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Educators vote to support 3 Michigan candidates for election to Congress

Rep. John Conyers, Debbie Dingell, and Bobby McKenzie pledge to put students ahead of politics

Washington, DC - June 20, 2014 -

The National Education Association's political action committee, the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, today voted to support the reelection of John Conyers to Congress to represent Michigan's 13th Congressional District, and the election to Congress of Debbie Dingell and Bobby McKenzie for the state's 12th and 11th Congressional Districts, respectively.

"These formidable and worthy candidates for Congress share our values and the values of the working families of the great state of Michigan," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "Rep. Conyers, Debbie Dingell, and Bobby McKenzie understand that the road to economic security and prosperity starts in our nation's public schools. They pledge to put students and educators ahead of politics, and if elected, work hard to make sure our economy works for all of us, not just the wealthy few and rich corporations."

"I am honored by the Michigan Education Association and the NEA recommendation and look forward to working with them to support Michigan educators and advance our public schools," said Bobby McKenzie. "I'll have a laser focus on ensuring that all children have access to a quality, public education and a bright future. And I'll work tirelessly to find solutions that allow students to get a higher education without crippling debt."

Bobby McKenzie is a proud product of the Wayne County public schools. He earned a BA in economics from Michigan State University, where he walked-on to 1997-98 varsity basketball team. Following college, Bobby spent 15 years, working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, where he developed deep knowledge and expertise on national and international security, as well as humanitarian intervention and refugee crises.

"I'm proud to have professional educators support my bid for Congress because we share a common goal in fighting for access to affordable, quality education for everyone," said Debbie Dingell. "Personal income and opportunity go hand-in-hand with a person's education and that is why I will work closely with them in developing comprehensive polices that will prepare students for the bright futures they so richly deserve."

Debbie Dingell is president of D2 Strategies and chair of the Wayne State University (WSU) Board of Governors, to which she was elected statewide in 2006. An active civic and community leader, she is a recognized national advocate for women and children. For more than 30 years she served one of Michigan’s largest employers, the General Motors (GM) Corporation, where she was President of the GM Foundation and a senior executive responsible for public affairs.

The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education also voted to support Rep. John Conyers' reelection. Conyers is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and is a key drafter and negotiator of the Voting Rights Amendment Act, which will strengthen the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court struck down its key provisions. As a long-time member and current Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, he has been instrumental in moving all civil and voting rights legislation that has come through the House of Representatives in his almost 50 years in Congress.

"Rep. John Conyers, Debbie Dingell, and Bobby McKenzie will make the tough choices and right decision in Washington," said Michigan Education Association President Steven B. Cook. "They recognize the important role education plays in preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow so that America can compete in the global marketplace. We are proud to call them friends of educators because they have the right values and vision to speak up for students and educators in Congress."

The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, the NEA's national political action committee, provides direct financial support to candidates for president, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate who will fight to support teachers, staff, and students and improve public education. MEA represents approximately 145,000 teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, and school retirees.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

Miguel A. Gonzalez
(202) 822-7823