SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: South Bronx School Endorses Jia Lee as Next UFT President

Sunday, November 22, 2015

South Bronx School Endorses Jia Lee as Next UFT President

What a great MORE meeting that was had yesterday! I  walked out of there really knowing that something was accomplished. More (pardon the pun) importantly, I left with a feeling that the process works. That there is a caucus within the UFT with a true democratic ideals which is empowered by the people involved and decisions aren't made by fiat. What a joy it was to see true give and take on the debate of the platform as well as candidates for for UFT officers and the executive board.  This was true union democracy at its best.

But what really impressed me was the MORE candidate for UFT President, Jia Lee. I had only met Jia for the first time (at least to my recollection) at the famous (or infamous) "diner meeting" back in June. Even then, Jia was the voice of reason.

But one thing Jia said when she spoke to the packed crowd yesterday really hit home with me. Some thing that we should all ask ourselves as we charge ahead in the hope of changing the UFT.

"How are the children?"

So simple, so to the point, but so profound, yet so encompassing and important.

I brought this information back to The Crack Team last night and over pizza and Dr Pepper we voted to unanimously endorse Jia Lee as the next UFT President, as well as to make her an honorary member of The Crack Team along with all the perks that come with that.

Everything we do now, (and I am not discounting the roles we have as teachers, but this post is about an election) as candidates, supporters, or even voters of and for MORE boils down to the children. Everything that effects us as teachers will in one way or another, positive or negative, effect each and every child throughout New York City.

The children are affected by the summary discontinuances, the ATR's, the abuse of teachers, the abusive principals, the 3020-a kangaroo courts and more. Each and everyone of these horrors are an affront to education, the teachers, and the communities in which we serve.

But Jia, nor anyone at MORE, needs to wear these horrors on their sleeves to show that they care or can be effective as representing the rank and file as our representatives at the UFT.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jia and how she shared with me her effectiveness as a chapter leader at her school. She does not believe in histrionics, hyperbolic verbiage, or empty threats.

But, she does not believe in being silent, she believes in each and every teachers right to be treated with dignity, respect, and just as importantly, with due process. And, and this made me smile, she is thorough and does what she can to let those in power show how not in control of the situation they think they are. This is what we need, not a "Union Boss," but a Union Leader.

Jia, and I learned this only recently, saved (and I am sure there are plenty) a teacher's career but also lifted her up from the deep depths of despair to the point where this teacher is flourishing once again. I didn't learn this from either Jia or the teacher involved but from someone else. I mean, Jia could have gone around and beat her on drum at this actual (of many) accomplishment but she does not need to. Jia is comfortable and confident in her own skin.

And for those who are unaware, Jia testified before the United States Senate regarding the re-authorization of NCLB back in January. This is a woman that we know has the maturation to establish relationships with all, whether or not they agree with her or not. This is someone we must have as UFT President.

The children, families, communities, and educator's futures are at stake. Why risk it by not electing Jia Lee as UFT President? Why risk electing someone without the maturity and the skills that Jia brings?

We need Jia Lee as UFT President. A vote for Jia Lee is a vote for saving the future.


Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

The MORE caucus wants an all out strike. That would bankrupt the UFT. A vote for Jia is a vote for the destruction of the UFT. While MORE has the students' best interests at heart, they do not understand reality. Read between the lines and look at this as an adult before voting for Jia.

Pete Zucker said...

Ok, I'll take the bait. Why Portelos, are you so afraid of Jia?

ed notes online said...

The old strike charge came from unity in the 2004 and 2007 elections when Tjc caucus used to call for the uft to prepare people to strike if necessary. Randi used the strike threat as a weapon to justify her deals. I have not heard the strike word mentioned in any documents produced by more though a battle to restore our right to strike is necessary. Unity apologists should go to your own uft archives to see that the uft might not exist if it hadn't struck in its earliest days.

Anonymous said...

Finally we have a candidate who doesn't have an ego! Who wants what is best for the kids and teachers not what is in it for her. She is going to wipe the floor with Porty. Can't wait till the election!

Anonymous said...

And we are going to end high-stakes testing, Danielson, and abusive admins by voting for Jia? get real.

ed notes online said...

We may not end them but a vote for Jia is a vote to fight back which is where we start.

Anonymous said...

I have been to MORE meetings and haven't heard anyone mention striking. But, since you brought it up, it seems that we got better deals when we were prepared to do so. Sandra Feldman asked us to take a bad deal, we said no, authorized a strike, and got a better one. But, since then Unity has acted like it was off the table, and we've had two consecutive *awful* *stinkbird* contracts.

A strike wouldn't bankrupt us, though it wouldn't be a good idea. It would definitely starve 52 Broadway of a few fat-cat do-nothing patronage positions. But, if I hear another tier I-er lecture me about being a grown-up when they lived off the fat of the land for their whole careers, I might just puke and throw a wildcat strike of my own. You know what? Being a grown-up sometimes means taking one for the team and helping out the younger generation. I mean, it's Thanksgiving, after all.

Really. I'll be voting for Jia.

Anonymous said...

Jia is running against Mulgrew. Any other candidate is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

An ATR will never be UFT President.....Portelos will never be UFT President....but he will be an ATR as long as he is "employed" by the DOE.

Anonymous said...

I love you guys. But, what is your obsession with Portelos? You're always mentioning him. He sounds like a lunatic. So, stop talking to/about him. Never argue with a crazy person, because passers by will not know the difference.

Anonymous said...

11.26 @ 11:17,
The thing about Portelos is that people equate his web savvy for political accomplishment. Too many people treat him like a demigod for the ATRs.
If word doesn't get out that you can't trust him behind your back that myth continues. So, it's important to know that he's put worm programs in his emails, has spread lies about Betsy Combier in order to destroy her business, screen shoots and shares, sometimes on the Internet, emails of people he's had a falling out with.
This kind of personality is someone that you'd like to trust to run the union and negotiate for us?