“Reject Bloomberg on November 3!”, says ICE teachers union members

KW: I truly see independent and third party politics as a journey to freeing people from the regular, old choices. So, I love voting advice that inspires people, and makes them consider other options.

I think that the way a group within the United Federation of Teachers [UFT] union instructs people to vote this year is a boon for third party politics and free-thinking/free-voting!

In New York City, the UFT declined to endorse a candidate for Mayor. Though, a group within the UFT, called ICE, has made an interesting endorsement: They ask members to vote for anybody on the ballot, except incumbent Mayor Bloomberg. Because there are 8 candidates on the ballot — including 5 running solely on a third party line — that endorsement should help the numbers for third parties.

The “other candidates on the ballot” would include:

William C. Thompson (Dem., Working Families), Stephen Christopher (Conservative), Francisca “Frances” Villar (Party for Socialism and Liberation), Dan Fein (Socialist Workers), Reverend Billy Talen (Green), Jimmy McMillan (Rent is Too High), Joseph Dobrian (Libertarian).

(excerpt from) City Hall News
Despite UFT Neutrality, Splinter Group Instructs Members To Oppose Bloomberg

By Andrew J. Hawkins

This year, the powerful United Federation of Teachers skipped endorsing in the mayor’s race.

But a small, dissident faction within the union has decided to break ranks, calling the UFT’s silence a sell-out.

So who did the group of rabble-rousers lift up their voices for?

None-of-the above.

“The decision to sit out the contest between Michael Bloomberg and his opponents speeds us to the brink of more disasters,” the dissident group, Independent Community of Educators (ICE), said in a statement, adding however, “It is difficult to offer [Democrat Bill] Thompson unqualified support when he has thrown support to mayoral control and supports much of the underlying corporate agenda for education.”

Their advice? Vote for anyone on the ballot. Anyone not named Michael Bloomberg, that is…

Observers interpreted the UFT’s decision to stay out of the race as a calculated move to shield the union during its ongoing contract negotiations with the city or as an effort to remain neutral in deference to the entreaties of the campaign…

Other ICE members explain their decision to say something stems from a larger discontent among city teachers with the Bloomberg administration.

“Even though the union is neutral, the average teacher is against [Bloomberg],” said Norman Scott, a retired teacher, education blogger and member of ICE. “Most teachers are saying, ‘What choice do we have? Bloomberg’s probably going to win, and if we oppose him we might not get our contract.’”…

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