Hi Norm - I just got my UFT ballot in the mail. I've never received one, and today was perfect timing, because I had it out with someone in the UFT office. They have not responded to my email sent in October, despite me following up every month or so. I may need to start advising young teachers to save their dues for getting their own personal champion rather than have faith in the UFT's ability to even respond to an email within 6 months....People have been asking me for UFT voting advice. I am flummoxed. This is where the long-term dangers lie for the UFT - arrogance and ignoring the pleas of people under assault. And I certainly won't tell anyone to vote for MORE. But.....
What do you recommend I do with the ballot? Did you have a falling out with MORE?
My teacher friends and neighbors are in California for 6 months and I am taking care of their house and mail. I asked what to do with their ballots -- we forward all their mail - and they told me to decide who to vote for since they usually ask me who to vote for anyway.
This time things are a bit more complicated since there is no slate I would recommend. However, it does give me a chance to have one of my friends vote for New Action and the other for Solidarity while I in essence toss away my ballot and vote for individual candidates from all 4 slates - Unity too.
Why am I throwing away my ballot? The individual votes are counted -- they have to tear the booklets apart and feed them through the machine and this process delays the count by hours. But they only give us the slate vote totals and that is what gets reported. So those individual votes, which are usually around a couple of hundred people, don't count for much. But this time I have to do it on my ballot.
So, I'm going through the pages of the ballot and voting for people from all caucuses that I like or respect or know. It is tedious work. We have to pick out 48 names from the at-large Ex Bd candidates. Then 750 at most from the AFT/NYSUT convention list - which is easy to do since Unity has 750 running and MORE, Solidarity, New Action COMBINED have less than 150 -- that is why even a combined opposition can't come close to Unity. (The only time I can remember matching them in numbers was around 1980, but I hear from Ellen Fox they did match a few times -- but certainly not close since I became involved in elections again in 2004.)
Well, anyhow -- I will do a follow-up with a list of some of the candidates I voted for and why. I did manage to find a few MOREs that I still like and respect to vote for plus every New Action candidate even if I didn't know them. Plus every Solidarity candidate I know - minus a few that I have had some bad blood with in the past.