Lynne Winderbaum on Michael Bloomberg’s version of democracy

“This is not democracy—letting people yell and scream," the mayor declared on his weekly radio show. "That's not freedom of expression—that's just trying to take away somebody else's rights."

How positively Orwellian hearing Mayor Bloomberg lecture us on what is or is not democracy.

  • This is the man who fired every member but one of the Panel for Educational Policy who didn’t agree with him on grade retention and replaced them with members who did—and always will.
  • This is the man who said he strongly supported term limits until he came to the end of his second term, and then forced the city council to overturn the will of the public so he could run again.
  • This is the man who dipped into his inexhaustible personal fortune to fund the most expensive campaign per voter in history, thereby creating such an uneven playing field that any challenge to him was impossible.
  • This is the man who chose a school chancellor from his circle of country club friends and denied the public any input in the selection process. In fact, there was no selection process.
  • This is the man who tolerates a “democracy” where 400 people spoke against school closings last year, only one spoke in favor, and the PEP voted with the one.

In In a nutshell, the mayor’s version of democracy and freedom of expression comes down to telling the opposition to just let him do what he wants.

-Lynne Winderbaum, retired teacher and former UFT representative for Bronx high schools

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