It’s important to note that this endorsement does not bind the votes of our eight delegates to the NYSUT RA. Our local does not work that way. We don’t allow slates of candidates to run as delegates, nor do we try to control who chooses to run. Some delegates are members of the Executive Board, others are not. One of our delegates is a retiree. All of the delegates run for election under the same rules, and our elections are open to all of our affiliated chapters: the Great Neck Teachers Association, Office Staff Association, Paraprofessionals Association, Adult Education Association, Per Diem Association, and the Great Neck Retired Educators Chapter. I emphasize all of this to make the point that our process for electing our delegation is as grassroots-driven, as representative, and as democratic as can be.
Our delegation has paid close attention to this contested election for NYSUT officers. We’ve striven to be open-minded and to consider every bit of information we could find and share about all of the candidates and all of the issues. On Wednesday, March 5, all eight of us attended the Meet the Candidates forum at the Huntington Hilton on Long Island, and it became clear to us that the decisions we have to make are very easy, after all.
We considered each of the candidates individually before discussing the two slates as a whole, recognizing that we might not wish to vote based on slate. However, we ended up agreeing that the contrast between the two groups was stark. The incumbent candidates on the Stronger Together team communicated a wealth of experience, calm confidence in their individual records, and most importantly, the ability to think strategically on behalf of our union, which we believe is crucial at this point in time. As a slate, they projected a thoughtful, coherent and cohesive voice. In our opinion, Arthur Goldstein would be an excellent addition to the NYSUT Executive Board, adding a fresh perspective. We have therefore agreed unanimously to cast Great Neck’s votes for Dick Iannuzzi, Maria Neira, Kathleen Donahue, Lee Cutler, and Arthur Goldstein on April 5, and these conclusions were enthusiastically endorsed by the GNTA Executive Board at its meeting on Thursday, March 6.
Sheila Scimone, President
Great Neck Teachers Association