ArchiveMarch 2021

Union Blues, part 2


In 1968, the year before my father’s retirement, my wife, infant daughter and I returned to New York from three years in Mississippi, where I had been pursuing the justice dictated by my Jewish upbringing and perhaps in some small measure by my early immersion in the world of union socialism. Within a few months I was drawn into the maelstrom of the legendary Ocean Hill/Brownsville teachers’...

Union Blues


 This is the first in a two-part retrospective look at my roller coaster relationship with unions, beginning with today’s piece about the central role my father’s union, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (the ILGWU) and moving next week to my experiences with teachers’ unions, beginning in New York in the late ‘60s and continuing to evolve during this controversial pandemic...

Love and Marriage


Love and marriage, love and marriage They go together like a horse and carriage This I tell you brother You can’t have one without the other These song lyrics from my youth, written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen and made popular by the duo of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, have been rattling around in my brain recently. It’s no coincidence since tomorrow, March 16th, Rosellen and I...

Charter schools redux


A few presidential cycles ago I was invited by the League of Women Voters to participate in a panel discussion of charter schools which they were hosting to inform their position on the issue for the upcoming election. In addition to me, the panelists included a union activist, a representative of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools and an academic researcher specializing in the comparative...

City mouse, country mouse


Years ago, the New York Times Sunday Book Review section ran an occasional feature for which they got writers and other public figures to confess the titles of literary classics they had never read. Absolutely everyone has egg on their face when they’re made to out themselves this way. My own list would fill a sizeable notebook. One of my pandemic resolutions that fared better than some household...

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