UPTE for Bernie!

After nine days of voting, the membership of our union has moved decisively to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States in the 2020 Primary Election. Members from all 17 of our locals, chapters, and associations participated, and Sen. Sanders carried the election with 66% of all ballots cast.

Earlier this month, UPTE members heard from leading campaigns for the presidency, who interviewed for our union’s support. Sen. Sanders, who in March of 2019 spoke at our UCLA picket line before a crowd of thousands of union and community members, has a long history of fighting alongside working people, and won the endorsements both of UPTE and our parent union, the Communications Workers of America, in 2015.

Hundreds of UPTE members listened to Sen. Sanders’ live telephone interview, in which he congratulated us on our successful fight with the University of California: “In a time of massive income and wealth inequality, you demonstrated to workers not just at UCLA or in California, but to workers all across this country, that when we stand together and when we fight for economic justice, we can and will win.”

Expect further discussion soon about how we can support Sen. Sanders’ candidacy and continue the fight for a California for the many, not the few.


The following is a timeline of our endorsement process:

October 6th – UPTE’s executive board approves a committee to explore whether, and how, UPTE will consider making an endorsement in the 2020 Presidential election.

November 6th – A committee of fourteen volunteers from across our union is selected and begins deliberations. The committee concludes that the 2020 election is a crucial moment for our union and begins drafting a democratic process for our union’s membership to decide our direction.

December 8th – The UPTE executive board approves a timeline and a process for the UPTE membership to determine our union’s endorsement.

December 10th-16th – UPTE members participate in a survey to rank the union’s political priorities and decide which presidential candidates we will interview for our endorsement.

The top five candidates, in order, were Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Andrew Yang.

January 7th and 8th – UPTE interviews the top candidates, as determined by our survey.*

January 9th-17th – The full UPTE membership votes overwhelmingly to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (66%), followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (22%), Andrew Yang (7%), and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (5%).

Read the full report of the 2020 Presidential Endorsement Committee here.

*The Joe Biden campaign did not respond to our attempts to include them in our interview process and was ruled ineligible for our endorsement by unanimous decision of the endorsement committee and Executive Board.

No dues money is used to support political candidates; if you want to be a part of our efforts to elect pro-worker candidates and pass legislation that works for working people, join UPTE’s Political Action Fund today!