MORE was not interested in an electoral bloc with New Action
New Action approached MORE in August to discuss, among other things, the upcoming UFT elections. MORE set its slate two months later, and only then agreed to meet New Action, making discussion of an electoral bloc or alliance impossible.
On July 31 of last summer, the New Action executive board met. We were discussing one item only: the 2013 UFT elections and our relations with Unity. For a number of reasons, some obvious (impending teacher evaluation which we oppose) some less obvious, there was significant doubt about maintaining our relationship with Unity.
Four proposals went in: (1) maintain our relationship with Unity, (2) do not participate in the elections, (3) run an independent slate in the election, and (4) approach MORE.
By the end of that day we had eliminated only the second option. And we had designated members to make initial, informal approaches to Unity and to MORE.
The decision to approach MORE was not easy, there was some real support, and some solid opposition. We chose to frame the approach to be about both election and non-election issues, to avoid giving the impression we were about to begin negotiations. By late August we had reached out, informally, to two leading members of MORE. And we waited. They asked for a formal request, which we were not inclined to make (in the spirit of the direction our Exec Board had given us.)
Do MORE’s members know that MORE essentially rebuffed an approach by New Action, from before last Labor Day?
And we waited. And waited. September came and went. We put off our decision, waiting for feedback. October came. MORE announced their slate. We got the message. At the next New Action meeting we reduced our choices to running with Unity or running alone. And then, at Halloween, MORE suggested we meet.
And we did meet. Late November. New Action was already making election arrangements with Unity. Which left the six of us (3 New Action, 3 MORE) with a slightly strange conversation. It seemed slightly productive at the time, and certainly cordial. For an account see New Action and MORE representatives met in November.
By delaying a meeting with New Action until after it had set its slate, MORE made clear that they had no interest in pursuing a joint slate.