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The Worcester Police Union came out with their endorsement for mayor yesterday and they did the only thing police in this city could do – they endorse Michael Gaffney for mayor. This is why police are highly respected and fairly compensated for their work. Because they are loyal to no one. While the executive board of firefighter’s and teacher’s union went against the will of their membership and endorsed the machine and Joe Petty, the WPD looked at both candidates and decided that one of them was more supportive of them during a very difficult time than the other. From Worcester Magazine:
Thomas Daly, who serves as executive VP of the NEPBA, said Petty has been good to rank-and-file officers in the past. This year, however, at least in the eyes of many officers, something changed. Daly pegged it as the night Konnie Lukes’ put a resolution out to publicly support the Police Department. Many of her colleagues bristled, something some people attribute to the large number of protesters – many of them people of color – at that Council meeting.
“There’s a point when you come to that one moment for someone to have your back. We had that moment,” Daly said. “I think after Lukes’ resolution, I think a lot of it stems from that. There wasn’t much support on the Council that night.”
The series of race dialogues held over the summer and facilitated by the U.S. Department of Justice were another prickly issue for police, many of whom Daly said felt they were targeted by certain groups during those forums.
Exactly. The DOJ discussions were a disgrace for the city of Worcester. They were a slap in the face for all citizens. The DOJ only goes to places where racial strife is high. That exists in Worcester only in the minds of people who seek to create racism and profit off of it. They were used as a forum to bash teachers and police by calling them racist, and Joe Petty supported them 100%.
This is a statement released by Councilor Gaffney about the endorsement:
I have consistently supported the Worcester Police in their diligent efforts to improve and restore safety in our neighborhoods and our schools. I stood up for our police earlier this year when Mayor Petty allowed a group of protestors to take over City Hall and berate them without a single bang of the gavel. It was a disgrace to those that put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.
I stood up for the proper funding of our police and voted against a budget that saw increased spending to the tune of $22.6 million dollars, but less than $154,000.00 in increased police spending after a record-breaking year of violent crime. I called for increased police spending and allocation of resources over the summer when violent crime and shootings were rampant in our City. Mayor Petty has repeatedly said that by talking about the issue of increased crime in Worcester, I was somehow insulting the hard work of our police force. The endorsement today shows that our police force knows who supports them and that Mayor Petty’s political rhetoric does not equate with the reality that, when it mattered, he did not support our police.
Most importantly he has their back. City Council meetings have become circuses, and tonight’s meeting about Mosaic will be the biggest of them all. Protesters and hippies everywhere have shown up, gone well over their allotted two minutes to speak, and have ignored the gavel and pleas of Mayor Puddy to “wrap it up” time and time again. They have booed, hissed, and intimidated anyone who spoke out in favor of the police. Julius Jones had to be escorted out of the chambers at the last meeting he was at, for threatening Councilor Gaffney.
Puddy’s surprised reaction to this tells you everything you need to know about him:
“I’m disappointed I did not get their support. You like to get the support of everybody.”
He’s surprised because he assumed the endorsement would be handed to him. He thought he could disrespect police and still get their support. But unfortunately for him Lenny Z doesn’t run the police union. Smart people do.
The hippies have drawn the lines. Either you are with the police or you are against them. There is no more middle ground because they won’t allow it. Councilors Sarai Rivera and Rick Rushton chose which side they were on by voting against a resolution that commended the WPD for their fine work. It’s why they also endorsed Jackie Kostas in District 4 – because any cop who has ever walked the beat in Main South knows that Sarai Rivera is there to harass them. Countless police officers have reached out to us to confirm that they have been harassed by Rivera while doing their job.
Jumpin’ Joe Petty has tried to walk the fence. He voted for the resolution, but not before he allowed Sonya Conner, Michael Jerry, Chris Robarge, and countless others to violate council meeting rules and disrespect our police officers.
Puddy’s distrust of the police was most apparent when he opposed police in North High School, despite the unprecedented amount of violence against faculty. Instead he had private meetings with Brenda Jenkins, Joyce McNickles, David Jerry, and Keesha LaTulippe, all of which have been vocally anti-police. He even offered to drop the charges against Kelley Square 4 if they promised not to block the major intersection again. They rejected his deal. This is yet another example of Puddy trying to walk the fence instead of picking a side.
Meanwhile the firefighter’s continue to work without a contract and are in desperate need of new equipment. Worcester Firefighters are amongst the most respected in the nation, and our current leadership is stonewalling them and blocking a new contract. We’ve spoken with countless firefighters who favor Gaffney, but the powers that be in the union have chosen to endorse the machine and Puddy.
Likewise teachers in Worcester overwhelmingly support Gaffney. Why wouldn’t they? He’s the one that led the charge to put police in their schools so that they can do their jobs effectively. He’s the one who spoke up when he saw special interest groups getting secret meetings with Puddy. He’s the one who has opposed the failed administration of Melinda Boone, a tyrant who made life miserable for WPS teachers.
Meanwhile Puddy stood by Lisa Dyer – a principal who publicly humiliated one of her best teachers by calling her a racist in a schoolwide email. A principal who continued to endanger her teachers by opposing police presence in the building. Puddy was Melinda Boone’s biggest cheerleader, voting to not only extend her contract during the tumultuous school year, but to give her a raise as well.
But just like the firefighter’s union, the teacher’s union does not seek input of its dues-paying membership. Lenny Zelauskas took it upon himself to hand the endorsement of thousands of teachers over to his good friend Joe Petty without their consent or approval. Why wouldn’t he? He’s going to be voted out as EAW President shortly and he’s gonna need a new job. Whose back better to scratch than a man with direct ties to a powerful political machine?
Great job by the WPD once again. They have shown why they deserve our respect and admiration with this announcement. The easy thing would’ve been to support the machine, but instead they took a stand. They wanna try the new guy, and so should everyone else who thinks Worcester could be better than it is right now.
In one more week we have a change to make history. Take your city back and vote the Turtleboy Ticket. Get EVERYONE you know to do the same. This is a revolution in the making – Gaffney for Mayor. Rob Sargent, Gaffney, and Lukes for City Council. Nicola D’Andrea, Donna Colorio, and Brian O’Connell for School Committee. Cindy Nguyen in District 1. Jackie Kostas in District 4. Gary Rosen in District 5.
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