Iannello Needs A Teaching Moment

Listen. It’s quiet. It is too quiet.

Four days have passed since allegations of racism by District 10 Erie County Legislator Michele Iannello transpired.

Legislator Iannello maintains that her request to have two African-American volunteer canvassers reassigned from her campaign was not based on race but based on the canvassing tactics utilized by the two volunteers working on behalf of the Working Families Party which endorsed her.

According to Iannello, “It’s just a difference of opinion.”

The Buffalo Teachers Federation and The UAW have rescinded support for Legislator Iannello.

Still, it is just too damn quiet.

There are fourteen other Erie County Legislators; two of them are African-American women, Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams, District 3 and Legislator Betty Jean Grant, District 7.

I have been a campaign volunteer and a paid campaign staffer for African-American and White candidates. I have experienced racism and sexism while working for both. I have addressed the offenders when affronted. I am baffled by the silence from the two Black women legislators as well as their counterparts.

Not one Erie County Legislator has uttered a peep.


I think a play from President Obama’s playbook is needed and this is an opportunity for a teaching moment.

Perhaps Ms. Miller-Williams and Ms. Grant could organize a Girls Night Out. Get some chocolate, chicken wings and make a pitcher of Cosmopolitans. Invite Ms. Iannello for a hen party of goodies and a chick flick. Why not also invite Ms Whyte, Ms. Marinelli and Ms. Terranova?

May I suggest the Secret Life of Bees?



1 Comment

  1. Lets face it Sharon… The last batch of legislators was incompetent and hands off. They have been busy going through the motions of passing “ Congrats Citizen Joe” resolutions or gridlock. They sad/good thing is most have not encountered, experienced or had this planted in their consciousness – a personal violation of being degraded as a human being.. What surprised me was the female and the military veterans’ component of the Leg should have at least had inklings to rise to the occasion.

    The next stop the State Senate..

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