Today I shall talk about my son.
When he was growing up, he was the talk of the town and the tri-state, for his tennis prowess. He was a fantastic tennis player and the various schools in the area still talk to their tennis teams about him and his focused and dedicated way he won the tournaments and his games at the State every single year of his high school career. He excelled in the game as a college student and won the championship for the college after a lapse of almost twenty dry years without a trophy for that institution.
As a teenager, he was like all the others, cocky, (not arrogant), just sort of cocky, and knew that he “could do anything he wanted!” Didn’t have much money sense… thought money grew on the trees that mom was tending to.
This same kid, when he went away to college, developed such a phenomenal sense of money management, that he wowed us all. After working for Wells Fargo in Chicago for about seven or eight years he came back home and developed his own independent wealth management firm. And by God’s grace he is doing very well.
The local school board was getting ready for elections about four years back,and along with two other guys he ran for the membership. Got elected with great outcome of votes in his favor. One year later the Board unanimously voted to make him the president of the school board. He is the youngest guy in the school Board and he has done amazing work for the school district. In the first year as a member he initiated the referendum to improve the physical appearance of schools by building five new schools. The community was asked to vote for this referendum, which was to the tune of $80,000,000. I didn’t think it would pass. But Sayeed was on the news urging the community to make Quincy a great educational city where there would be great teachers, and teaching in great buildings. All the previous buildings were run down and the ,space was limited in the classrooms. The referendum passed with flying colors. The first elementary school was opened this September, and it is a State of the Art Building.
Now, why am I touting all this about Sayeed? Not just because he is my son, but because he is a genuinely decent human being who has a sound head on his shoulders and who is compassionate and caring for his community and for education.
Last year the Union started getting itchy and demanded a lot of different things for the teachers and for every single person who worked in the school district, ie: bus drivers, janitors, cooks, groundskeepers, you name it and they were all represented by the Union and it was demanding more pay and more pay and more health insurance. I don’t know if you all know about the state of our state (Illinois) and in what desperate rut we are into with regards to budget. Sayeed and the superintendent worked with the Union as much as possible, but like the saying goes, “you cannot get milk out of a turnip!” So the Union said, “we don’t care, we are going to strike!”
This was such a blow to Sayeed and the entire school Board. Over the last year the meetings were held where Sayeed negotiated with brilliance. The community was so amazed at this young man who could talk the way he did and, let me tell you, he was so sincere; and with every ounce of faith and conviction he tried reason with the union. It was no use. So the community was told that the schools would be shut down because of the strike as of November 20th. (Next Monday!) We were all so unhappy. I felt so bad for my baby. He had worked so hard to make Quincy a learning center with great educational system and fine physical institutions.
He told the Union, “go ahead! Strike if you must. Remember the consequences. The children are the victims. You are taking them as hostages. All of us need more money and more insurance coverages. We have to learn to sacrifice so we can improve the quality of life of our children. When I was a fifth grader, there was strike and the schools were closed for almost three weeks. There was such disruption to the lives of all people here. Young working mothers had to find baby sitters for their little children, or let go of their jobs so they could be with their children. Family lives became difficult, money was not coming into the homes as their pay checks.” And he gave such excellent examples of what happens when people become selfish and greedy to gain importance by the wrong intentions and misplaced convictions of “helping” the household!
There were so many meetings between Sayeed and the Union. SO FRIKKING MANY! Every day he was in the news, and on the front page of the newspaper. Yesterday the union asked all it members to come and vote, to see how many wanted to strike and those that didn’t want to!
The overwhelming majority voted against striking!!! The community sat with their jaws to the floor, amazed that the strike was averted. Sayeed was in Chicago yesterday, and the local TV channels contacted him and got his views about the success of his mission. Anyone interested can read about all this on whig.com, and or go to KHQA news from yesterday at, http://khqa.com/news/local/quincy-public-school-union-votes-to-walk-off-job-strike-begins-monday, and you will hear my prince.
So, I am happy; it will be a great thanksgiving. Thank you for reading this. I am sorry I made this such a long post.