I’m a teacher and a member of NYSUT. I’m not always a fan of my union or some of the marketing with which they provide me. Things like solicitations for rental car companies and insurance opportunities don’t seem like benefits as much as they feel like invasions of my privacy and personal information. I don’t like it.
My union, however, provides support to me and my peers when we are threatened with disciplinary action or termination. Neither NYSUT or my local union guarantee me retention of my professional position in the case of an issue, but they do ensure my right to a formal process thanks to tenure. On some primary level, they are working for me and I am appreciative of that benefit.
Our current governor, Andrew Cuomo, began his “tenure” with great promise. The vote to pass gay marriage in the NYS senate was a thrill to witness and I have a number of friends who finally share the same right to wed that I’ve had my entire adult life. An unequal situation has been rectified and all residents of New York now enjoy the same fundamental right. Unfortunately, that’s the only example I can provide as an instance of when our governor worked to ensure that all New Yorkers shared the same opportunities.
Since that auspicious beginning, I have grown completely disenchanted with our arrogant and bullying governor. Maybe it wasn’t completely his initiative, but during his administration, education was “improved” by instituting a new professional evaluation rubric, a new comprehensive curriculum was adopted and layers upon layers of new testing mandates were created. Along with a new tax cap, of course. We all know how easy it is to do more with less, right? His mishandling of the findings of the Moreland Commission was the “adult” equivalent of taking his ball home and quitting the game when the rules (or more accurately, findings) failed to go his way. His recent behavior when approached by the politically unconnected professor who is challenging him in today’s primary, revealed his true colors to me in a manner which I find despicable.
Far from being the man who can clean up Albany, Governor Cuomo has instead contributed his own smear of dirt and mud on the political process and government of my state. Tuesday, 9/9, is the day when registered Democrats can send him the message that they don’t like what he’s doing to our state. We can vote for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu and enjoy the sensation of bubbling in the circle(s) on today’s ballot next to those fresh new names. Even if they don’t win today because of their lack of experience and membership in the good ol’ boys’ club, it will be a pleasure to vote for someone, instead of against someone else. I’ll never vote for Cuomo again.