June 30, 2009
Only a handful of New Yorkers showed up to an afternoon-long party planned to celebrate the end of mayoral control.
The seven people who gathered outside Tweed Courthouse at 4:30 p.m. today were outnumbered by members of the press, but their display was spirited. “Take a hike, Mike, and don’t you come back no more,” they sang, drawing some participation from passersby. As the winds whipped across Chambers Street, DeMarco yelled, “The winds of change are blowing!”
Most of the celebrants were teachers who are facing termination. They carried a sign that said “Educators’ Rights = Human Rights” and one, Anna-Maria Thomas, said the group was planning to “give Joel Klein the pink slip just like so many educators were given the pink slip.” Another, organizer Nicola DeMarco, held an orange “eviction notice” that he plans to deliver to the chancellor’s office at midnight.
Joining the group was Ellen Raider, a member of the Parent Commission on School Governance, many of whose members are in Albany now to push for substantial changes to mayoral control. Raider said she was in a celebratory mood not because mayoral control is likely to end but because the commission’s recommendations are finally getting attention.
The event proved short-lived as rain began to fall and the group dispersed. But DeMarco said they would be back later tonight to deliver the eviction notice.