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Who controls who?
The proof is in the bargaining
What’s up everyone! Been a little longer than I wanted since the last post. The plan was to get something out last Thursday morning but life gets in the way sometimes and the current subject matter is too important to cut corners. Here’s the goal:
And waiting a week honestly got me closer to achieving said goal. It’s quite a long piece though so take your time with it.
Life got in the way in the form of a little weekend tour with my good buds in Born Without Bones! Parts of this post were written in various silly spots along the East Coast. Like the green room of Kung Fu Necktie in Philly’s Fishtown neighborhood. A proper fuckin green room gotta say. And in what you might generally call my “nest” in the van.
If you’ve never experienced it, Born Without Bones is an unreal live rock and roll band, as this raucous little clip from the Ralph’s show will attest. Honored they asked me to play “fifth man” and elevate what’s already an impressive sound.
But overall, life “in the van” does not jive very well with my writing process, which is very slow and requires a lot of alone time. I’m not the kind of writer who can just bang stuff out in an hour between other things. Wish I was! Typically, these Worcester Sucks posts are the result of multiple 10-12 hour sessions in front of the computer. I’ve found if I don’t give myself that sort of time, the end result is pretty lousy. So I’d rather have you guys wait a while for a post that meets the “is this actually worth reading?” standard than ladle out slop in the name of well-scheduled content. Is it the right move? Who knows. But also who cares. The hole in local journalism that I’m trying to fill with this newsletter is not a lack of content but a lack of context. There’s plenty of the “Who,” “What,” “When” and “Where” in the local media ecosystem but precious little “Why.”
So please subscribe! If you can! I love doing this newsletter and want to keep doing it.
The current moment presents a very very very good opportunity to understand a significant “Why.” When you have an anti-democratic power structure hiding behind the rhetoric and processes of a democratic design, as we do with City Hall, there are invisible barriers to change. Invisible to the public at least. And there’s a concerted effort by the powers that be to keep it that way. But pressure from an engaged, motivated and angry public can make those once-invisible barriers quite apparent. In the confluence of two storylines—educators on the verge of strike for a contract that’s merely adequate and police officers getting direct cash payments in exchange for possibly being held accountable—there’s been quite a few moments in the past week or so to clearly see these otherwise invisible barriers and what it is they protect.
At a baseline, we’re seeing this: City Hall is an institution unwilling (or, more likely, unable) to do anything short of a full capitulation to the demands of the police unions. At the same time, City Hall is perfectly willing and perfectly able to resist the demands of teachers. This political reality is reinforced by a majority of the Council happy to defer to the city manager, a law department happy to reinforce the manager’s claim to unilateral authority, and a sycophantic local press happy to accept the manager’s position as baseline reality. Three big barriers to change which have become quite clear to see over the past two weeks. I’m gunna break it down for ya from beginning to end.
But first real quick we have to address an interesting/hilarious development in local election news.
Jose Antonio Rivera, the council candidate who has already firmly established himself as the obvious heel in the overall election narrative, decided inexplicably to switch from running for one of the six at-large council seats to District 5, where he’s now going head-to-head against Etel Haxhiaj. A very “I have the high ground Anakin” moment. Rivera will almost certainly get rinsed.
Here’s his explanation, courtesy Ben White on Twitter.
The real meat of this statement to my mind is his saying he was “well on his way” to getting the 300 signatures needed to be nominated for an at-large seat. Given that district seats only require 100 signatures, it’s not a stretch to think the move is due to the fact he couldn’t get 300 signatures. Doesn’t bode well for someone who needs thousands of votes!
Just speculation, though. The closest he gets to providing a concrete reason is that he prayed on it.
The real reason why he switched may lie somewhere in the subtext of this now-deleted tweet from his campaign manager, Walter Bird Jr., which suggests they see something of a lane in whipping up townie opposition to a homeless shelter in District 5.
Nightmarish! Bird is the comms guy for the Worcester Housing Authority, by the way. You love to see a representative of the local public housing entity loudly decry new housing for those without it because it’s too close to houses and the people in them.
Rivera is not posing a serious threat here and this campaign move is both self-defeating and good for the at-large progressive candidates. But we shouldn’t totally write Rivera off either. There is power in playing to the worst reactionary impulses of the townies. That vein of resentment does run deep around here. The unhoused are among the most potent scapegoats at the disposal of a villain who would use them. This race is now a question of whether we’re willing to let that ugliness win or support a woman who does everything she can to actually help the unhoused and actually sees them as human beings.
