Yesterday I went to Holbrook, NY, to join hundreds of Long Island teachers. We decided to greet Governor Cuomo at Villa Lombardi's, where he was joining a bunch of his BFFs for some manicotti, or whatever it is he eats when Sandra Lee isn't opening a nice can of sweet potatoes with vanilla extract. The anger was palpable.
There were two parking lots. Apparently those who bought the thousand dollar a plate dishes got the one by the main catering hall . As they came in, they received messages from the crowd like, "Shame on you!" or, "Don't do it!" Of course, these were Very Important People, and they didn't take our advice. After all, if they did, who would explain to the Governor the importance of giving away NYC to Eva Moskowitz, despite the overwhelming mandate of city voters to slow down her progress?
Eventually the main parking lot was insufficient, and a bunch of us were moved by the cops so as to enable the opening of the one across the street. One of Andy's pals actually had to drive from one side of the street to the other. This particular Very Important Person saw fit to stop in the middle of the street, with his car blocking traffic both ways during a huge rally, and discuss the vicissitudes of life with the very busy police officers trying to direct traffic. I don't often get to see people who feel quite this entitled, but this genius prattled on until the police made him move.
The people in the overflow parking lot were not quite so lucky as the thousand-dollar a plate crowd. They had to endure the taunts and shouts of the crowd on their walk of shame from one side of the street to another. None of us actually saw Governor Cuomo enter, though the police assured us he was there. Perhaps he arrived in the back of one of the multitudinous SUVs with darkened windows. It's hard to say. Most of his BFFs seem to prefer Audis, though I saw a lot of Lexus and Mercedes, but there was one Hyundai, I kid you not, and this one arrived without even a chauffeur.
For some reason, UFT did not see fit to send anyone, and they certainly didn't send me either. Someone invited me on Facebook, in fact. I'm really glad I went. The feelings for the governor were palpable out there, and I certainly share them.We were out there for hours. One hungry teacher shouted to several of the Very Important BFFs, "Send us out a lasagna and no one will get hurt."
While our jobs and the education of our children are being threatened by the Moskowitz invasion, the one her BFFs bought for 800K, the one our union did absolutely nothing to prevent, schools statewide are being choked. Most districts outside of NY have had state aid cut via a Gap Elimination Adjustment, and concurrently are prohibited from raising school taxes above 2% or rate of inflation, whichever is lower. So jobs of teachers and school related professionals are being lost all over the state. In my district, we've lost a thousand dollars per kid just this year.
The best sign I was was carried by a little girl. It said, "I thought you were supposed to be MY advocate."
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.