I don't think I've made it a great secret that, along with Diane Ravitch and others, I support Howie Hawkins for Governor. Cuomo is an ogre, an abomination, a bizarro version of his dad. He's said public schools are a monopoly that needs to be broken. He's taken money from DFER, from charters, and shows no evidence that he's actually thought about anything except which side would give him the most cash.
His Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, opposes the Triborough Amendment that kept our contract in place even as Bloomberg stubbornly refused to grant us the compensation increases he'd granted virtually everyone else. He supports vouchers, and has criticized Cuomo for not passing tax credits for those who attend private schools. Despite his lip service to being a public education supporter, no one could support public education and have such policies.
Howie Hawkins is a working person, and not only supports working people, but also speaks in favor of working teachers. In fact, his running mate is a former teacher. I realize he's not likely to win, but we'll be strengthening the Green Party and giving it better ballot placement by giving it as many votes as possible. Given the Working Families Party has sold out working families by suppporting corporate Cuomo instead of brilliant Zephyr Teachout, the Green Party is the only option for those of us who really believe that working people deserve a fair shake.
I will never, ever vote for another anti-public education candidate again. The first time Barack Obama ran, I voted for him despite reservations. He proved my reservations were not only well-founded, but not nearly strong enough. He took the odious education policies of GW Bush and pushed them into overdrive. The second time he ran, I voted Green. It was not enough, as people argued, that Obama was less odious than Romney. I can't support people anymore simply because they make me vomit less copiously than their opponents. I have no idea why Americans, the majority of whom don't vote at all, accept such miserable choices.
The first time Cuomo ran, he ran on a platform of going after unions. As a lifelong Democrat, I find it amazing that Democrats can run on such platforms. You're left wondering who hates you less, candidate A or candidate B. That's not enough of a choice.
But whatever you think, and whatever you choose, you need to make your voice heard. You may listen to me or not, but you need to get off your ass and vote tomorrow. We are role models and it's unacceptable for us to tell our kids we don't give a damn who controls their schools or makes decisions about their lives.
I always leave a few minutes early and vote before I go to work. Please take the time and do it too. Don't tell folks like Andrew Cuomo know you are nobody and will tolerate anything, because that's precisely what he'd like to hear, and precisely the message you give when you fail to vote.
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