SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Mulgrew's Conniption. Now How do we Battle Apathy and Ignorance?

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Mulgrew's Conniption. Now How do we Battle Apathy and Ignorance?

I'm supposed to be with my high school friends right now. Right now I am in a hotel room in Schenectady spending the weekend at the Rivers Casino. But I was checking the blogs and came across James Eterno's ICE blog. I was reading about the disaster Mulgrew had at Wednesday's Delegate Assembly meeting and
decided to take the laptop out. 

Since I am no longer a delegate, I now have to hear about things through the blogs or second hand. From what I have read it is about time something like this happened. 

Back in 2019 I wrote how to make the DA more transparent and more inclusive. Two ideas that I had were to allow live streaming of the DA to all members. There are many platforms available and at not really much cost. Well, that seemed to have happened Wednesday when someone, somewhere transmitted the live DA to opponents in front of 52 Broadway. Good. About time. But the dirty little secret is; this has been happening for some time, especially the last 18 months when the DA's were phone based.

Oh yeah. The UFT will say, "Anyone can watch." Sure, anyone can. If they schlep down to 52 Broadway and then whisked off to a cold room with a live feed off of a shit poor monitor. The time is now to make all DAs available on the UFT website, Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else possible. Want us to sign in with logins we use to go on UFT website, fine. There are methods to keep non members out. 

As for the voting? I love the voting system that is used by phone. It's awesome. True democracy. The ability for delegates to not fear reprisals. However, one should wonder if the union knows how someone  voted by phone number. 

It's time for the delegate assembly to enter the 21st century. The UFT has an app, let delegates vote by using the UFT app. I can get a high school student to help the UFT add such abilities. In fact, the same high school student can also help the UFT add any possible bandwidth it might need.  

Is this damaging to Unity in the long run? No, not really. It might change some people's minds. Those who stay on top of what is going on with the UFT. Delegates, bloggers, people who read the blogs, other activists, but that is not enough to cause a major disruption. The people who already give a shit are out there. Be they on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media. 

How do you reach the apathetic or the ignorant? No one has come up with the answer. I think I have and I tried. I tried in 2016 but was brushed aside with "we have memes." The memes being read by the same people that already share the same views. Nothing is better than campaigning in an echo chamber. 

A few weeks ago in my school we had an election for a vacant delegate position. I threw my hat in at the last minute. Someone ran against me, a teacher that has been at the school for several years. I have been at the school since September. I lost. I got six votes. The other person got 13 votes. Twenty people voted in a school with almost 100 UFT members. No one cared nor did anyone really know what a delegate does or why a delegate is important. Why? Many, many young and new teachers. Will these teachers be voting come the spring when the get their ballots at home? Will they take the time to not only fill out the ballots but to mail the ballots as well? 

How to get to the apathetic? They need to know there is a choice and a reason to vote. They need to be identified. Think of multi level marketing (This is the only idea I am sharing). Each person speaks to ten people. Talk to their needs. Listen to their needs. MAKE THE MESSAGES to their needs. This is why the Democrats are losing the rural areas. They don't talk to nor do they listen to the needs of other voters outside of their own bubble. This has been the problem for the last several elections by some. Some refuse to get out of their comfort zone.

There must be a recognizable name at the head of the ticket. A name that is known and has experience advocating for the rank and file as well has had run in previous elections. A veteran teacher. A teacher that has been through the ups and downs of the DOE. A teacher that has been on national TV, not once, but several times. 

Unity will be very, very hard to beat. But to even put a sizeable dent will take more than just leafleting schools. It will take rolling up the sleeves and thinking outside the box. But sadly, I am seeing some want to cut off their noses to spite their faces and refuse to play with others. Those others who know how to fight. Know how to roll up their sleeves. And those that really and truly want to win.

Thank you. There is a $5 blackjack table awaiting me.


Mr.Hughesonline said...

Much of what you said made no sense. That’s it. That’s the comment.

Anonymous said...

Since when did Lamar Hughes turn heel and become an internet troll? He's not particularly good at it and I don't like the new look. I guess Unity made him do it?