Reflections on the Constitutional Amendment Vote
On October 30th, BMORE's constitutional amendment to make voting more accessible was voted on at a BTU general membership meeting. Overall, 58% of attendees voted in favor and 42% voted against. Since a constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 approval from both chapters, and we only met that threshold for the teacher chapter, the amendment was not adopted. After the animated and heated meeting, Physical Education teacher at Southwest Baltimore Charter School, Brad "Coach" Hunter reflected on his experience.
1. Progress isn't pretty: October 30th's vote was messy, to say the least, and for many an unpleasant and disappointing outcome, however, few plans for improvement ever follow a linear path.
2. More Motivated: I (and others) left the vote feeling more motivated than ever! While the night of October 30th could be seen by some as a setback to BMORE's agenda I think it could also be used as a springboard to move BMORE’s work forward. So many in attendance were appalled by some of the actions and antics on display. Is this really what we want OUR union to look, sound and feel like when a group asks for changes? I for one can assure you that I will be more active than before and definitely help turn-out the vote for the elections this spring after what I saw at the general membership meeting.
3. BMORE - looking strong: BMORE representatives spoke passionately about the facts. Their focus on following the rules and making the process clear and inclusive was commendable. Overwhelmingly, the BMORE representatives stayed professional despite others not reciprocating. In addition, I admire the fortitude it took for BMORE representatives to stick to the facts and stay focused on the night’s purpose (advocate for a more democratic process) even while being maligned over and over.
4. What can others do: For those of us who share a passion for making the BTU a more democratic institution it would be helpful to know what the next steps are. I would encourage BMORE to get the word out in this regard ASAP. If, like me, there are others now more interested and ready to help then we need to know what would be the best use of our time and energy. Should we help to inform para’s about the amendments true purpose and language, recruit one person in our school to vote in the spring election, or be on the lookout to sign the next petition?
5. Small area for Improvement - I think the efforts of the movement would best be served if (while right in so many ways) the folks FOR the amendment had been less ready to fight over every constitutional/Robert's Rule infraction. While I agree that not following, or knowing, the ground rules is egregious and allowing that to pass could hurt other actions down the line it did, at times, make those FOR the amendment come off as unlikeable or nit-picky. I personally found it interesting but it had the potential to turn some folks off.
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