I was a delegate at AFT's last convention in Los Angeles. I'm from a city of about 90000 people. Our union could only afford to send two delegates to the LA Convention, even though we were allowed to send up to 15; we'll probably be able to send four or five to Minnesota because the cost should be significantly less than LA. I was shocked that NYC was able to send 800 delegates. Something has to change.
I came across your page and I agree with your opinion that the Mulgrew/Weingarten/Unity crew basically rigged the convention. Have you ever tried forming some opposition to them? I know the BAMN Caucus opposed Unity but I had the feeling that their group is a little too radical for most members. Regardless, I spoke with a lot delegates who were not from New York and they also felt that the Convention was rigged and wished there was more opposition to the Progressive/Unity Caucus than just the BAMN. What are your thoughts?I wish I had easy answers. Don't forget that the system Al Shanker set up puts Progressive Caucus (unlike Unity, an open caucus anyone can join) in such a dominant position, creating a viable opposition on the national level is very difficult. Witness that Karen Lewis and CORE are not in a position to lead a national opposition against Unity - Karen is a member of Progressive Caucus, which gives her a seat on the AFT Exec Council.
Thus, Chicago people from the ranks can go head to head with Unity in committee meetings and on the convention floor, this cannot happen on the leader to leader level.
With the groups meeting in Chicago this weekend, I am wondering if this issue will come up - the most I expect is some loose caucus will form that will do education at the next convention in Minneapolis in 2016 and not a caucus running against progressive. But one never knows as events may accelerate faster than we think.
Oh, yes! BAMN is too radical for most people -- which allowed Randi to get 97% of the vote and in essence distort what I think was about 20-25% who would oppose Progressive. Which I think, given that Unity was about 25-30% of the attendees plus NYSUT flunkies - say 40% - that's a pretty long hill to climb.