By Rosalie Tirella
Three cheers for Mayor Joe O’Brien for standing his ground against folks who want to squelch school district representation on the Worcester School Committee!
He’s right! By creating three or so districts – districts that encompass places like Main South, South Side, Down Town, etc, – in which residents can run for Worcester School Committee, Worcester’s political world will be more welcoming/accessible to minorities, working class/poor people. People whose voices are seldom heard in Worcester. People who can bring new perspectives to the issues.
Think about it. Why do most of the folks on Worcester’s city council and school committee come from the West Side? Because they, as upper middle class folks, ALREADY WEILD POLITICAL/ECONOMIC clout in the city. They already have their foot in the door simply by being who they are. Ex: you’re name is Fred Smith and you are from Moreland Street (on the West Side). You have a good job at UMass Memorial Hospital, you belong to some business and civic associations in Worcester, you’re a church/neighborhood leader, you go to the theater once a month, etc. Right then and there you have a bunch of things going for you that a regular ol’ person doesn’t have going for him/herself: 1. Money to run you campaign CITY-WIDE 2. Connections – connections with people of standing at your work place – in Fred’s case it might be the nurses or doctors at Memorial Hospital or the hospital’s administrators. These people vote and they will vote for you AND be able to give you campaign $. 3. You, as Fred, also probably have plenty of “name recognition” at church, your neighborhood and business association/groups to which you belong – again situations ripe with possibilities, ripe with folks who are educated to VOTE and have the money to make campaign contributions. So you, as Fred already already, have 20 legs up on the person from Main South – maybe a factory worker with great ideas but none of the life benefits middle class people take for grantted.
By creating districts, the City of Worcester will enable the person from the South Side, etc to have an asier job garnering votes, campaigning etc.
When Mayor O’Brien says this change in WPS committee compostion is going to open things up politically for new voices/people/ideas, he is 100% correct!
Idiot Jeremy Shulkin from the supposedly “alternative” paper Worcester Mag is supporting the racist/classist status quo when his stories not so subtley side with people like Kate Toomey or even most of the WPS Committee. It is awefully hard to stand up to – even see – a kind of city-wide, entrenched racism/classism. People just see the system the way it is – have trouble seeing its flaws because they have lived with it (to their advantage) all their lives. No one wants to give up power/clout.
This is the time for all progressives to make some noise! To rock this city – for the better!
District Reps on the Worcester School Committtee NOW!!!