Frank Frisenda, NCCFT VP and VOTE COPE Coordinator, and Dawn Smith, NCCFT PAC Co-Chair, attended the NYSUT Conference on Endorsements 2014 in Albany on August 11 and 12.
- For the past several months, the NYSUT Board of Directors and Board PAC leaders vet candidates to make endorsement recommendations for Congress, Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Senate and Assembly
- On Monday, these endorsements were presented to the V/C Coordinators and ED PAC leaders. This was a lively discussion and several changes were made to the NYS Senate and Assembly endorsements
- Afterwards, on Monday evening, we all boarded buses and went to the steps of the NYS Education Department for a rally opposing the privatization of Public Education – “Public education, NOT private profits!”
- Tuesday morning the local Presidents or their designees, ED PAC leaders, V/C Coordinators, NYSUT leaders and staff attended a “Fall Election Discussion” meeting to discuss the process. This discussion was dominated by various proposals as to the endorsement of Governor. There was NO support for Cuomo
- Afterwards, we broke into workshops. Frank attended the workshop describing NYSUT’s current legal challenges: Tax-Cap, AARP, Pearson gag-order, Wright v State of NY and Davids v State of NY (this is the Campbell Brown inspired attack on due process aka the Vergara copycat suit). It is notable that NYSUT is being proactive in fighting back politically and legally on issues that are near and dear to us. Going to the NYSUT website and signing up for Member Action Center, will keep members informed and promote activism
- Dawn attended the “7 strategies for Using Social and Mainstream Media to Engage your members” workshop on using Social Media. They discussed using Facebook because it is the prime social network and why locals should have a Facebook page and use it often. The workshop covered using images, scheduling advance content, handling criticism, using Google alerts and keeping out of trouble
- We then broke out in Regional “meeting and recommendations” sessions (Nassau/Suffolk) and discussed the VC/PAC updated endorsements. Dawn and Frank argued successfully for candidates that have been friends to NCCFT. More on this at another time. Again, the process of the Governor’s endorsement became heated and went into overtime for close to two hours. Other meetings had to continue without the LI delegation, but NYSUT held off any discussions that impacted us until we completed our process.
- Our endorsement recommendations, along with all the other regional recommendations, will go to the NYSUT Board of Directors on Wednesday for their consideration and final decisions. These decisions will be brought to the AFL/CIO convention next week and hopefully the NYS House of Labor will stand together. We shall see.
NYSUT endorsements will be published as soon as they are finalized.
Watch for a follow-up report on the NYS AFL-CIO COPE Convention to be attended by delegates NCCFT President Debra DeSanto, Carmine DeSanto, Dawn Smith and Donna Hope.