We reported in June that the Save Our Schools March, scheduled for Saturday in Washington D.C., presented itself as a grassroots effort without mentioning the big teachers union's role in funding the event.First of all, dummy: nearly all of the teachers here are "union members." Most public school teachers are "union members." If teachers are there tomorrow, union members will be there. Duh.
A source passes along a internal document that shows four union members on the March's internal list of executive committee members, but who are not listed publicly on the March's website.
Daai’yah Bilal-Threats, Al Davidoff, Mary Cathryn Ricker, Tim Shea are the only four names who don't appear on the internal document and all are involved with local chapters of the National Education Association or the American Federation of Teachers.
Second: running a local chapter of NEA or AFT doesn't exactly make you Jimmy Hoffa. Most people running locals - even fairly large ones - still teach. Even if they don't, it's not like you've uncovered the elite of the teacher union world. Shea looks to be a field rep; Ricker's the president of the St. Paul local. This is big news? These are the big money powers of the teacher union world?
Third: Would it be so wrong to have union involvement in SOS? Would that "taint" it somehow? Have you, Ben, bought into the corporate reform mindset so much that anything that a teachers union official is involved in must be corrupt?
Finally: Smith's source for his claim of "union funding" appears to be an off-handed comment in a diary at Daily-Kos. That's it. Wow, you're a real Seymour Hersh...
I'm going to go the march tomorrow and remember that I am surrounded by people who truly care about our schools and our kids - union members or not. Maybe Smith could leave his web browsing for a few minutes, come down to the Ellipse, and learn something.