There’s a lot more to say about this but I’ll save it for the next edition of the Election Injection series. Plenty of other stuff to get into!
Who controls who?
Back to the matter of not paying teachers and paying cops way too much. The current situation is the cops got what they wanted by way of an 8-3 council vote Tuesday night and the teachers still don’t have a contract. The timeline of events leading to this outcome is illuminating in a “why are we like this?” sort of way.
The news generally “broke” that Worcester was “considering” a salary amendment for police officers which gives each of them a $1300 stipend for wearing the newly approved and purchased body cameras. After it took off a bit on Twitter, the story was quickly picked up by the Boston outlets. We “made the news” as it were. The body camera stipend story was picked up by NBC Boston, Channel 7 and others.
It was to be “discussed” at the meeting Tuesday night. The City Council was tasked, ostensibly, with deciding whether to “adopt” the salary amendment. The word “adopt” becomes important as the week progresses. Let’s just say it took on a couple different definitions.
At the Council meeting, plenty of people spoke in opposition but the council itself didn’t discuss this item or take any sort of vote. It was “held” by Councilor Kate Toomey. A councilor doesn’t have to give an explanation for why they hold an agenda item per the board’s rules and the first “hold” can’t be vetoed or overruled. So Toomey held the body camera stipend for no stated reason. The discussion would have to wait a week. Left to speculate, it’s not a stretch to think the police unions texted her and told her to hold it. Wouldn’t be the first time. That’s what was happening during the Texting Through A Prayer moment.
Toomey is chairwoman of the council’s Standing Committee on Public Safety and coincidentally a councilor with a well-documented record of doing whatever the police union officials tell her to do. A puppet, and an eager one at that. Through Toomey, the police unions have a defacto vote on the council floor and get to set the agenda for the subcommittee designed to oversee the police department. They use it, and not subtly. Through Toomey, they’ve held this key oversight position for almost a decade. Every election cycle, Mayor Joe Petty reappoints Toomey to this role. It’s not an accident.
At the Council meeting Tuesday there was a poor sap posted up with a news camera in the gallery which I thought was funny. He was there to witness our city councilors deal with public pressure by ignoring it. Perhaps hoping it would just go away if they closed their eyes.
If the vote had happened that meeting as it was supposed to, it very likely would have had the same outcome. It would have been pretty much 8-3 like it was when they took the vote this week. Like every vote of any significance over the past year and a half, really. The political reality didn’t change at all in the intervening week between Toomey’s hold and the vote. What the hold did do, however, is give time for the mayor and the manager and the city lawyer to come up with a narrative and a set of talking points to counter public opposition in service of the cops. As is their actual job, apparently. From Wednesday to Friday last week, they laid out the rhetorical template in radio appearances, news articles and internal memos that the majority of the city council would then faithfully regurgitate on the council floor the following week.
While this little consent manufacturing machine is always humming along in the background, it was nakedly obvious in this moment. Unprecedentedly so.
In my last post, I tried to hone in on the unspoken political reality that the City Council is not really there to make decisions so much as launder the decisions of the city manager, giving unilateral authority the appearance of an open democratic process reflecting the public will. The council doesn’t exist to reflect the public will, it is a buffer against it. From the post:
Here’s how it goes: Once a decision is privately made by the people who actually matter, it hits the city council’s agenda as a report. The agenda gets posted on a Friday afternoon with the reports attached. Reporters read the report and write the story. They call it a “proposal.” It’s “headed to the Council for approval,” they say. The following Tuesday, the City Council starts that process of “approval” which appears democratic and appears to allow for public input. But really, it’s laundering a pre-determined outcome through a sham democratic process. Really, the “proposal” wouldn’t reach the “public process” unless it was privately decided to be a sure thing beforehand. The public is an afterthought, the process a formality.
I posted this a few days before the body camera stipend item hit the Council agenda. It’s like City Hall saw my analysis and wanted to confirm it. “Yes that’s exactly how it works. Watch this.” The Council runs cover for the city manager. That much is obvious. But in this particular issue we also sort of see that the manager runs cover for the police department in the way that the council runs cover for him. Who controls who is a good question. But more on that later.
