Thursday, February 05, 2015

Open letter to community leaders

In particular, leaders of communities who feel left out of the decision making concerning their interests in the Albuquerque Public Schools.

As you know, decision making at the executive and administrative levels is an exercise of power as opposed to, for example, reason.  The balance of power on the board will change next month.  Teachers will have a bigger seat at the table, as will Governor Susana Martinez and Education Secretary Hanna Skandera.  Your interests will become less important.

Your "seat at the table" will continue to be;

two minutes at public forum fewer than 24 times a year. If there are more than 15 of you, you will get only one minute. If there are more than 30 of you, some of you will lose your opportunity entirely.
There are two community members on the APS Audit Committee. They function as members of the committee. They move the needle in decision making at the committee level in the decision making process.

Why not have community member seats on all committees?

If your interests are being decided in any committee, why can't you expect to be there to articulate and defend them?

It’s called participative decision making, wikipedia.

It’s not rocket science.

It requires only the real willingness of politicians and public servants to share the power entrusted to them by the people with whom they will not share it.

It isn’t “their” power. They aren’t “their” resources.
Of necessity, we have surrendered “control over” our power and resources, not ownership.  The power and resources they spend still belong fundamentally to the people; not to politicians and public servants.

They can give back at least some control by providing a regular opportunity for open and honest two-way discussion of important issues. There is no good and ethical reason there cannot be candid, forthright and honest discussions between the leadership of the APS and the communities and community members they serve.

The only real obstacle is their individual and collective resistance to empowering stake and interest holders.

You have a right to participate meaningfully at every committee meeting where your interests are being disposed. Your future free exercise of that right depends on your willingness to defend it now.

Lacking a good and ethical justification for denying communities and community members their meaningful input in decision making, the school board is stonewalling the issue.
They are simply pretending the issue has not been raised.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you,
then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi
Right now the leadership is ignoring you and your right to participate.
They could never get away with further belittleing you.
The fight is upon you.

Because your cause is self evidently and so manifestly righteous, you will win the fight.

The only way you can lose the fight is to not show up.

You will pick a side when you don't pick a side.
Your silence will give your consent.

Show up at the next public forum.
Insist upon an open and honest public discussion of the petition for community member seats on school board committees.

There is no equivalent gesture.
There will be no better time.
"The right time to do the right thing is always right now." unk

I am grateful for your time and attention.

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