Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May 9th DA Report: Surreality 2

(See companion video on you tube after reading this account. Link below)

Instead of being part of a massive rally to point to the insanity of the current DOE reorganization and the entire folly of mayoral control, we are at YADA – Yet Another Delegate Assembly. With the usual suspects. Scads of full and partime UFT employees, Unity Caucus hacks, retiree Unity Caucus members.

Yada,Yada, Yada.

I’m there early with the ICE leaflet – the top 10 reasons to oppose the reorganization, one of the better ones we have done, considering an ICE committee had to modify the original leaflet written to support a parent press conference at City hall that never came off. Speculation is that some unnamed union leader turned some screws.

The usual Unity retirees are there to give out the Unity leaflet, this time a white sheet with Randi’s comments from the Spring conference. (Later they turn up with an extra special Unity leaflet attacking LiL Ole Me. Oh, da trees.)

Yada, Yada, Yada.

There are lots of ICE’ers there to distribute so I race upstairs to get my banana before their all gone and triumphantly return holding my trophy in the air.

All sorts of strange, officious characters push their way past disdaining the leaflet. They don’t look familiar or like the usual Unity hack refusniks. Too well dressed. Too much in a hurry. With a sense of importance. They turn out to be the LSO’s, SSO’s who will get to use the time when motions will not be gotten to but I precede myself.

The TJC crew shows up to distribute their leaflet. Some have signs. There was rumor of an informal picket line in front of 52 Broadway before the meeting to raise awareness of the Manhattan high school chapter leader resolution, passed by an 18-1 vote calling for a rally before the school year is out. I had reported on this possibility on the ednotes blog (which prompted the Unity leaflet attacking me) along with a fabulous article by Meredith Kolodnor in The Chief on the rally.

Skip Delano, Chapter leader of Brandeis HS is there to give out the Manhattan HS CL resolution to prepare people. Skip is quoted extensively in the Kolodnor piece and did a great job as the MHSCL spokesman.

But the rally isn’t organized and doesn’t come off. Some people came specifically for that and are disappointed. But the feeling seems to be there are not enough people to have an impact. Besides, there are a hell of a lot of Unity hacks that won’t be impressed.

I see so many of these characters that my sense that action at the DA is probably a waste of time. I tell myself that this is it for me. Not worth coming back to see and do the same old, same old..

Yada, Yada, Yada.

An hour later I change my mind. Sort of.

I head on up, figuring Weingarten can’t drone on and on again after what happened at the last meeting. And she doesn’t as I catch the tail end of what she was saying.

Yada, Yada, Yada.

There are some questions. And them the new motion period, the one chance for non-Unity people to make a motion. Randi has tampered with this time again and again, often shunting it far into the end of the meeting. But this time the 18-1 vote of CL who represent a lot of teachers cannot be ignored. But first she spends a lot of time giving people reasons to oppose the motion by saying the agreement with the DOE will be monitored carefully. HOO HA!

So she asks who will make the motion for a rally, secure in the knowledge that she can’t lose this vote. It’s between Skip and the Manhattan HS DR, Tom Dromgoole, the only non-Unity DR. Tom is going to make the motion, a gutsy thing to do considering Randi can fire him tomorrow. I turn on my video camera to capture the debate.

Randi shows how tough she is. She bravely asked Deputy Mayor David Doctoroff to leave the room for the debate but will let him back in if people say it is ok. No one responds to this “hint.”

I figure that Tom is in trouble for even allowing this motion to come up at his meeting, but Tom and his mentor and predecessor Bruce Markens, who is the poster boy for Dist Rep elections as he was repeatedly elected despite numerous Unity attempts to defeat him, actually run democratic district CL meetings instead of just making announcements of what the leadership wants CL to do.
I whisper to someone the rumor is that Randi has been kept informed and seems willing to allow this stuff to run its course. On the surface.

Oops. I spoke to soon.
Before Tom begins to talk, Randi says she has a compromise. Why not shelve the resolution for now and bring it to the (In)Action committee which is bipartisan she says – which means her New Action lackeys are on the committee in force to keep their idle hands busy.

Tom says NO! I hope he likes teaching those 6 periods a day with lunch duty thrown in.

Tom makes a strong statement. Jeff Zahler responds but I can’t hear what he says or even get a chance to get much of what he says on tape because I have received a visit from Michael Mendel who has been sent over by Randi to get me to stop taping. “Randi is ok but the Deputy Mayor shouldn’t be on tape. HOO HA!
“What’s the matter I ask, trying to hide all of this form the members?” I ask.
“You can edit is to misrepresent what people say,” he says. “We’ll have to come up with a procedure in the future.” It looks like I’ll be dealing with security at some point.

I miss Zahler’s scintillating speech where he probably called the Manhattan Chapter Leaders a bunch of Communists.

Well, guess what? The call to discuss the rally in June goes down in roughly a 2-1 vote. Unity people are too busy to waste their time. Deputy Mayor David Doctoroff is waiting to take up most of the rest of the time.

Randi then says that as ex-officio something or other she will bring the issue to the action committee anyway so they can monitor Tweed (those assholes and liars she referred to in a conference call with the coalition partners.) Martin Haber, delegate from Dewey tells me there has never been any action from the action committee. The InAction committee strikes again.

Doctoroff comes back and he and Randi kiss. Their families know each other, etc. Why am I not surprised? Anyone who thinks she has more in common with working teachers than with mayors and wealthy business people is smoking something that smells funny.

After Doctoroff and all the Tweedles are done, the delegates straggle out at 6:45 looking disgusted. A few of us go to Fridays to recuperate but the roach walking on the wall doesn’t help.

Link to video

1 comment:

  1. I regret having missed this particular session of Ms. Weingarten and her rubber stamp brigade. It's good someone stood up, at least.

    It's plainly unconscionable for these people, who are there ostensibly to represent our interests, to support this reorganization, the worst of the three for working teachers. There's no reason whatsoever to think it will be any improvement over the first two.


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.