Wednesday morning I woke up and the first thing that caught my bleary half asleep eyes was a little poster in my room I’ve had for so long I hardly ever notice it. But it depicts the Earth covered in factories and gas refineries and military bases and there’s a little UFO hovering over it, observing, and at the bottom it says “How embarrassing to be human.” It’s a Vonnegut line, from his 1990 book Hocus Pocus. A good chunk of the book is set in a prison with an entirely Black prisoner population, owned by a foreign corporation. As is his whole thing, the cartoonish evil of this prison is amplified and exaggerated in a glib near-future sci-fi sort of way and operates in the narrative as a vehicle for satirical critique. Three decades later there’s nothing near-future about it. Just something that exists. An objective reality in modern America. Real life outpacing the work of our literary tradition’s premiere satirist. More embarrassing to be human now than Vonnegut could have imagined when he wrote the line. How increasingly embarrassing to be human, you could say. An exponential upward curve of embarrassment. To the moon! Like Dogecoin.
So I started my day looking at that poster and having those sorts of thoughts and then to make matters worse I hopped on Twitter. One of the first things I saw was this truly embarrassing quote from Mayor Joe Petty:
This is not a quietly humming consent manufacturing machine. It’s roaring. Not subtle. He’s not even pretending that he’s there to do anything but run cover for the manager. Usually, he puts on a bit more of a show. Tuesday night, Toomey blocks discussion on the council floor. The following morning, Mayor Joe Petty goes on the radio and says actually there’s nothing to discuss. He says I know it was on the agenda and it looks like we have to approve this but au contraire! The city manager already did the thing! The contract is signed and the stipend checks are in the mail. Toomey’s hold afforded Petty the ability to not say so in a meeting and in front of an audience for whom the idea is deeply unpopular. Instead, he got to say so the next day in a one-on-one conversation with a generally sympathetic radio host in Hank Stolz.
Another observation from my last post proven true:
Accepting that decisions of any real significance for the city are made in private well before and far away from “the public,” you start to notice a little subgenre of local news stories: “Mayor/Manager Goes On The Radio And Tells Us What’s Been Pre-Decided.” These stories always come from the Talk of the Commonwealth program and likely because the program’s host, Hank Stolz, is the kind of guy who’s “in on it” and “knows how things work.”
I mean come on. It’s so obvious it’s obnoxious. And it’s not the structure of the government, either. The structure is fine. It’s how this group of people have chosen to interpret the structure.
I went down to the Education Association of Worcester rally on Thursday afternoon ahead of the School Committee meeting. There were hundreds upon hundreds of educators there. Easily a thousand. Save for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2020, this was the biggest action I’ve witnessed in Worcester by a mile. These teachers are serious and motivated and obviously willing to go to the mat. If I were a city official I would not be calling their bluff. A strike is very much on the table.
While the police are easily securing more and more money all the time without having to do anything but ask nicely, educators are being made to organize in such a fashion for pennies. Peanuts. Another ladle of thin gruel in their half empty bowls. Oliver Twist-style orphans going Please sir, just a bit more.
The point hammered most often by speakers at the rally was that they’re only really looking for a cost of living increase. For years, they haven’t even gotten one of those.
As contract negotiations continue to languish, the EAW has plans to seriously escalate. Short of amenable terms coming through in the interim, the membership is going to take a vote today to declare no confidence in the School Committee and the City Council. Then there’s another rally planned for this evening, 6:30 p.m., outside City Hall. It is not hard to imagine what sort of union action comes next!
But on the same day as this demonstration last week, City Manager Eric Batista got on the radio and tried to disentangle the body cam stipends from the city’s unwillingness to pay educators a living wage.
They are not totally separate, though. That is a lie. The budget is a series of choices made pretty much unilaterally by the city manager. Though the process by which the choice was made is wonky and buried in the line items, there was a choice here. A simple one. Budget more money for cops and less for teachers. It really is very simple and you can’t “well actually” your way out of it. In her great WPS In Brief newsletter, Aislinn Doyle puts it quite well:
As you may remember from my budget primer last month, Worcester contributes the bare minimum required by Massachusetts law to our public schools at 101% of net school spending. The surrounding districts contribute 120-125%. It’s key to remember that it is the city manager, Eric Batista, who determines how much gets allocated to WPS. Even the city council can only reduce or approve the budget that Batista presents, and the school committee just allocates the budget within the amount the city manager decides. The city manager said on the radio that this year’s municipal budget will be challenging. A bit foreboding for how this budget season will go.
