“This isn’t Florida, and the DFT is Not a George Bush Union,” Declared the Real Winner, Steve Conn
In a hotly contested runoff election for President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, challenger Steve Conn of Defend Public Education/Save Our Students, (DPE) declared victory after the Election Committee refused to conduct a fair recount. The vote count separated Conn from incumbent Keith Johnson by only 41 votes, with as many as 700 votes uncounted. Dozens of ballots are missing, and teachers have signed affidavits stating that they voted and demand that their votes be counted.
“The DFT Election Committee rejected DPE’s demand for a hand count, and denied DPE candidates the right to observe the recount, violating DFT’s bylaws,” stated Joyce Schon, attorney for DPE. “Every state in the nation does a hand count when an election is this close,” Schon said.
“DPE has filed an internal union grievance which will be heard at the Executive Board on February 3, and at the general membership meeting on February 10, if it hasn’t been resolved,” noted Schon. “DFT members are circulating a petition calling for a new runoff election, since the ballots are now tainted,” Schon observed.
Steve Conn is leading the AFT in organizing teachers’ opposition to AFT President Randi Weingarten’s policy of collaboration with Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education. In the first organized opposition to the national AFT leadership since 1974, Conn and other AFT members from around the country ran on the Defend Public Education/Save Our Students/Equal Opportunity Now/By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) slate for national office in July 2010.
“Arne Duncan has declared Detroit ‘ground zero’ for his policies of degrading and privatizing public education,” stated Conn, a longtime supporter of BAMN, the Coalition to Defend Public Education, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary, a youth-led civil rights group that has played a key role in fighting to defend public education.
“Detroit teachers, students, parents and community members have fought hard against program cuts, public school closings, any increase in charter schools, and the hyper-segregation and inferior education Duncan’s plans promote,” Conn said. “We defeated a mayoral takeover in Detroit, and we will make our fight to defend public education in Detroit the model for the nation,” Conn concluded.
Contact Steve Conn at 313-645-9340
Watch video of swearing-in of Keith Johnson at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Z6mqjVO1o .
VOD editor: The title posted with the video, “Steve Conn shoves AFT President Dave Hecker” appears inaccurate, since no such action is seen. In fact, two women DFT members (white and Black) are seen confronting Hecker and taking the mike from him. There is evidence of mass disagreement from a large number of DFT members at the meeting, who are standing and chanting, “New Vote.”
This video was posted on comments for the Daily Censored article, with the following remarks:
Concerned1000 says: January 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm Conn is psychotic as can be seen in this video.
Brad Benson says: January 25, 2011 at 3:21 am To Concerned, It was hard to tell from the video exactly which one is Mr. Conn. Nor did it appear to me that anyone in the video is “psychotic”. If the above article regarding irregularities in the election is correct, then Mr. Conn and the other people have every reason to interrupt a swearing in ceremony in which a minority is attempting to usurp the rights and the will of a majority.
As an outsider, living in Florida, I have no other interest in this matter, except that I am interested in the various issues surrounding the failure of our education system. If Mr. Conn is making a stand against privatization, charter schools and the reisegregation of our schools based upon the crackpot ideas of pundits, film makers and corporate “benefactors”, then he is standing for all of our children.
No legitimate teachers’ union should be supporting the Arne Duncan’s and Chris Christie’s in this world.