Hello, North Dakota United!

I hope this note finds each of you happy and healthy and enjoying a beautiful day!

Here at ND United, we have been very focused on our work around three strategic principles adopted by your NDU Board of Directors: increasing membership; activating our membership; and increasing the size of our government-relations footprint.  As a result, NDU membership is up, we have identified a growing number of member activists, and we continue our work to represent your interests both Bismarck and Washington, DC.  It is a very real honor for me to represent you in this work.

Here are a few things that you should know about.  Please read to the end!

  • February 24-28 is Public Schools Week — So far, 45 senators and 70+ representatives have signed onto this bicameral and bipartisan resolution. Our public schools’ professionals endeavor to educate every child who walks, runs, rolls or is carried through our schoolhouse doors. It is an awesome responsibility and one public school teachers and education support professionals take very seriously. Go here to urge Sens. Hoeven and Cramer, and Rep. Armstrong to support this important resolution.
  • The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) — This bill is the long-overdue update to the Higher Education Act. Among other things, the CAA will dramatically increase federal student aid, including increases to Pell Grant Awards, $6B to restore the Perkins Loan program, enhancements to the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and the Federal Work Study programs, elimination of origination fees on federal student loans, and much more.  Email your representatives and urge them to reinvest in colleges and universities by supporting the College Affordability Act.  Call Sen. Hoeven (1.202.224.2551), Sen. Cramer (1.202.224.2043), and urge them to support the College Affordability Act
  • The 2020 NDU Legislative Agenda Listening Tour is underway. I have traveled to NDSU, Dickinson EA, Bismarck EA, Jamestown EA, Bismarck Area Public Employees, Grand Forks EA, West Fargo EA, and Fargo EA so far with many stops still to be made. Check out the Events page on our website for upcoming dates!
  • Finally, you have probably noticed that despite the winnowing field, there are still a bunch of folks who want to be our president. AFT has recently decided to encourage its members to support any of three candidates whom they feel best identify with AFT’s values: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.  At NEA, the endorsement process is much different and, as a member of the NEA PAC, I cannot imagine a scenario in which we endorse in the primary until after Super Tuesday on March 3.  If I may, I would encourage you to carefully compare each candidate’s record and positions on issues important to us all.  You can do this at https://educationvotes.nea.org/presidential-2020/compare-candidates/.  This site is incredibly interactive and allows you to do side by side comparison of candidate positions on a variety of topics.  At strongpublicschools.com, you can watch NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia’s interviews with the candidates, as well.

So, there you go!  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at nick.archuleta@ndunited.org, and I will be happy to answer or explain.

Thank you for your membership in ND United, and thank you for your outstanding work on behalf of all North Dakotans!