Elected officials don’t often clearly pick sides — they usually hang somewhere in the middle. However, the City Councilperson who chairs the Education Committee, Eva Moskowitz, had decided to assault the union during several education hearings. The councilperson has chosen to run for Manhattan Borough President – an unusual position. Once upon a time the Borough President served on the Board of Estimate, a powerful body that controlled the budget. The revised City Charter abolished the Board of Estimate but retained the position of Borough President. The position has been reduced to a bully pulpit, and perhaps a launching pad for a future run for office, maybe mayor.
An old axiom is: reward your friends and punish your enemies. Eva Moskowitz has chosen to be our enemy, and the enemy of classroom educators. The UFT carefully reviewed the herd of candidates seeking to replace C. Virginia Fields, who opted to run for mayor and endorsed Scott Stringer. He is a friend and a forceful advocate. In a lackluster State Assembly he vigorously supported a reform that forced Assembly folk to be present when they vote! In a body were independent voices are the exception Scott is one of those few voices. He’ll be an excellent Borough President.
Just as important as rewarding your friends is holding your enemies accountable. Moskowitz must be held accountable for attacking the union in the midst of a life or death struggle – and she will be with our votes and with our advocacy. If politicians choose to attack the union, to attack teachers and our schools they must suffer the consequences.
If she’s the darling of the right wing anti-union press in NYC then, in my view, she’s definitely on the wrong side for working people.