Yesterday I received a call from a little old lady who called herself Charlotte. She told me that she was working for Mayor Bloomberg and then rattled off a list of his achievements as Mayor. She prattled on so quickly that I could barely keep track of the bullet pointed campaign platitudes that gushed forth from her. Finally she took a breath and said, “So, can Mayor Bloomberg count on your vote in November?” “What?” I asked, “You’re asking me to tell you right now whether or not I will vote for Bloomberg when I don’t even know who is running against him?” “Yes,” she said. And then she started to sell me on Bloomberg some more. I cut her off, “No, Mayor Bloomberg cannot count on my vote. I’m a public school parent and he will have to earn it. And as far as I can tell he’s got a lot of work to do.” Click.
Now, I have no problem with the job Mayor Bloomberg has done for the city overall. He took over after 9/11 at probably the worst time in our city’s recent history. He held the city together and pushed it forward, and if I wasn’t a public school parent I probably would be just fine with him having another term if I felt he was the best one for the job in the general election. But, here’s the thing – as an involved and active parent in my daughter’s school’s Parent Association – I have seen and heard an unrelenting amount of arrogant and dismissive actions by Chancellor Klein and the Mayor towards parents and school administration. There is a feeling in the schools that the Mayor looks down his nose at those of us who want a say – who legally are mandated to have a say – and that he feels to question his authority is both stupid and ill informed.
Unfortunately for him he is now defending his mayoral control of the schools at the same time he is running a reelection campaign. And guess what? Public school parents? We vote. So, now it comes down to this. After years of ignoring the input of parents. After years of running roughshod over the suggestions and complaints of parents and administrators, Mayor Bloomberg has come calling. Well Mr. Mayor I’d advise you to stop putting all that money into counting votes before they happen and start putting your energy into earning votes the old fashioned way. Show your voters a little respect. Take a cue from Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign and go on a listening tour. We all know listening isn’t your strong suit, but I know first hand that the majority of parents just want to feel like they matter. Like all of the blood, sweat, tears and time that they put into their children’s schools does not go unnoticed.
Start with a thank you and an admission that you don’t always know best. Most of all, don’t ask if you can count on my vote, instead ask why I should count on you.
This is an original beccarama.com post