By RUDY OROZCO
NYC Board of Education Local 372 and DC 37 President Shaun D. Francois I, was loud and clear with his message to over 200 activists and members, elected officials and labor leaders at the local’s Black History Month celebration Feb. 20 at union headquarters.
“The Ballot or the Bullet” theme focused on the importance of getting out the vote, especially in November when the next President of the United States will be elected.
Francois called on all those present to “get out and vote” to make a difference. He urged, “Show up at the polls and to bring two or three people with you to vote.”
“Stand up if you want to be counted,” exhorted Francois. “We’ve come a long way, but still have a ways to go!”
The event included dancers from the ESOTA, Edge School of The Arts, and a tap dance performance by Omar Edwards with musicians from African Tap Dancer & Drummer.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Assemblyman Michael Blake (DC 37-endorsed candidate for Congressional District 15), City Council member Donovan Richards (DC 37-endorsed candidate for Queens Borough President), SSEU Local 371 President Anthony Wells, Local 924 President Kyle Simmons, Local 2627 President Laura Morand, Local 154 President Juan Fernandez and other distinguished guests were in the audience.
Speakers stressed the power of the ballot box and the hard work, pain and sacrifice it took to win the right to vote. Local 372 Executive Vice President Donald Nesbit, who chairs the DC 37 Political Action Committee, said: “We are strong. Always remember the history of our people.”
DC 37’s month-long celebration of African-American culture and history concludes with the Finale Night closing on Friday, Feb. 28 at 125 Barclay St.