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UFT Activists

March 16, 2007 am31 8:16 am

qué volá?Yesterday afternoon I watched my high school’s baseball team scrimmage. I try to make sure I get to at least one game a season for each of our school’s teams. Anyway, I have a talk with a parent I haven’t seen in a while (her kid is a senior in my class, but hadn’t had me since freshman year).

The parent retired before the 2005 contract, and had been a TJC supporter. I caught her up on some of the bad provisions of 2005, and we chatted about this election. She is still a TJC supporter, always had been, though she declined to get involved this time, beyond voting their slate; she felt too far removed from UFT politics.

Then we started to talk about individuals. I’ll leave aside the negatives – but there were positives. It was nice, after reading some of the blog stuff and some of the irresponsible leaflets, to talk with someone who I don’t necessarily agree with, and talk about solid UFT activists – from all caucuses.

(more below the fold –>)profesOur union has a core of activists who know how to stand up to principals, how to lead members, how to inspire members to feel the power we have through collective action. We traded names, anecdotes… As much trouble as we’ve got the UFT into, there’s still a lot of talented leadership in the field.

I work with some. It is one of the reason I like attending my DR’s meetings: it is a place where we learn what’s going on, but also where activists trade information and share experience.

por un 5% con estiloBut there’s not enough activists in the UFT. Not today. No matter how the election results turn out, we need to return our attention in a serious way to building chapters, strong chapters, that will promote the development of a new generation of strong chapter leaders and other members willing to take responsibility and organize.

All caucuses would agree with this, on paper. But New Action agrees in practice; it is the kind of work our caucus does. And no matter how the vote count goes, it is the work New Action will continue after the election.

Photo credit: These photos are from a one day teachers strike in Chile last September. Courtesy of Our War: facts and feasts, wisdoms and wealth. In their words: “a political photoblog from Chile.”

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