I am very glad that the political backbone has stiffened up in opposition to Republican led efforts to strip bargaining rights or introduce draconian budget cuts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.
But I am troubled with what i am seeing in Colorado. Here our 'Democratic' Leadership in the office of the Governor, Senators and even some of the Mayoral candidates are taking a page from the Republicans and doing the same kind of things.
Our Governor, Former Mayor John Hickenlooper has introduced a budget that is as bad as some of these Republican Governors.
The only difference instead of saying "I'm the boss so shove it" he says
"Aw shucks, the budgets in trouble, we have to do tough things" like pass a budget that will lay off 3,600 teachers and public employees after campaigning on creating jobs. Sound familiar?
Our Democratic Governor says the budget is in trouble and this is the way it has to be. But that's not so, to quote Michael Moore,
COLORADO IS NOT BROKE there is just a problem with who is getting the tax breaks and who is getting the paying dearly with these budget cuts.
News is suddenly moving so fast that it's becoming hard for me to keep up; that's why we're not finishing the story today that we just began Tuesday. You know, the one about Titan Cement suing two North Carolina residents who appear to be doing nothing more than speaking the truth.
Unfortunately, other important news has forced itself to the front of the line, and it's going to demand that we break schedule, whether we like it or not.
That's why today we're going to be talking about Wisconsin, and how workers there are fighting back against the State's Republican legislators and Governor, who seem to have gone out of their way this past three weeks to govern without the consent of the governed.
It's kind of chilly today in Wisconsin...but I can assure you, things are heating up fast-and it ain't because of spring.
My cat just died, so I'm having a pretty lousy evening. I've been watching her die for the last three days. I didn't have enough money to take her to the vet.
You know what else is bugging me, Nate?
We got a new student at my school this week - a thirteen-year-old girl from Honduras who just spent four months alone in a detention center in Texas. I'll be "to blame" for her CSAP scores in two weeks.
We got a new student at my school this week - an 8th grade boy who lives next to Bryant-Webster and attended there since 3rd grade. He just returned from living with his mom in New Mexico for the past 6 months, and you know what? He was DENIED attending Bryant-Webster. Isn't that a PUBLIC school, Nate? You know, like a PUBLIC library? Like a Post Office? Where EVERYONE can go?
My daughter woke up with a fever on Monday morning. I brought her to work with me, because I knew it was unlikely to get a sub at 7:15 a.m. on a Monday. That's how dedicated I am.
You're being recalled not because of being Nate, but because of all that you stand for. You and your rich folks' clubs who pop in to "help" education could have been doing something all along to help education. Pay TAXES. Are you willing to stand up for taxes so that schools don't have to scrimp and save to help children who are desperate for a safe place and a good education? Probably not. And that's why you'll be recalled, if I have to walk around and get the last signatures myself.
Because I have to be in the union in order to beg for a salary that might allow me to have enough money to bring my dying animal to the vet.
I am saddened and disappointed to read that you are publicly supporting Nate Easley; by doing so, you are obviously and publicly supporting the conflicts of interest that exists as a result of (1) Nate Easley's position as President of the Denver Public Schools Board of Directors and (2) Nate Easley's position as Deputy Director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation - at the same time.
Surely you have not forgotten (from our meetings and electronic communications) the intense ethical, legal, and financial battles that residents of Green Valley Ranch endured because of similar conflicts of interest that existed when one T.J. Stone served as (1) board member and President of the GVR Metropolitan District Board of Directors as well as (2) board member and President of the Homeowners Association of Green Valley Ranch - at the same time.
I was President of the GVR Metropolitan District during the time when the community was devastated by the conflicts of interest imposed upon it by one T.J. Stone. I and other community leaders met with you, Michael Hancock, and Angela Williams during those many months of community turmoil. Angela has taken action - she has introduced a Bill which "prohibits individuals from serving concurrently on the board of directors for a metropolitan district and HOA within that district. The bill also requires HOA members to abstain from voting on issues where they or their family would benefit financially".
A notation on my property tax statement (2010 real estate tax due in 2011) reads: "60% OF THESE TAXES ARE DETERMINED BY AND COLLECTED FOR THE DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS."
I am apposed to the current DPS turnaround/closure plans. I support public, neighborhood schools. I support the right of every child to have an opportunity to receive a high quality education.
Across our Nation, parents and educators are fighting against top down plans implemented by Sec. of Education Arne Duncan such as 'Race to the Top' and sudden school closings and teacher lay offs.
Now, a line in the sand is being drawn on this issue in Denver, Colorado as a recall effort has been mounted against School Board Member Nate Easley - specifically over his conflict of interest in employment and neglecting to listen and meet with concerned parents of Northeast Denver.
This recall will pit grassroots organizers against the 'reforms' that close schools from this administration and its Sec. of Education, Arne Duncan and will be the example to other boards who want to stop these reforms.
But this recall does not just threaten one Denver Public School Board member, but goes much higher up - even the President has been brought in for political cover in the State of the Union. (No one from the school he mentions was in the audience for the SOTU - every other honoree was in attendance, almost like a last minute addition )
There are many points of view on the new trends in so-called 'School Reform' efforts happening all around the country.
The epicenter of this issue is being decided currently in Denver Colorado, as a recall effort has been mounted against School Board Member Nate Easley over proposed reforms that are closing schools.
This effort has attracted national attention as a test of whether traditionally Democratic institutions like the Teachers' Union will send a message that voting against the Teachers will cost politicians their office and position.
But this story does not just end with one Denver Public School Board member's recall. This issue goes back several years and involves a DPS budget scandal that involves former Superintendent Michael Bennet and Current Superintendent Tom Boasberg and is a commentary on the top down way in which Arne Duncan is radically changing our education system.