Several days ago, in what then was a tongue in cheek blog post, we here at SBSB suggested that my cat Sparkles, run for UFT president.
Apparently when we were all asleep Sparkles manages to read that post and sat down with me to discuss the possibility. She has spent the last several days contemplating a run and today decided to sit down with members of The Crack Team to announce her decision and share her policy points.
Here now is the entire "presser" held by Sparkles, with myself offering the translation from cat talk to English, completely unedited.
Sparkles, you called us to your home today telling us you have a major announcement. What is it?
I have decided to throw my hat in the ring and run for president of the UFT
Which caucus nominated you? In fact which caucus are you with?
Careful there bub. I have yet to be nominated. I find it presumptuous to nominate oneself or even influence others to nominate me.
As for which caucus I am aligned with, that would be the MORE caucus. You can say I represent teachers that are cat owners.
And just what is it you have done for teachers that own cats?
I have started the UFT Kitty Alliance FB page (Well I didn't start that someone else did), Don't Tread on Teacher Kitty Owners, I have been there for teachers when they need to talk to someone about their kitty coughing up hair balls, I have begun many websites and list servs as well.
And have you engaged in any picketing in favor of teachers that own cats?
No. Basically it is a waste of time picketing a school with only 8 people and one of those 8 are wearing a Captain Picard uniform. Picketing is all well and good but basically, without community support, or the "real" media involved, you basically look like a bunch of schmucks out there.
It's better to establish a presence within the school to hand out information extolling the caucus, i.e. when are meetings, people to contact, etc... Also to reach out personally to other groups in the community. Picketing, unless you truly narrowly target where you are picketing, such as an unexpected place, makes you look like a bunch of schmucks.
Now mind you, there are cat owning teachers that have been discontinued, brought up on 3020-a charges, are being harassed, but empty gestures can only raise their level of expectations which in the end will disappoint them.
So all these social media pages have they affected any change within the DOE or the UFT?
You're joking, right?
Why do you expect to be nominated?
I don't. If I do, fine, if I don't fine. Democracy rules. I can honestly tell you there are people more worthy than myself to be UFT president. My owner has listed them here.
Speaking of which, I feel blogs have more (Pardon the pun) influence and more reach, at least the popular ones, such as Ednotes, Chaz, NYC Educator, SBSB, Raging Horse, ICE, DOENUTS, than picketing and all that stuff. The above blogs are what the people read!
Some say that James Eterno will be nominated. What would you do if he is? Will you put up a fight?
I will graciously step aside and support James. Remember, anyone can own a restaurant not everyone can be a 5 star chef and it is the chef that brings in the people to the restaurant.
And on that note James once made me a liver, chicken and cheese påté that was to die for!
If James is not nominated and you are, would you offer James the position of UFT Secretary?
I don't know if James would accept that job. I would like to have James be my closest advisor, much as Clark Clifford had been to many presidents. Anyway I am thinking of having my good friend, Bill the Cat be secretary.
Editors note: It was at this point that Sparkles got distracted by birds flying by the window and then she decided to clean herself.
And if you are nominated, what can we expect?
You can expect to have someone there to work their butt off for every UFT member there is and I will put in place throughout the entire UFT only those that will put members first. I will not have an ego, I will allow anyone to come to me if they disagree with me and I will not be vindictive, I will not have a hissy fit, and I will be mature with those who are of independent thought.
Last question, what can the rank and file expect from a Sparkles presidency?
It will be a union run buy the teachers, for the teachers. If I become president, God willing, I will stand before the rank and file a humbled kitty. That all egos will be checked at the door and that each member of the union is as important a cog in the wheel as me or anyone.
Thank you for allowing me this time. I now want to take a nap. Godspeed to all.
And there you have it. Sparkles threw her hat in the nominating process.