While educators are funded at bare minimum, police officers are dominating the top of the salary chart. And in the past few months there’s been some $1.2 million transferred to the already-flush police overtime budget. They do not have to hold any rallies.
We’re working with a budget written by former City Manager Augustus but Batista doesn’t make any effort to distance himself from it. He doesn’t say he would have done anything different. Instead, he maintains the line that the teacher contracts and the police contracts cannot be compared. Over the next couple days, this line would be transfigured into the general talking point that “this situation unfairly pits cops against teachers.” Or some version of it. It’s the calling attention to the disparity that’s the problem, not the disparity itself.
Really, this moment is just a glaringly obvious expression of an unfair dynamic baked into the municipal budget every single year. The cops get everything they want. The teachers barely get what they need. Why is that, you think? Is it a moral choice by the city manager? Or is it a manifestation of a certain unspoken power dynamic? In my humble opinion the thing we’re really seeing here is that the police control the city. Quietly. It’s not in their best interest or the best interest of City Hall to say so aloud. So long as they continue to get everything they want there’s no need to make a show of it. They know they wear the ring and City Hall knows to kiss it.
Further evidence of that claim is the fact Batista put the body cam stipends on the council agenda the same week that the Education Association of Worcester was set to stage a massive demonstration outside City Hall. Even if you agree with Batista on the merit of stipends for body cameras, it’d be hard to argue he didn’t step into an obvious blunder with the timing of the announcement. These stipend negotiations have been going on for months. Why introduce the outcome at this moment? Why not wait until the educator contract story isn’t so hot? Did he have a choice?
Batista also said this:
This statement—that the council could vote down this salary amendment for body cam bribes—is in direct contradiction with what we were told the very next day by the city’s legal team.
On Friday, the news broke that the city’s lawyer, Mike Traynor, issued a memo to the council that amounts to saying the council can’t do shit about this stipend. Quoted in the Patch, Traynor said the council actually approved the stipends when they approved the budget! Case closed. From the Patch:
According to Traynor's memo, councilors approved a nearly $5 million appropriation for City Manager Eric Batista's contingency fund when they approved the fiscal 2023 budget in June 2023. That contingency fund contained a $1.26 million line item for "ongoing union negotiations" — which Traynor says can be used for the $1,300 bodycam stipends.
"Consequently, because the city manager has the power to control the extent of expenditures committed to that purpose, funding the stipend is legally complete," the memo says.
These stipends are “legally complete” because the manager said so! The council vote that hasn’t happened yet is in fact pointless. Yeah, yesterday the city manager may have said that the council matters. But he was wrong. It doesn’t. The council approved the “contingency fund” when it approved the budget. End of story.
Of course that line of reasoning would also apply if the manager saw fit to use this contingency fund to buy the cops an attack helicopter. Oh you don’t like this attack helicopter? Shouldn’t have approved that contingency fund. Really, it amounts to a big “fuck you we do what we want” to the public by way of the ostensible public oversight body that is—should be—the City Council.
As Traynor says, the contingency fund has a $1.26 million pool of money designated to “ongoing union negotiations.” As Cara pointed out here: We couldn’t use this contingency fund for teachers but we can for body cameras?
So can the council vote on this salary amendment, as Batista suggested, or is it out of their hands, as Petty and then Traynor suggested? Which is it then?
The same lawyer telling us the council has no authority on this matter loses yet another massive lawsuit! A superior court judge issued that Worcester has to fork $27 million over to Holden in a dispute over sewer transport fees, per the Telegram. I guess silver lining this is a rare lawsuit loss which doesn’t involve garish behavior by Worcester cops!
Couldn’t say it better than this:
Of course the next day on the city council floor he would continue to be embarrassing.
At the Council meeting Tuesday night, the weeklong saga of rationalizing direct payments to cops for wearing body cameras came to a predictable conclusion. Like almost every vote of significance since the start of this current council session, it was 8-3 in favor. Not that I really need to say it at this point but the three opposed were the progressives—Khrystian King, Etel Haxhiaj and Thu Nugyen—and the eight in favor were everyone else.
