Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The UFT, Biden, Bernie, Warren and Labor 4 Bernie

Biden's speech was meh and didn't elicit much enthusiasm ---- an audience member at Teacher Union Recognition Day, Oct. 20, 2019
We were clear that because Biden was available it no way means we are endorsing him. This in no way means we don’t
want others to come. As soon as we can get them here, we will. ... Leroy Barr at UFT Ex Bd
Right. Biden just happened to have a day free. When I saw that Joe Biden was going to address a thousand teachers (most of them from Unity Caucus) at Union Recognition Day, I felt that was clearly sending a message to the members. If the UFT had Bernie at an event like this I would be shocked. I believe the UFT/AFT would fundamentally sit the election out rather than support Bernie Sanders because of its long history of anti-leftism going back to its founding.

The AFT/UFT will be putting up some bogus "democratic" process, unlike last time when they endorsed Hillary before anyone could breathe and took some heat for it. I know how they operate. Randi will make the choice again and then work backwards to make it look democratic. 

Is there any doubt that Bernie has consistently been the most pro-union politician while the Democrats caved on union support for decades?
Now Bernie may be waffling about his socialism being merely a version of FDR New Deal. Which is funny considering the Jacobin crowd is blasting how different he is from Warren who's "a capitalist to her bones". FDR wasn't a capitalist?  Of course the right wing and Republicans at the time branded him as socialist, as their descendants did to Obama, a neo-liberal to his core. But the point is that Bernie is branding himself as a Scandinavian style socialist, which I would bet Warren could sign on to.

But of course the NY Post ran a Bernie red-baiting story back in January 2016: Don’t be fooled by Bernie Sanders — he’s a diehard communist, in which they attacked him for keeping on his wall a poster of Eugene Debs, who got 12 million votes in a presidential election.

There is some truth in the Post article about Bernie's past connections to socialism and he either has changed his views since the 70s - maybe due to some disasters in communist states since then -- or he is hiding his views. Either way, the hardcore left is playing along. 

There is a Labor for Bernie group trying to get unions to address a fair endorsement process. Mindy Rosier, an ex-MORE who is now in Unity, has been a key member of this group. But a few MOREs from the undemocratic socialists have jumped in to try to direct something in the UFT calling for a democratic process in the AFT/UFT which has caused a bunch of former MORE Bernie supporters to LOL. I'm for getting involved in a movement for Bernie in the UFT but I never trust the undemocratic socialists of MORE who use their opportunism to try to use a Bernie movement as an organizing tool for MORE.

There are monthly meetings of Labor for Bernie, with one tonight.

At the EB meeting Arthur challenged the Biden record on education over the horrible Obama RTTT ed policy. Notice how Leroy ignored the points other than to say Duncan was awful but did address the process. Neither did Mulgrew. Word is filtering out that Warren may be acceptable due to how bad the field is. But I bet they are hoping for a Klobuchar type if Biden falls.

Here is an except from Arthur's report with the entire report here.
Executive Board Report, Oct. 21, 2020
Arthur Goldstein—Yesterday at Teacher Union Day we watched Joe Biden promise us a grab bag of goodies. I can’t imagine any teacher not wanting to enact the programs he described. Yet he never mentioned privatization, which threatens so many public school districts. And though he frequently refers to his part in the Obama administration, he failed to do so yesterday.
Working teachers still feel Race to the Top, which imposed charters and test-based ratings on much of the country. While I’ve seen such ratings here help teachers, it’s only because so many city administrators are so wretchedly inept that a crap shoot is preferable to their judgment. Diane Ravitch wrote Obama gave GW Bush an extra term in education. Arne Duncan famously said Hurricane Katrina was the best thing to happen to NOLA education. We remember the near complete privatization of the city, and the virtual destruction of union there, pretty much blazing a trail for Betsy DeVos.

Maybe Joe Biden didn’t play a part in it, and maybe he didn’t support it, but I’ve never heard him say so. The Daily News referred to us as his supporters. Personally, I’d support him against Trump, but that doesn’t make me his supporter. The fact that we’ve thus far invited him and no one else lends credence to the paper’s assertion. The Times today, in a piece on Warren’s new education plan, says, “Ms. Warren and her Democratic rivals are vying for endorsements from teachers’ unions, which generally oppose the expansion of the charter sector.” I’d like them come and do their vying right here. 

Is the United Federation of Teachers pursuing opportunities for members to hear from the other frontrunners, Sanders and Warren?

Barr—Daily News got facts wrong. We were clear that because Biden was available it no way means we are endorsing him. This in no way means we don’t want others to come. As soon as we can get them here, we will. We will have a report about the debate party. Goal is to make members as informed as possible. AFT wants people to work with people they want to work with. We want people’s time and talent devoted to any candidate they choose. It’s still early, many people on stage. Michael wants us to wait until the field narrows a bit, see who can be elected, who can beat Trump. Daily News did not get it right, and Arne Duncan was wretched.

Mulgrew - We are not endorsing anyone. Trying to reach goal we did in mayor’s race. We’re moving toward working with campaigns and telling them what we want on national level. Over weekend we were in contact with Warren campaign. They were waiting for K-12 plan to come out. When we do endorsement, we look at education, worker policy, health care, pharma, looking for more support and development of unions. We should be expert on that.  Most times, it’s not who you like the best. After that, you have to figure out who can actually win. Team and apparatus in place important. That will take a lot of our time. Going to AFT this week. UFT largest local by far, will play significant role, but decision will be based on criteria I said. Important that leading candidate came to us, and that public sees. Trying to find dates and times for others. 

1 comment:

  1. under assaultThursday, October 24, 2019 at 4:44:00 PM EDT

    Interesting article in the Guardian this morning (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/20/bernie-sanders-pete-buttigieg-donald-trump-voters) showing a graph of individual Democratic donor preferences broken down by profession. Says: "When it comes to higher education, Sanders and his fellow progressive senator, Elizabeth Warren, are schooling the competition. More than 2,300 teachers have donated to Sanders ... And Warren, who used to teach at Harvard Law School, dominates among the university set." The Sanders/Warren side adds up to more than 50%. Biden didn't even make the chart.

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