Friday, October 19, 2012

Stamberg/Mendel on UFT Suppression of Debate on Obama Nomination at Delegate Assembly

Unity Beware! Continue to bully our delegates and members and you will soon become an opposition party!--- Jeff Kaufman, comment on ICE blogs 
When Marjorie tried to motivate her resolution, Mulgrew properly stopped her. However, the leadership did not stop here as Secretary Michael Mendel (usually a sensible and fair person) took the unprecedented step of not allowing Marjorie to even read her motion. He would only allow her to read the title. He said that Delegates have it already so they can read it to themselves. This is absurd since there must have been twenty handouts given out at the door so to even find this motion in our packets was very difficult. Mendel came to me afterwards to talk about what happened and said that Marjorie was trying to motivate the resolution and that is why he stood up to halt it. I agreed with him on this but I told him that DA policy has always been to allow someone to read their motion.  How can someone make a motion if they are not permitted to verbalize it?  We will see if silent reading is now the new policy at DA’s.
Please read James' entire piece on the DA.

More info is flowing in about the pile driving of the Obama nomination. Remember the Chicago teachers in Detroit while not opposing, stood in the aisles with "Stop Race to the Top" signs while the 800 insipid Unity Caucus people danced in the aisles for Obama/Biden celebrating the end of public education. That same crew was operating at the DA on Weds. Really, do you need anything more to join MORE?

I know that some of the arcane rules of debate might confuse people. Making a motion for the current meeting is not debatable. But when I was a delegate I used a different strategy--- I didn't make a motion as Marjorie did but demanded time as a speaker against their motion and during my speech referred to my reso which was printed in Ed Notes. Since you can call a point of order, which I did all the time, to demand the speaker against, I used the opportunity to speak "against" lots of stuff that no one else would get up to speak against. Like Motherhood --- your reso is not strong enough, therefore I oppose it.

Below are some comments between Marjorie and Mendel. First some reactions from delegates.
I attempted to speak at the UFT Delegate Assembly tonight on a union resolution supporting the re-election of President Obama. I thought that there had to be some discussion about "Race To The Top." The union leadership cut off debate by having someone "call the question" before anyone could speak. DAMN FUCKING SHAMEFUL! --- VW, a delegate
I opposed the motion for obama. I wrote on my vote card "RTTT" and "Rahm", a man who sold out rhode island, offered zero support to Chicago or wisconsin got 45-60 minutes at a DA, ATR's got zero, contract 1-2 minutes--- MS, delegate
I was sitting in the hall last night as I am no longer a delegate and the 19th floor was full. There was talking and people getting Obama shirts, laughing and carrying on so it was a little hard to follow all that was happening inside.. I heard Mendel yelling and blasting you. It was embarrassing and a deja vu of a not so long ago meeting where he went off. He was totally out of line as was Mulgrew for allowing him to go on.

When I was downstairs handing out fliers, a woman came over and began to speak with a UFT member She was very upset that the AFT and the UFT were endorsing Obama uncritically and unquestionably outright. She asked for people to think about endorsing so quickly this man who has helped to decimate  our educational system. They spoke and she left hoping that Obama's endorsement would be brought up and questioned.

The "Unity bureaucracy was totally out of line and very disrespectful of you - this was just uncalled for. I'm telling you that those of us outside the assembly were cringing. This is NOT how we (the UFT) should be conducting business on any topic, but especially one as important as this. I respect your tenacity to demand that the right thing be done. You represent your colleagues well. More delegates should be as strong and vocal.You are definitely not a victim, but a proud union member who wants to see strength and equality in decision making.  --- PD
Marjorie Stamberg responds to Michael Mendel (below):
I have never cast myself as "a victim of the big bad UFT." How dare you? I am not a victim of, but an active delegate in, the UFT. And the UFT didn't censor me. You did, i.e., Unity Caucus bureaucracy. We the membership are the UFT. --- 
I absolutely asked to motivate my motion, then to summarize it briefly, and when that was denied to read the motion and the resolves.  You refused and said I could only read the title and nothing else. "Reading the title only" is a new one at the D.A., and unknown to Robert's Rules.  If you have selective memory on this, that is your problem.

No one with a brain would believe you would have accepted my counter-motion against Obama in opposition to the motion being raised for Obama.  I was refused the right to speak at all, so how could I have raised it as a counter-motion.  This was a manuever from Unity Caucus which "called the question" before any "con" speakers were allowed (in total violation of Robert's Rules, by the way).  How do you know if I was going to present it as a counter - motion, which I actually was, since I was not allowed to speak at all.

By the way, Michael Mulgrew began the meeting telling delegates the leadership was always willing to "help" those who wanted to get a point across in the D.A.   In fact, I have been bullied from the podium time and again at Delegate Assemblies because my "points" are in opposition to your class collaborationist line.

Michael Mendel To: Marjorie Stamberg

Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:41 PM

RE: How opposition to UFT Endorsement of Obama was Suppressed at the D.A.

First of all that’s not what happened. If you asked to read the one sentience resolve I believe it would have been appropriate. But don’t change what happened. That’s not at all what you asked for. You asked to EXPLAIN your resolution. And that is a violation not of Roberts Rules but of our Delegate Assembly and it has been for as long as I’ve been going to the DA’s. It says under on the agenda page and it has for years, RULES OF ORDER, 1. TO PLACE AN IEM ON THE AGENDA OF THE CURRENT MEETING-A motion to suspend then rules is required. IT IS NOT DEBATABLE and needs a 2/3 vote. Not debatable has always been defined as not explaining or motivating the reso. You did not ask to read the resolve and you cannot make that claim now. You clearly said you wanted to explain (motivate) the resolution. You are not new to the DA. You have seen this happen many, many times. For you to claim anything else is just disingenuous. By the way since you saw the Pro Obama resolution on the agenda you could have risen at that time and presented your motion as a substitute and that would have absolutely been appropriate. What is clear here is it is more important to you to claim to be the victim of the big bad UFT and me rather than see a way to do what you want but do it in the right way.

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