Two Quincy educators at opposite
ends of their teaching careers made
the leap. One day in the fall, retired
teacher Linda Monaco was engrossed
in phone banking, something she
volunteered to do more than half a
“It can get addictive,” she said.
“My time would be up and I’d say,
‘Let me do just one more.’ I knew I
had information to give and that it was
making a difference.”
When her session ended and she
finally had a chance to stand, she heard
someone say, “Mrs. Monaco?” It was
K Moy, a first-year Quincy teacher
who had been a student in Monaco’s
“We were both stunned,” said
Monaco. “I was speechless. I gave her
a big hug.”
Monaco had been active in
the Quincy Education Association,
especially during the strike in 2007.
She didn’t hesitate to volunteer for the
SOPS campaign. Moy was not so sure
“I considered myself naive about
the issue and I’m very shy,” she said.
But she had been called by a SOPS
organizer who was a former classmate,
so she agreed to give it a try.
“I have so much pride in the
Quincy Public Schools, I couldn’t
imagine any of them being dismantled
to build charters,” Moy said.
When she started phone banking
she was nervous at first, and she was
offended when people hung up on her.
But she grew more comfortable as
time went on.
“In the end, it felt very good when
I changed someone’s mind,” Moy said.
“I remember talking to a nice lady who
listened to everything I said and at
the end she said she would spread the
word to others to vote ‘no.’”
Brendan Sheran, president of the
United Educators of Pittsfield, said
that the key to getting his members
involved was offering them a variety
of ways to participate.
Some knocked on doors. Some
passed out literature at “3rd Thursday”
cultural events. Some wrote letters to
Getting people to phone bank was
the biggest challenge, so in some cases
building reps broke up the phone lists,
giving members just 10 names each to
call — a small enough task for a larger
number to take on.
Sheran also went to the retirement
home where his grandmother lives
and spoke to a group of seniors. “They
were very receptive,” he said. “It really
concerned them a lot that their tax
dollars were being spent on charter
schools that are not accountable to
them as taxpayers. And they vote.”
A week before the election, the
UEP and SOPS community partners
held a rally in downtown Pittsfield that
was covered by the local press and
promoted on social media.
Madeloni said that member
engagement was critical to the victory.
“Many members who were
never politically active before felt
their power during the Question 2
campaign,” she said. “They realized
how much people relied on their
expertise on public education and
many other issues. We need to
continue to use our voices and engage
in these conversations. We have to stay
organized and strong in support of the
schools our communities deserve.”
First-year Quincy teacher K Moy, left, and retired Quincy teacher Linda
Monaco visited MTA headquarters this winter to talk about their surprise
reunion at a No on Question 2 phone-banking session.
Brendan Sheran, president
of the United Educators of
Pittsfield, said that the key
to getting his members
involved was offering
them a variety of ways to
Photo by Laura Barrett
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