Thus I was surprised to get this email from a parent activist, fairly newly minted (a year) activist -- someone who is enormously respected on so many levels -- who I had no idea read this blog who sent this.
Norm, I have to confess that when I first read your writings (only a little over a year ago), I was impressed but thought you might be a little bit of a wild-eyed radical. Now I see you as a paragon of reason and common sense and have absolute faith in your vision. I wish you were a wild-eyed radical, because that would mean the world we're actually in made more sense than it does. Thank you and keep writing always!Glad to have another "crazy" on board.
I decided over a decade ago that I wanted little part in working with the leadership on anything given that they coopt and distort and in fact why help them look better to the members once you decide that the only solution is for them to be gone?
By the way, I did try from the earliest days of ed notes in 1997 to appeal to Unity and in fact they asked me to join --- gee, I could have been a slug like Stuart Kaplan -- promising me that Randi would change the union. It took me almost 5 years to figure out it was getting worse.
My recommendation to MORE --- do your thing -- educate, organize, mobilize -- and ignore them as much as possible --- except to hammer them. Don't let them get you tied up in their shit. But I am still amazed that even some old hands ICE think that if we don't participate they will attack us. Duh! Did you see the assinine Unity attacks during the election on Gloria who did participate and on Julie for not taking sick babies to the DA?
My point is going after Unity will all guns blazing will get as many friends for the opposition as people who get turned off and in fact, the election results prove no one is really listening. MORE got around 3-4000 votes from non-retirees and should work to find those people and organize them. Obviously they didn't buy the attacks on MORE from both New Action and Unity.
Alas, I am a tiny voice in MORE and they may need to spend the next 40 years being hammered by Unity -- at which point there will be a Tier 12 pension --- the reverse pension like a reverse mortgage -- in which YOU pay the DOE when you retire and an aging Mulgrew will get up and tell us how Mayor Emma Bloomberg wanted you to turn in your teeth upon retiring but he stopped her in the tracks.
It does take some doing and some number of years to come to the point I have. One of the contentions I and some others have with the opposition over time has been a too willing attitude to hop to when the UFT leaders ask --- serve on committees that we know are Unity stacked or any other thing you can think of.
I believe there are a number of people out there who want people to mash the UFT leadership -- in fact many of those read this blog.