Because that’s just how it goes. That’s the political reality. And it won’t change until the next election. But it needs to change. And there’s very good reason to believe it could change for the better. Until then though depressing outcomes like this are going to keep happening.
The discussion leading up to the vote was long and torturous to witness in real time. Truly depressing. But there were some interesting takeaways.
Mayor Joe Petty kicked things off with a refrain that would be repeated by many of the eight councilors who voted in favor. He said “we empower the city manager to do this.” That means the city manager negotiates contract stuff and the council doesn’t really have a say. Somehow in the days leading up to this vote the “empower” line was chosen by those preserving the status quo. A common refrain. It doesn’t have to be intentional collusion it could just as well be a product of every councilor sifting around in the dark for the one justification that sounds decent. Petty also referenced Traynor’s memo, saying the council “has an obligation to vote this.” The “empower” line and the “obligation” line were the thrust of most councilors’ comments. As was the willfully obtuse idea that “teachers were being pitted against police officers.” The rationalizations they arrived upon to support something they were going to support anyway. Didn’t matter if it made sense so long as they all said the same thing.
“Again I will support this because we have an obligation to support this,” Petty said. “I don’t even know what happens if we don’t support this. Where does it go? We could come up with a worse agreement. If we go into arbitration, we usually don’t win.”
Could be worse, Petty says! I for one do not want to see what happens if we challenge the police unions, he says. A line I’d rather not cross personally, he says. Big ‘no no’ around these parts, he says. The police get what they want, he says. It’s not up to me, he says.
Are these the comments of a man who believes he chairs the body that presides over a city manager who presides over the police department? Doesn’t seem like it. But on the other hand, are these words you might hear spoken by a man who knows the city manager presides over him, and the police department presides over the city manager? His comments make a little more sense in that light. Have to say there’s one light in which they make no sense and one light where they make perfect sense. Weird!
Petty was followed by Khrystian King, who was very very careful with his words, appearing to fear he’d be misconstrued—reasonable given the impulse of the majority of the council to willfully misconstrue arguments they can’t counter in good faith. But his critique and Thu Nguyen’s were markedly cogent in comparison to the assumed company line reiterated by most councilors.
King began by pushing back on the claim that the council was obligated to vote this through.
“The reality is the City Council does have discretion,” he said.
His comments were an impressive cross examination of the company line.
“If in fact it’s a done deal ... I would motion to file this. What are we here for?” he said. Adding later: “Here we are the governing body. Our legal obligation is to vote it up or down.”
Thu Nguyen also impressively cross examined Traynor’s bullshit memo and the idea that a vote on this was an “obligation.” Nguyen really hit the nail on the head in the following passage and it sent Batista reeling and fumbling for a good response which never came.
Nguyen: “When does body cams simply become part of their job descriptions and not a tool of negotiation?”
Batista: “That’s a tough question to answer because the body cameras… the unions have the right… because this is changing conditions… to determine and negotiate at any time. This contract not only that we just agreed upon, they also have the right the following year or next year or any year to come back and renegotiate it. I also have the right to come back and renegotiate that contract, depending on, kind of, the situation. These are things that happen.”
Translation: Ummm never! Maybe not never? But also could be forever.
Ding ding ding! Forever! That’s the whole point! The police unions see body cams as a new way to bilk the city in perpetuity. It was never some mystery why the police unions got behind body cameras when the pilot was first rolled out in 2018 and then in 2021 when a full program was launched. Someone—probably Ed Augustus—promised them this extra money. And now Augustus 2.0 is delivering on it.
The costs of this program are outrageous. Batista said it would cost $500,000 a year—pending any further union negotiations of course.
“That’s the people’s money,” King said.
That’s also like 10 teachers, I’d add. Or cost of living increases for a good deal more.
Councilor Etel Haxhiaj’s comments were short—no extensive cross examination—but she really nailed the moral argument.
“I cannot imagine that when community members called for police transparency and justice, beyond body cams, that they envisioned that it would have come with a reward,” she said.
But the cops did get their reward. It was never a question. The past two weeks were merely the process of laundering that reward through something that sort of looks like a democratic process if you don’t squint too hard.
