Contact: Justin Bielinski

Milwaukee: The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 212 COPE has endorsed Mandela Barnes in the race for Lieutenant Governor. AFT represents 1400 staff at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and has been in existence since 1931, before public employees had even earned the legal right to bargain collectively.

“Local 212 has long been recognized as one of the most progressive labor unions in the entire state,” Mandela Barnes said in a statement Wednesday. “When Walker ‘dropped the bomb’ with act 10, many saw that as the beginning of the end for public-sector unions. In 2018, AFT remains as strong as ever, and I look forward to working with Local 212 members to restore workers’ rights and adequate funding levels for our universities and technical colleges across Wisconsin. I am honored to have received their endorsement.”

The Local 212 endorsement is the latest in a string of support for Mandela from labor and progressive groups, including Democracy for America, People for the American Way, Communication Workers of America (CWA), Iron Workers Local 8, and Working Families Party.

Mandela Barnes is a former 2-term state legislator, community organizer, and policy professional from Milwaukee. He is seeking the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in the August 14th primary election. More information is available at

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