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A Gay Union Leader For New York City Teachers

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According to this NY Daily News article, Randi Weingarten, head of the NYC teachers union and potential successor to AFT president Ed McElroy, came out at a recent event as a lesbian. This is probably not such a big deal in New York City, but in the rest of the country, who knows.

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The question that gets lost in discussions that include personal information, is whether the individual is capable of doing the JOB, and motivated to do it well.
It's not that I don't care at all whether a particular leader is an alcoholic, drug, or sex addict; or perhaps a sexual deviant of some sort; or has strong/weak/no religious beliefs; or rose from poverty; or descended from wealth--this list could be long, but you get the idea.
The thing to unpack is whether the person is going to bring a personal agenda to the performance of the job, other than to do it well.
Here's an example of how we might be concerned about such conflicts of interest. Fact: as a country, we suffer considerably--loss of life, injury, hurt, property damage--as a result of unfettered alcohol consumption. One might suppose, looking at other issues that affect the public, that the PRESS would not let the matter rest, until the legislature(s) crafted effective laws, and the executive branch(es) enforced them. But when we get just a little acquainted with members of the PRESS, of the legislature, and of the executive branch, we find that a majority of them really like their booze. It seems they bring a personal agenda to their jobs. (Of course, the public they serve likes its booze pretty much, too, so it's willing to live with the losses. What's the word? "It's sad, but these things happen.")
So, who should care? Let a lesbian be the union leader. So what? Is she competent? Does she do the job well? If the answers to the last two questions are "Yes", then let her alone. On the other hand, the fact that she "came out" does raise the question of motive. When Vince Lombardi noted that he was the first Italian to coach an NFL team; or when Lee Iacocca made the same observation about his leading a major US auto company, the implication was that there had been other worthy Italians before them, but their promotions had been blocked by prejudice. If that is all Ms. Weingarten wants us to note, fine. In the case of Lombardi, and of Iacocca, they made the public notation AFTER they had made their marks in Green Bay and Detroit, respectively. So, the word to Ms. Weingarten: Get busy doing your job and we'll overlook your irrelevant comments. But thanks for the heads-up: we'll be alert for signs of a personal agenda.

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