Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Early Returns - Some Young, Some Old

I got a call from one of my retired colleagues last night, an 80 year old. "I voted for your slate," she said. I would bet that even though I have been gone from my former school for well over a decade, the people still there who knew me voted ICE-TJC.

Earlier in the day, I was told by young woman in her early 20's that one of her teacher friends had told her she and her colleagues in a small school housed in a large closing school had voted for ICE-TJC, mainly because of the ICE member who is chapter leader at the large school.
So we got at least a few votes from the 20-somethings and the 80-somethings.

These stories illustrate an important point. Wherever we have active people, we get votes. Most of our candidates are highly respected for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they are good teachers. Our problem? Not enough active people in enough schools. But that is an issue for the future.

I have no way to predict results but I will say right now a few hours before results come in that based on previous numbers and my sense of how far we were able to reach out, the chance to win even the high school Executive Board seats is very slim. We would need to at least double our vote from 1550 last time to around 3000 to have a chance. In the last election Unity had around 2200 and New Action had 550. A key issue is whether their votes will rise at all this time. I think that there are enough people wanting to give Mulgrew a chance to get Unity/New Action over.

With the fragmentation of large high schools and our limited reach to the younger teachers who occupy the new schools (compare that to the UFT ability to flood every school with their lit and also UFT officials visiting so many schools) I am not expecting us to come close to reaching that number.

I find it pretty ironic that the best we can do is win 6 seats on the EB out of 89. That's the real joke of this election. The opposition will never win without some structural change in the UFT (and that will never take place until the number of active - and I stress this word - active - people there are standing up to Unity). But an explanation of why this is so and what has to be done to change it is also for another time.

Today's vote count is the culmination of the UFT election process, a process that started for some of us ICEers with a meeting with TJC where we decided to work together over a year ago. I hope to write a lot more about the process we went through as a guide for people in the future. But that's also for another time.

If you are interested in early returns through the day, email me at I don't tweet or whatever but I do burp.

By the way, did you know that the Wall Street Journal now has a NYC beat ed reporter? She contacted me yesterday and we may meet up for coffee later today. That coverage should be interesting to watch. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out more fair and balanced than the NY Times? Shouldn't be all that much of a stretch.

1 comment:

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