Today is primary election day in New York City with many important races occurring for state Senate and Assembly. Normally I am asked to volunteer to work the phones for UFT candidates. This year I have not received any live phone calls from the UFT on behalf of any endorsed candidate, just a couple of robocalls from political director Paul Egan.
The UFT has endorsed some important candidates including Robert Jackson for State Senate. Some of the UFT endorsements make absolutely no sense but many are solid.
Jackson is running against Micah Lasher for the NY State Senate seat in the 31st Senate District. Jackson was one of the supporters of Jamaica High School when we were battling to stay alive while he was the head of the Education Committee in the City Council. He was one of the leaders in the fight for fair school funding for New York City public schools.
His main opponent is Micah Lasher, one of the most loathsome figures in Mayor Bloomberg's administration. Lasher came to our community on behalf of Bloomberg to sell the Community Board on closing Jamaica High School. He was met with stiff opposition and just ignored the Community Board's concerns and talked right over them. I don't even recall him saying he would take back their views to people at Tweed or City Hall.
Where I live in Queens the UFT has endorsed Clyde Vanel in the 33rd Assembly District. Our voice could actually make a difference in local races as turnout is usually quite low which the UFT acknowledged in the robocall.
If there is a primary in your area today, don't forget to vote. It really does matter particularly in these not so well known races.