Pandora’s top 6 reasons for supporting the Easley recall (updated)
Pandora is not a malicious bird but some things just stick in her craw. Denver Public Schools Board of Education President Nate Easley, and his actions (or failure to act) genuinely on behalf of the schools and his constituents is one such thing. Hence, she hereby goes on record as favoring the movement to recall him, naming her top reasons here. She has decided to refrain from listing them all, in the interest of brevity and avoiding (most) pettiness.
Reason 1. Conflict of interest, whether it be real or perceived. He works for the Denver Scholarship Foundation which is overseen by Superintendent Tom Boasberg. Now, maybe it’s true, as he claims, that there is no real conflict of interest. However, there is that funny little habit he has of casting 100% of his votes with District proposals. Also he is often seen banging his gavel when others happen to question District decisions or positions.
Reason 2. In Nate Easley’s campaign he expressed a desire to give back to the district that had supported him and his potential. He indicated an appreciation for those teachers who had believed in him when he was a student from a lower-income, single-parent household, as well as a teen father (aw, shucks). He also talked about a need for quality teacher environments as opposed to just quality teachers, indicating that he was interested in the well-being of teachers and its role in their success. Using that platform he managed to secure an endorsement from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association as well as many valuable hours of teacher labor on behalf of his campaign. Oddly he no longer shows an interest in teachers, their environments, or their well-being, least of all in his own District 4, where he voted in favor of “turning around” 6 schools in his old stomping grounds. Teachers in those buildings don’t seem to recall receiving visits from him even as the District geared up for the vote. This despite the fact that the DPS definition of reform generated a messy controversy and protests from students, parents, community members and teachers. Gosh, that’s kinda weird isn’t it? It’s almost as if he didn’t want to connect with his constituents during that critical time…
Reason 3. Easley’s platform also indicated a desire to connect with families and community. However, he’s frequently been a no-show at scheduled community meetings, and rumors suggest that he’s been less inclined to honor meetings where people might not agree with him. (See above.) Community members have expressed concerns that he does not respond to phone calls or e-mails. Now, he’s suddenly making a whirlwind tour of Far Northeast Denver hot spots and passing out his number to the flocks.
Reason 4. He cares more about Denver elites than the average working bird. He’s been hanging out at BBQs with Senator Michael Johnston instead of keeping it real and maintaining those Montbello connections that sounded so sweet and earnest in the campaign. Recently, some residents in District 4 have received automated calls urging them not to sign the recall petition or offering them the means to “fix” their errant signatures. Canned tele-voices on these calls come courtesy of local Democrat bigwigs such as Federico Peña and Wellington Webb, former Denver mayors and current gadflies. Nice!
Reason 5. He frequently refers to the fact that his position as BOE President is a “volunteer” position and that he also has a 40-hour work week. You’re preaching to the choir, ‘brother’, when you say such things to teachers–in case you weren’t aware. The difference is we usually don’t draw attention to all the extra time we put in when talking with the people we’re doing it for because it’s, well, unseemly and it might make them feel like they’re a burden. Nate, if you were too busy to take on the responsibilities related to the School Board position, maybe you shouldn’t have run for it. At the very least, Pandora wishes you would stop talking about all the bother you’re going to by being a volunteer, particularly in response to questions about why you haven’t done things to support teachers, or parents, or community members, or even students, despite your insistence to the contrary.
Reason 6. Don’t call him “Mr.”! He’s a Dr. (Ph. D, that is) and he’s not above embarrassing a constituent or two who might not adequately revere his title and the work he dedicated to obtaining it.