The Boricua superstar announced his endorsement during a conversation with the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
“Who do you think should be the next president of the United States?”
The point-blank question was asked by the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten, to arguably the most influential Latino in the arts during the last 10 years—Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“I’m voting for Joe,” Lin said with a laugh. “I’m voting for Joe because our democracy is at stake.”
“I think we’ve had four years of the perils of someone with no experience at the wheel,” the actor and singer added. “It’s just so much worse than anyone feared. So yes, I’m voting for Joe.”
The exchange took place during the virtual convention of the AFT, where the Pulitzer-prize winning creator discussed the importance of education and teaching. Before rising to fame with his musical In the Heights, Miranda worked as an English teacher at his former high school in Manhattan.
The influential AFT, founded in 1916, represents 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide. It’s the second largest teacher’s labor union in America, behind the National Education Association. Besides Miranda, its virtual conference guests included no other than Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, who spoke to Weingarten after him.
“As I understand, Lin was there,” the former vice president said with a big grin. “And I heard he endorsed me.”
Weingarten also disclosed that the AFT is contributing $50,000 to the Latino Victory, a progressive organization working to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government.
Miranda’s father, Luis A. Miranda Jr., is the Board Chair of Latino Victory.
“What your father has done is to ensure that there is a real political presence because, without politics, we can’t make a change,” Weingarten told Miranda.
Miranda and Weingarten also talked about his previous career as a teacher. The union leader thanked Miranda for making “civics cool” and social studies “fun.”
“The first thing I learned about Hamilton was from writing a paper I wrote in 11th grade,” Miranda said.
Weingarten asked Miranda what gives him hope in a time when the country is facing a pandemic and racial injustices only made worse by the president of the United States.
“The same thing that kept me teaching,” Miranda replied. “It’s the students themselves. When you see the students handing out sanitizers, wearing masks, protesting, it’s the students that are leading the way.”