Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carnegie "Kangaroo" Election

Most Carnegie members didn't know their was an election last evening. And that was no accident.

The notice on the bulletin board was small enough that members could be counted on to miss it. "I had to take off my glasses and put my face right up to it to read it", said one member. He said the notice announced, "CCA AGM", letters that wouldn't catch the attention of most members. The election wasn't mentioned until the end of the notice, in fine print. I recall seeing this small notice myself but it was so small, I didn't stop to read it.

They should have announced the election in large print, said one member. "They hang banners over the steps out front all the time" when they want the poor to turn out for their povertarian projects and marches, but when there is an election, they produce only a teeny weeny poster.

Members of the Carnegie establishment such as paid anti-poverty activist Jean Swanson have worked to disenfranchise the poor ever since the poor's choice of Board members -- William Simpson, Rachel Davis -- didn't match their own. They stack elections with their friends and political allies. One member described last evening's election and the prior well-attended nomination meeting this way. "A bunch of strangers showed up, and they voted in their yes-people." He said the result is that longtime members who use Carnegie on an almost daily basis are finding decisions made by people they barely recognize, and at times don't recognize.

Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty, the City's representative at the meeting, left early, saying she was "busy". Very little Whitty says is believed by members, many of whom are aware of her well-documented record of lying. "Maybe she didn't want to be put on the spot and have to answer any questions," said one man. A woman said she saw Whitty leaving the building after the meeting in the theater had ended, supporting skeptics' view that she hadn't or shouldn't have been too busy to sit through the Carnegie AGM.

One member later sitting at a patio table at Waves coffee shop in the warm evening breeze, summed up the Carnegie election this way. "They pulled a fast one on us again".