June 14 Support Campaign financially & through direct action 
June 14 DC Democratic Primary 
September 5 COPE finalized the timeline & questionnaire
September 12th, 19th and 26th Interviewed in small panels
September 26 Endorsement Recommendation Discussion
October 1 Presentation to the WTU Executive Board + Vote for approval
October 3 Meeting with David Grosso - Finalized Endorsement Recommendations
October 11 Present recommendation to the WTU Representative Assembly
October 22 Executive Board Meeting to Approve COPE Recommendations
November 7 GOTV Phone banking
November 8 Election Day

Questionnaire Responses

Aaron Holmes Responses
Brandon Todd Responses
Calvin Gurley Responses

David Garber Responses
Jack Evans Responses
LaRuby May Responses
Leon T Andrews Jr Responses
Ron Austin Responses
Trayon White Responses
ncent Gray Responses
Vincent Orange Responses
Yvette Alexander Responses


Description: C.O.P.E. Informational Brochure
Description: Voluntary WTU COPE Deduction Authorization Form
Description: WTU Endorsed Candidates 2014
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