Back in March at the IEA RA, I introduced a proposal that directed the state Board of Directors to create an opt-in data base that would allow members who shared legislative districts to contact each other for the purpose of political action and lobbying.
The leadership put a $24,000 price tag on it. That killed it.
Coming up with a huge dollar amount and attaching it to a rank-and-file proposal is one of the ways in which leadership has sway in determining the outcome of a vote.
Even my NBI 13 yesterday which called on the NEA to support the Chicago Teachers Union was given a $920 price tag.
Why? What about it costs $920?
No one knows. There is no appealing this process. If they had decided my NBI costs a million dollars, that’s what it is.
Jack Tucker, a retired leader from Illinois, submitted an NBI at this year’s RA calling on the NEA to provide state affiliate leadership, on request, access to the Voter Activation Network (VAN).
It is a huge data base which includes millions of NEA members.
Jack’s argument was that retired teachers from Illinois now live in Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and California. If the retired organization had access to VAN, they would be able to contact these retired members for the purpose of political action, particularly pensions. But Illinois retirees living in Wisconsin could also have been contacted in the recent recall election.
NBI 28, Tucker’s NBI, was rejected by IEA’s leadership, caucus and ultimately by the entire RA.
This time the argument wasn’t about the money. Instead, the leadership promoted the fear of having people’s private information falling into the wrong hands and being misused.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Yesterday a list of Educators for Obama was handed out to Illinois Region Chairs. They were to check the list.
My name was on the list, as were several others in the Region who for whatever reason did not and would not join Educators for Obama.
I have no intention of joining Educators for Obama until I see Obama for educators.
This discovery suggested that the entire Illinois delegation, even Romney supporters (Yes. There are.) had their names transferred from the IEA delegate data base to Educators for Obama data base.
The irony of this misuse of the data base, given the debate over NBI 28, was not lost on me.