Monday, March 25, 2013

John Yanno on The Work Julie Does and the UFT Doesn't

Mulgrew may have been at the DA but he wasn't in the trenches fighting for rank and file teachers and public education. Here, John Yanno provides a microcosm of Julie's work and why so many people who have worked with her are thrilled she is running for UFT President.

Julie highlighted a lot of her education activism in her response to the anonymous comments on the ICE blog (read Julie’s reply here - But one thing she didn’t mention was that when I was having a problem at my school, it was Julie and not the UFT who came to help us.

In 2010, the NYC DOE proposed housing Millennium Brooklyn in the John Jay High School campus where I teach. While Millennium Brooklyn is not a charter school, many of us at the John Jay campus were opposed to the co-location because of the scarce space in the building. 

There was also the problem of the DOE failing to release promised funds to the school (outrageously, they told us that allowing Millennium Brooklyn in would release those much-needed funds for our crumbling building). 

I knew Julie from the Grassroots Education Movement (this was way before MORE) and her fight at PS15. 

After telling her about what was happening at my school, Julie attended a joint parent and teacher meeting at my campus to help explain what would happen next after the proposal and what steps we could take to prepare for the hearing and the PEP. 

Julie also attended the hearing at my school and spoke powerfully both to the DOE from the microphone but also privately to at least one CEC member about the failure of the DOE to fund the schools at John Jay. Again, this was before there was any MORE, before Julie was running for any office. Julie, a true activist dedicated to education justice, came and said what the UFT leadership didn’t.

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