NASW is endorsing Democratic candidate Barack Obama for president, calling him an ally to social workers and the clients they serve.
The association’s Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) Board of Trustees approved the endorsement recently and the NASW Board of Directors enthusiastically confirmed the decision during its June meeting, said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark.
Obama has vowed to strengthen the Medicare system.
PACE is the political action arm of NASW. As a political action committee, PACE endorses and financially contributes to federal candidates from any party who support NASW’s policy agenda.
PACE trustees selected the Illinois senator because he holds the social policy and legislative agenda of the profession in high regard as evidenced by his support of important legislation such as the Mental Health Parity Act, the End Racial Profiling Act and the Healthy Families Act.
Obama attended Columbia University and moved to Chicago after graduation to become a community organizer in the tradition of Saul Alinksy and in the hometown of legendary social worker Jane Addams.
In order to help find solutions to problems he saw as a community organizer, Obama went on to pursue his law degree from Harvard University Law School and was elected the first African American president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He served in the Illinois Senate for seven years before becoming a U.S. Senator.
The reasons for endorsing Obama include:
- He has vowed to promote equal opportunity and end discrimination, empowering people to make positive changes in their communities and in their lives.
- He is a strong supporter of civil rights legislation aimed at closing the pay equity gap, ending racial profiling and reducing hate crimes across the country.
- He has promised to make health care affordable for all Americans and has pledged to protect a woman’s right to choose.
If elected president, Obama has vowed to strengthen the Medicare system which many social work clients utilize. He is also opposed to the privatization of the Social Security system. He pledges to reform No Child Left Behind, solve the current school dropout crisis and make higher education affordable.
Brian Dautch, NASW senior political action associate, said if elected, Obama will be making important appointments that affect the social work profession such as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the director of the National Institutes of Health.
“These key decisions will have an impact not only on the profession but the entire nation,” Dautch said.