Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Distributive Law
I spent part of yesterday going around schools putting ICE-TJC election lit in mailboxes. I wish I could tell all the stories but I don't want to give away too much to the Unity/New Action slugs/thugs that troll this blog.
But one story is worth sharing:
I went to Grady - Mulgrew's old school - where I expected some problems. Sure enough the security guard wouldn't let me in until she got the CL - said he went ballistic the last time someone came in. I challenged that he had to be called- I said he was the Republicans and I was the Democrats and he had no right to interfere - and some other guards backed me up. One of them escorted me to the mailboxes and the slug/ thug passed us - "that's him" she said. I called to him and said we were monitoring the boxes and if the election were close we would challenge on the basis of no equal access if the leaflets were pulled.
"You have no right to come in my building" he said. Sure. I went in and stuffed the boxes, expecting them to be pulled
After I stuffed the boxes I decided to call Michael Mendel from the UFT who is the contact person and does a good job making sure our rights are enforced to tell him that the CL had no right to tell the security guards not to let people in. Just then the Unity slug/thug walked into the mailbox room and took out a leaflet and tore it up - then another. I told Mendel he was doing it as we spoke and the slug said he was just tearing up the ones on his box. I told Mendel we would monitor the Grady boxes and protest the election if close in the high schools. I also told him this guy was not exactly the best face even Unity would want for the union. If I have to go back there every day I will.
On the way out I got smiles and thumbs up from some of the security guards. Unity slug/thug is not well loved it seems.
Once the UFT election ballots went out on Friday, ICE went into full distribution mode for a the next two weeks. Our partners, TJC, have been out there for a few weeks but our strategy was to wait for people to begin receiving their ballots before hitting the schools.
There has been some criticism directed our way for not going out much sooner to stuff mail boxes, which have been flooded with Unity and New Action material.
I have never been convinced that the mailbox stuffing has much of an impact. Unity doesn't have to send out hordes to stuff. All they do is send it to chapter leaders and they get 95% penetration. And where they know an ICE person is present they send in the district reps to stuff. New Action has a horde of 20 retirees out there stuffing. ICE has 3.
So with many of the ICE core being involved with GEM and fighting the charter and school closing battles, we decided to husband our resources.
Look at Unity in the last election. They stuffed and stuffed, as they are doing now.
Unity received 6200 votes out of a potential 40,000 elementary votes, 1500 votes out of potential 13,o00 votes in middle schools and less than 2200 out of 20,000 in high schools. That's pretty slim.
New Action also stuffed last time and their totals were: HS 521, MS 273 and ES 562.
ICE-TJC totals were: HS 1550, MS 444, ES 1337
You can see the comparison of the 2004 and 2007 elections here.
Considering Unity is Bloomberg and we're Tony Avella, the totals were pretty weak for Unity compared to us. They might do better now that the increasingly despised Randi is gone - even though Mulgrew was her personal choice. The behind the scenes Unity campaign is: He's NOT Randi.
So the idea of spending 6 weeks racing around schools for weeks before teachers who mostly couldn't care less about the elections or even have any knowledge about it didn't make sense. But the 2 weeks after they get their ballots did make sense. Remember that 77% of the teachers in the schools did not vote last time. So if they see a flier now it might connect a bit. Hopefully, they connect by checking the ICE-TJC box.