We heard from Berkely Ca. teacher Yvette Felarca who will be running against Randi Weingarten for AFT president next week at the AFT convention in Seattle.
Hi Norm,Only delegates can vote- and we know that with 800 Unity slugs going at our expense, they will control the convention. But it will be interesting for future reference just how well Yvette does. Maybe having Bill Gates be a feature speaker will spur people to vote for her.
It would be great if you could send my campaign flier and invitation to run with my slate to the listserves.
I especially appreciate it if you get the info. to particular people who you think might be interested in running, whether they're coming to Seattle or not (they can still run).
And of course, if you're a delegate, I need your vote!
Unity Caucus held a meeting last week for THE EIGHT HUNDRED to tell them how to vote and to train them on monaipulating Roberts Rules to their advantage (I'll do a follow-up on this meeting later). Apparently they were spreading some hysteria about the Felarca candidacy even though they know Randi can't lose in such an undemcratically controlled union.
One of the things the Unity crew told the delegates was that this was the first contested election since 1974 when Al Shanker ran against the incumbent David Selden, who had been Shanker's mentor. (I seem to remember some other elections but can't pin them down.)
The story of that 1974 election is chronicled in a Wiki which is a must read.
It talks about the ideological underpinnings over the Vietnam War where Shanker was the war hawk and Selden was opposed.
I was at that 1974 convention in Toronto and got to ask Shanker some questions at the candidate forum. Whenever I had the chance, I asked Shanker why he favored guns over butter. The next year a bunch of us went to Hawaii for the 1975 convention to hand out The Case Against Shanker, a pamphlet we wrote. (Our Unity pals were thrilled.)
Remember, the 1975 convention was a short time before the 1975 financial chrisis devastated the NYC school system. My guns/butter questions to Shanker grew more pertinent.
Ed Notes will be in Seattle covering starting on July 6 and through the 11th.
Here is s section from Yvette's leaflet, which is posted below- click to enlarge or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a pdf.
Education Must Be a Right –
Our Children Are Not for Sale
Save Dr. King's Vision for America
• Organize Independent Mass Actions and Build the New Student-Led Civil Rights Movement to Defend Public Education from Pre-K Through College
• Stop Relying on the Democrats to Save Us
• End "Race to the Top" Now – Release All Federal Funds to States Based on Need
• No More Charters, No Vouchers
• Save Public Education: Stop Union Busting, Get Rid of Arne Duncan Now
• Build Independent, Integrated, United Teacher/Student/Community Action to End Legislative Attacks Against Teachers and Black, Latina/o, Immigrant, and Poor, Working-Class and Middle-Class Students of All Races
• All Our Students Can Learn and Excel – Reject High-Stakes Testing & Market-Economy-Based School Reform Plans
• Stop Teacher Bashing. Defend Our Union's/ Teachers' Dignity, Ability, & Character