Friday, February 04, 2011
The first speaker was an unforgettable Tony Avella, the NY State Senator elected with the UFT's help. Tony was the only Democrat in the state to beat a sitting Republican, and he asked why on earth a hearing over Jamaica High School's future would be in Brooklyn rather than Queens. Of course it was to keep the community out, as they're always raising nasty objections about their neighborhood being decimated---not to mention other things Cathie Black and Michael Bloomberg don't wish to be bothered with.
I've no doubt Cathie Black's snappy remarks about birth control or Nazis murdering children go over very well at ritzy cocktail parties. Doubtless she's shocked that public school parents, the ones who don't get invited to fetes in Park Avenue penthouses, don't seem to find them that funny. And the juvenile "Ooooohhhh" with which she greeted their concerns about the future of their children the other night did not go over that well either.
I walked out, along with most of the crowd, reluctant to watch the Mayor Bloomberg's odious and utterly undemocratic PEP do their rubber stamp thing. What on earth was NYC thinking when it determined the best thing for the future of its children was to turn it over to the richest man in New York City, so that he could do whatever the hell he felt like with them?
Here's the thing--I've never seen anger like this before, even at these meetings. It's palpable. Several speakers made references to Egypt, rising up against tyranny. Mayoral dictatorship is a bad policy and must end. And absolutely everyone at the meeting last night could see that New York City has had just about enough of it. Those feelings aren't going away, and neither are any of the people who took their time to show Ms. Black she's not in her penthouse anymore.