In retrospect, I’m not even sure if the guy who suggested that we protest the State of the City address was being serious when he said it.
“Just a few people with signs. That’s all it would take.” We only had a week but we thought we could pull it off. Kenny noted a few days in that the temperature was expected to be 20 degrees that day. But what could we do?
So on the coldest day of the year so far, about 100 of us trudged around in a barricade while the important people of Boston were shepherded into the hall. Some of them cheered, many of them gave us serious side eye, but they saw us. They all saw us.
We were joined by the Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee who were demanding safe shelter for their community.
City Councilor Tito Jackson came by for encouragement. And we were honored when Representative Byron Rushing marched for a bit. In a tactic that is straight out of House of Cards, the mayor sent us all chicken soup and hot chocolate.
At one point, Superintendent Chang stepped out in the frozen night where he was immediately surrounded by parents who wanted a word with him. He would be forgiven if his thoughts wandered to Los Angeles, the city he left for this job. He may have wondered what he had done in his life to deserve to be thrown in this frigid maelstrom of parental discontent.
And at the end of the day, we still have a lot of work to do. We aren’t going anywhere. We will be an affliction on the powerful until our children’s schools are funded and their education is valued.
I was going to leave you with a link the Superintendent’s response sent out the next day. But instead, I am going to leave you with a more important letter. This is from a mother in East Boston writing about the impact of the budget cuts on her child’s school.