The American Federation of Teachers is making its closing argument for Hillary Clinton to voters in Ohio, Arizona and Florida with an advertising campaign emphasizing the strength of diversity.
The AFT Solidarity Fund is spending $500,000 for the 30-second ad called “Coming Together,” which looks to close out the contentious presidential race on a hopeful note as a way to persuade undecided and unenthusiastic voters to vote for Clinton.
The ad will begin running on television and digital platforms on Friday. In it a group of men and women representing various racial and ethnic groups and ages gather on lawn and begin to build a human pyramid, much like a college cheerleading squad. There is both an English and Spanish version of the spot. It makes no mention of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“What if we could build something together instead of rip things apart?” an announcer asks. “Lift each other up instead of tear each other down? We could build something truly remarkable, couldn’t we?” The ad closes with Clinton delivering her campaign slogan, “Let’s be stronger together.”
“The election has been so toxic and the environment has gotten so where people feel so deflated that we actually wanted to remind ourselves and others about why we got into this in the first place,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
The 1.6-million AFT was the first national union to endorse Clinton because “of the potential and promise of what this country could be and what a president could do to lift people up,” Weingarten said. The new ad is intended to convey that after the election the country “will not simply move forward on Nov. 9 but start to heal on Nov. 9 and beyond,” she said.
The ad is aimed at “people who feel disenfranchised, who wonder why vote? It’s really aimed at people who want to vote their hopes, not their fears but are just disgusted and demoralized by everything that’s going on,” Weingarten said. She also hopes it will sway undecided voters.
“Never would we imagine a candidate on the other side who would normalize hate, use hate and fear and the issues of the anxiety over wages as a way to incite fear of the other,” she said.
The ad is airing in Florida and Ohio because they are critical battleground states where the union represents a large number of teachers, paraprofessionals and nurses. “We also chose Florida and Arizona because this campaign has unleashed such ugliness, a torrent of hatefulness against immigrants, especially Mexicans and Muslims,” she said. “We thought the ad’s message of working together and lifting each other up would be especially resonant in places with large Hispanic populations and millennials. It’s also what we’re about as educators.”