I first met Steve Conn and his wife Heather at the AFT convention in Seattle in 2010. At that time the union was under harsh attack by Keith Johnson, a lapog for the privatizers who was busy selling out students, parents and teachers in his rush to ingratiate himself with the new corporate thugs airlifted to Detroit. I ran into Johnson at the convention and asked him why he supported the decimation of the Detroit teacher´s union at a time when Detroit was facing harsh economic and social policies and rancid school closures.
As the politician and opportunist he is and was, Johnson dodged the crucial questions about school closures, privatization, the attempt by Walmart to enter high school classes to give young students credit for working free for the corporate behemoth and much more. The invasion of Detroit required the évasion´by Johnson, so this was no surprise.
Johnson was in the pocket of Robert Bobb, the Émergency Financial Manager´that corproate democrat and then Governor, Jennifer Granholm refused to confront and in fact supported. In fact, Detroit students organized by union members and especially BAMN, (By Any Means Necessary), occupied her ´digs´in the capitol building and the police were summoned to remove the students, some as young as 13 years old. I spoke with De´Von, a young student who was occupying Granholm´s office right up until the time the police took possession of the state capital. You can read more about De´Von and his hideous experience in a Detroit charter school by searching the Daily Censored ´search engine´. Just type in ´De´von and charter schools´ and it should come up. De´Von was also instrumental in keeping Walmart out of high schools in Detroit.
In my interview with Steve Conn, it was obvious that he was a no nonsense player in the fight against corporatization and the privatization and closure of Detroit schools. While we made signs at the AFT convention in preparation to confront Arne Duncan, who was being airlifted by Homeland Security to a school site where he was to speak with privatizers, Conn told me of the harrassment he and his wife have faced due to their fight for students and education as a human right.
Steve Conn is the best candidate for AFT and if elected would represent a strong victory against Elye Broad and his toadies, of which Johnson is one. He would also represent the movement to resuscitate teacher unions and coming on the heels of the Chicago Strike he would add a great deal.
Here, in Steve´s own words is his statement for election. Contact Steve and let him know that you support his candidacy, we all need such encouragement.
Help Detroit rid itself of parasitic capitalists looking at children as mere commodities.
From Steve Conn:
I am running for DFT President in the upcoming DFT Officers elections. Voting will begin November 19.
I will be running as part of a slate of candidates for all 17 executive board seats.
Our slate already has candidates for most positions, but if you are interested in running with us, or would just like to help with the campaign, contact me this weekend.
Detroit Teachers! We must rebuild our union, if we are to have any hope of stopping the rapid decline in our rights and saving public education in Detroit.
The victory in the recent Detroit water department workers strike shows that a fighting, committed union leadership can win.
We have all paid a terrible price for the outcome of the DFT election two years ago. Let’s not let this new opportunity go to waste.