Use Your Teacher Voice: Take the PAC’s Peak Challenge Today

Think about your teacher voice. It commands attention. It conveys expertise. It exudes professionalism. In other words, it’s the voice you want the Texas Legislature to hear.
 
Lawmakers listen to constituent calls, emails, and letters. They listen to votes. And they also listen to campaign donations. That’s why it’s critical for ATPE members to support the ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC). When we pool our resources together, our voice becomes stronger.
 
The 11th Annual PAC’s Peak Challenge kicked off February 1 and runs through May 31. Our goal is to raise $20,000 for your ATPE-PAC. Remember: None of your dues dollars go into ATPE-PAC. In order to stay funded, ATPE-PAC depends solely on voluntary donations from ATPE members like you!
 
Give today at atpepac.givesmart.com or by texting ATPEPAC to 76278.
 
Curious about PACs? Here’s the 411 on PACs.
If you’re new to public education advocacy, the concept of a political action committee, or PAC for short, can seem a bit mysterious or even a little awkward because it involves giving money to politicians. The reality is, though, that PACs are a smart way for everyone to amplify their voice in the political process.
 
Why do PACs exist?
PACs exist because it’s expensive to run for political office. It costs money to print signs, buy ads, and hire staff. If candidates weren’t allowed to accept donations from their supporters, then only the extremely wealthy could afford to run for office. The first PAC was created in 1944, and PACs are governed by state and federal laws to ensure transparency and accountability. If we don’t help those who share our priorities get elected, then we can’t expect our priorities to receive attention.
 
Why should I give to a PAC instead of directly to a candidate?
You can give directly to candidates, of course, but giving to a PAC allows you to pool your resources with like-minded individuals, such as your fellow ATPE members, to make larger contributions to candidates who support public education priorities. Look at it this way: Would you remember the names of 500 people who gave you $10 each, or would you remember the name of one PAC that gave you $5,000?
 
I can only afford a small contribution. Should I even bother?
Absolutely yes! Small contributions add up fast. If every ATPE member gave $10 to ATPE-PAC this year, we’d have $1 million in our PAC. Ten dollars is roughly the cost of one month of your favorite streaming service or a couple of trips to Starbucks. In other words, it’s not a huge investment, especially when you consider the potential benefits.
 
How does ATPE-PAC decide which candidates will receive donations?
Decisions about ATPE contributions are based on many factors, including incumbent voting records, responses to ATPE candidate surveys, public positions on education issues, and potential leadership positions in the Texas Legislature. You’ll note that political party is not on that list. ATPE-PAC gives contributions to those who support the priorities outlined in our member-driven legislative program, regardless of any party affiliation.
 
But I thought ATPE did not endorse candidates?
That’s correct: ATPE does not. ATPE-PAC contributions come with the stipulation that the contribution does not constitute a public endorsement by ATPE. ATPE believes each member should support the officeholder/candidate of their choice. We encourage members to use ATPE’s voter education resources, such as TeachtheVote.org, to make informed choices at the polls and support pro-public education candidates.
 
I’m already paying annual dues. Why are you asking for more money?
State and federal laws prohibit ATPE from donating dues dollars directly to candidates. Every dollar that goes into ATPE-PAC is a voluntary contribution—and has nothing to do with your membership benefits. Further, ATPE-PAC is limited in whom we can ask to make donations. We can only solicit donations from ATPE members, employees, and their families.
 
Visit atpe.org/PAC-overview to learn more about ATPE-PAC.
 
 
ATPE-PAC solicits contributions only from ATPE members, employees, and their families. Participation in ATPE-PAC is voluntary. Members can contribute any amount or nothing at all without affecting their ATPE membership status, rights, or benefits.
 
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