Saturday, June 05, 2021

The Chief-Leader Endorses Anti-Union, Pro-Privatization Garcia and Adams

It's pretty shocking that a publication that caters to working New Yorkers would support candidates who work against them. However, that's just what The Chief- Leader did a few days ago. 

Never mind that Adams is being pushed by no less than the anti-union, pro-charter Students First NY and that the charter lobby now runs a super PAC trying to sell him to us. Never mind that he used to be a Republican, and like Mike Bloomberg, goes with whatever political party that serves his personal advancement. Never mind that he supports the overtly racist stop and frisk policy so beloved by Mike Bloomberg. That's all good with The Chief, evidently. 

If you're a teacher, Eric Adams isn't your friend. Students First NY were the darlings of Mike Bloomberg, and for years we've had to put up with all their quotes and notions in Chalkbeat and the NY Post. If you think it's great to work a non-union charter with no job security, taking forced trips to Albany to whore yourself out for Eva Moskowitz, Adams is your guy. If you want our children, our students, and our incoming brothers and sisters to do that, Adams is a great choice.

However, if that's what you like, Adams isn't your only choice. There's Yang of course. And Kathryn Garcia wants to lift the charter school cap, because there aren't enough children test-prepping 200 hours a week. There aren't enough children on Moskowitz got to go lists waiting to be tossed out of elite charters and sent back to public schools, so that we can be vilified for what is, in fact, the failure of charters to perform their promised miracles. There aren't enough students peeing their pants during test prep rather than taking breaks because they're, you know, human. 

After saying very little about education for most of her career, Garcia is a sudden convert to charters.  It's not awfully hard to guess why. Billionaires are pushing pro-charter Yang and Adams, and why shouldn't she pick up a few suitcases full of cash for the cause? Why shouldn't she have some MAGA PAC pushing her, just like the one that pushes Yang? After all, isn't America the land of opportunity for people with big bucks? And how on earth is Kathryn Garcia going to buy herself a piece of that opportunity if she can't get the big money to flow in her general direction?

In fact, it looks like Garcia will be a thorn in the side of not only unionized teachers, but also New Yorkers in need of places to live

It is difficult to imagine Mayor Garcia allowing the same to ever happen on her watch. In a recent interview, she expressed skepticism about rent-stabilization and sympathized with landlords who she said have to contend with rising costs. “We need neighborhoods to be stable, and rent stabilization does that, but we also need to make sure that we’re not having unintended consequences of folks of not having the money to do the renovations on vacant apartments,” Garcia said. “We have a lot of small landlords. They control an enormous amount of the rent-stabilized housing stock and they have to be able to make it here as well.”

That's something else, isn't it? Standing up for the "small landlord?" Not only that, but she does so at the actual expense of the even smaller tenants, you know, those people who work to pay them rent. I guess it looks better to stand up for the small landlord than Donald Trump, but the fact is real estate interests also donate quite a bit to political campaigns. If you think Garcia is catering to "small landlords," I have a bridge in Brooklyn with your name on it. 

If you want higher rent, vote for Garcia. 

We need a friend in City Hall. Stringer has had a tough week, with a second accuser coming forth. He hasn't been particularly effective in addressing this accusation. Perhaps in a perfect world, he'd step down and endorse Maya Wiley, opening the path for our union to do the same. (In fact, AOC endorsed Wiley just  today.) Personally, I haven't seen much of a perfect world this year. We really need to ID five candidates who don't hate us and everything we stand for, and we need to work hard to make sure one of them wins.

I can understand the Times and the News endorsing Garcia. Their editorial pages are not particularly pro-union. But I'm sorely disappointed that The Chief would endorse these candidates, who ought not to be rated at all by anyone who supports working people. I wrote a letter to their editor saying they were free to endorse who they wished, but if they didn't support working people I couldn't support them. I told them to cancel my subscription and return whatever portion I hadn't yet paid for.

It's really a shame. I genuinely like reading The Chief. On the other hand, I don't get out to my local library enough, and this will give me the incentive I need to get over there more often.

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