I first met Sue when she ran to replace the existing, amazing AFSCME president, Sandy Mayes. She was easily sucked into the JCTA whyte leadership’s attacks on us for calling out their corruption and the role they played in dismantling teachers pensions, caving in to state takeover threats and allowing charters, vouchers, anti-JCPS and anti-CRT bills to pass.
In 2019, she and leaders from three other JCPS unions held a 40+-minute press conference calling us out BY NAME, saying we were going “rogue” for lifting up the voices and concerns of their members when they wouldn’t, and told everyone not to listen to what we had to say.
In fact, not only did they ignore their members who wanted to keep pushing back against these harmful bills, they attacked those of us who had the nerve to exercise our first amendment rights, rights to assembly and peaceful protest. These folks act a lot more like their Republican counterparts, and if you follow the breadcrumbs to the Jones/McConnell Connection, you will understand why.
Fast forward to today and the same is likely true. The privatizers’ narrow margins are likely to be erased as more and more parents figure out that they are the reason they lost their voice on SBDM and the reason teachers didn’t get raises when all other state employees did. Someone probably tapped her on the shoulder and suggested she run in order to protect the status quo that white-led non-profits enjoy.
Republicans are not the only party that has found a way to profit from harming Black and Brown students. While we were busy calling out the GOP, DINOs and infiltrators were cozying up to big money and powerful donors while posing as allies. Several of them are the Dark Money Dems running in the May 17 Primary.
Looking back on it, I suspect one of the reasons Sue ran is because Sandy actually listened to and reflected the wishes of her membership when she helped us with our Open Letter Campaign that helped us get rid of Hargens. That probably upset the status quo whyte establishment folks, and so it’s possible someone recruited her to run against Sandy and put a stop to us “rogue groups.”
Fortunately, a progressive Dem stepped up to run for that seat. His name is Derek Penwell. Unfortunately, he lost in the primary. After some drama involving her Republican challenger in the General, as well as a last-minute write in protest entry, Sue and the dark money endorsements of BSK handily won this seat in 2022.