Today is the final day of the NEA Representative Assembly.
I wonder if Ed Week’s Stephen Sawchuk, who reports on it, bothered to hang in all the way this year. Sawchuk is like a L.A. Dodger fan. He tends to arrive late and leave early.
Listen. I get it. There are 125 New Business Items this year. It will be a late night.
A few years ago my old friend Bob Haisman and I sponsored a New Business Item at the Illinois Education Association’s state Representative Assembly. We asked that the organization establish an online data base that would allow member to member contact for lobbying and political action work. Since the leadership doesn’t like member to member contact, they wanted the proposal to die.
An IEA staffer walked up to me and said, “We are going to kill it with a cost attachment.” And that’s what they did. They announced from the podium that our proposal would cost $25,000 dollars. And it was voted down.
Crazy cost attachments are a common method the leadership uses to kill proposals they don’t like.
At last year’s RA in Orlando they said that my Confederate flag New Business Item would cost fifty thousand dollars to implement.
Sorry. Not just fifty thousand.
Fifty thousand, five hundred.
That cost was sucked out of somebody’s thumb but was intended to short circuit debate. That time it didn’t work and we debated a long time, nobody brought up the cost attachment and NBI 11 ultimately passed.
Just moments prior to this year’s RA I received word as to how my Confederate flag NBI was implemented. Some model legislation was distributed to state affiliates and just this June 19th they published an article online.
There was nothing in the report about how the $50K was spent. Certainly drafting some model legislation and posting something online didn’t cost fifty grand.
Jeez. What are the billable hours for the lawyers who might have been asked to draft the model legislation? – which to my knowledge has been introduced exactly nowhere.
I’m assuming that given the mostly non-implementation of the Confederate flag NBI there is a couple of bucks left over.
Wonder where it is?
I also noticed this year that the delegates voted to pass an NBI giving $10,000 for this week’s conference and march that is being organized by SOS.
I also noticed that the cost attachment was $10,000.
I’m glad the NBI passed.
The lesson is clear:
Ask for a check.