Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NYC Could Take a Giant Step Backward with Adams

It appears very possible we're going to be stuck with Mayor Eric Adams for at least four years. This is a huge disappointment, as he was bankrolled by the very slimiest charter supporters we know. They don't back candidates based on altruism, and what they want in return will be nothing good for us, for public education, or for NYC's children. 

I've no doubt that Adams has a very fine-looking education platform that someone somewhere wrote for him, but whether or not he's ever read it is an open question. Adams himself is woefully ignorant on this topic. Otherwise, he would not have made the preposterous assertion that, with remote education, one teacher could handle 3-400 students at a time. As someone who's actually taught Zoom classes, I have to say that's one of the stupidest statements I've ever heard.

Adams, evidently, thinks you just sit there, explain that 2 plus 2 is 4, and 400 kids suddenly understand addition. He has no idea that we sit in front of a bunch of icons representing students who are asleep, playing video games, walking in the park, or doing just about any other thing you can imagine. This is because Adams, like Bloomberg before him, listens to who he listens to, and that particular crowd does not include those of us out here doing the work. 

You can bet, if he gets in, he'll be listening to Jenny Sedlis and all the corporate whores who helped him raise six million dollars to buy yet another NYC election. It's very sad, in a progressive stronghold like NYC, that we insist on moving backward. In fact, even when we elect an ostensible progressive like Bill de Blasio, he turns out to be Bozo the Clown sans wig.

While de Blasio is a Bozo, Eric Adams appears to be Eric Adams, and that's considerably worse. Where did we go wrong? 

I was initially delighted when UFT decided to endorse Stringer. I will never forget going to PEP meetings and watching a fake school board do any damn thing Mike Bloomberg wanted. I will never forget watching Joel Klein ignore the proceedings and play with his Blackberry, showing absolute contempt for teachers and parents who showed up to share their concerns about the largest school district in the country. I will also never forget that Scott Stringer appointed Patrick J. Sullivan to inject a little bit of inconvenient truth into this sham of a board. 

When Stringer's first accuser popped up, I was wary. I understand about the Me Too movement, but I've also seen and represented people falsely accused of fairly awful things. This accuser's ties to Yang, and curious behavior patterns were less than persuasive to me, at least. When the second accuser coincidentally was repped by the same anti-union lawyer who repped the first one, I wondered about that.

There was one thing, though, that I didn't wonder about at all. Stringer's defense, if there were one, was awful, particularly with the second accuser. I knew he was done and focused on finding a viable candidate who was not insane. For me, that was Maya Wiley. I'm not sure what goes on in UFT leadership regarding changes in direction. Perhaps they value loyalty. Perhaps, having gone through an endorsement process, there was no option of turning back. I don't really know.

For me, though, there was no point going all out and continuing to support an obvious loser. Of course no one could've predicted that these accusations would pop up at this point, having been dormant even as Stringer clobbered public school enemy Moskowitz. This notwithstanding we'd clearly have done better, and given ourselves more flexibility, if we'd pushed ranking and recommended who to rank. At some point, UFT sent messages to not rank Yang or Adams, and I agreed. However, I have no idea why we didn't ask to not rank Garcia, who favors lifting the charter school cap and protecting landlord interests over those of tenants. 

It's certainly good we got rid of Yang, clearly steered by gazillionaire Bradley Tusk, who referred to the candidate as an "empty vessel." In that, Tusk was correct, and Yang would've been a disaster for anyone who hadn't paid to fill said vessel. Alas, I have similar feelings about Adams, though he's at least not simply famous for being famous. 

Good riddance to one of the worst candidates ever. Still, I can't help the feeling that we're moving backward for no good reason. Why on earth, in the most progressive city in the country, can't we elect a progressive, forward thinking mayor, ever?

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