Unfortunately, rewards like this are all too common. Direct payments to police officers for wearing body cameras is not a problem unique to Worcester. Sheriff’s deputies in Saratoga, New York are getting $750 stipends, as decided in March. In the small town of Dalton, Massachusetts, officers are getting stipends equal to 2 percent their base salaries, according to a Berkshire Eagle story from January. Last March, Providence State Police got $3,000 stipends. And then it looks like there was some additional pressure and they ended up getting the stipends whether or not they wore the cameras. It’s free real estate! Back in 2021, cops in Suffolk, New York also got $3,000 stipends.
The earliest example of stipends I could find was New York City, which makes sense given they were a relatively early adopter of body cameras. There, cops were given a 1 percent salary bump among a package of other incentives. I’m sure they’re getting a bit more than that now and to be honest I don’t really care to look. The point is that all of these stipends in every instance are the result of the relevant police union’s ability to negotiate for them. In Worcester as in countless other places, it’s one side demanding the money and the other happily obliging, then turning around and saying there’s nothing to be done to anyone who dares to take issue.
To look at body cameras in the abstract over the decade or so they’ve been around is to see an abject failure of technocratic reform. An Obama-era workaround—a way to confront police violence without going so far as actually confronting the institution of American policing— reduced to yet another cudgel for that institution to siphon public money away from schools and social programs and infrastructure. Taking from the carrot and giving it to the stick. In the name of progress.
And the cherry on top is that body cameras don’t even really do anything. The killings continue. Body cams just make them a more visceral spectacle for the folks at home.
While Senate Republicans have put forward proposals for reform that would expand the use of body cameras, others are questioning whether the technology is really worth it, particularly if cameras don’t stop brutality. “At a moment when we’re cutting school funding, when we’re cutting forms of public health funding in the middle of a pandemic, the idea of spending millions to preserve body cam footage that’s often hidden from the public seems like a real waste to me,” says Cahn.
A real waste. Heaped atop a pile of wastes. The cops get what they want and the costs are absorbed by everyone else.
At the tail end of the meeting Tuesday, Haxhiaj introduced an important item on homeless encampment sweeps to be taken up at the May 9 meeting of the public health subcommittee. It was a petition by Maydee Morales (at-large candidate!) that for some reason I don’t quite understand did not make it onto the agenda. But Haxhiaj read it into the record:
“Request admin issue either a temporary moratorium on encampment sweeps or find a suitable site to properly and safely support individuals living in encampments throughout the city while the city works on a plan to expand shelter beds, temporary housing options and bring permanent supportive housing units online.”
Frustratingly, the mayor tried to stop the petition from going to the next public health meeting citing the Open Meeting Law, but Haxhiaj stood her ground and insisted. After a squabble on process Petty relented and sent it to committee. But if Haxhiaj didn’t hold firm against Petty, it would have been significantly delayed. Because she did, the mayor conceded that the item could fall under an “emergency” caveat in the Open Meeting Law, but he was careful to say he doesn’t personally think it’s an emergency.
“I would consider that I think that some people would think this is an emergency,” he said (emphasis added).
“The reason this feels urgent to me is we have had Community HealthLink close,” Haxhiaj said in response. “We have had Blessed Sacrament... there’s no plans for it. Folks are dying and I simply feel the urgency of this item to go to public health because it is a public health emergency.”
Some people would think people dying is an emergency, Joe, yes.
It’s encouraging this item is going forward but it’ll need a lot of close attention and public support to get over the finish line. As seen in the mayor’s careful distancing of himself from “some people,” it is an uphill battle in this city to merely consider homeless people human beings. Let alone do anything to help them.
Not that we’re alone in that. The dehumanization of the unhoused has been headline news of late. There was the viral subway strangling of Jordan Neely in New York and the subsequent ongoing debate on whether strangling a homeless person is really a crime.
Luke O’Neil over at Welcome to Hell World nailed the overall situation we’re looking at here in his most recent post:
We've been talking a lot in here lately about what I consider to be two of the most pressing issues of this dark and darkening period: hair trigger violence among Americans and the constant drumbeat of propaganda against the homeless and here we are today at the perfect intersection of the two. A fucking nation of vigilantes with a media and politicians and the cruelest social media agitators constantly telling us that the worst off among us are both violent zombies and subhuman vermin.
And it's a Thursday in May and Jordan Neely is dead. Do you feel any safer?
Don’t have anything to add to that.
Welp that’s a good place to leave it for today sorry it wasn’t a cheery way to end it. I’m really proud of this post though. It took a ton of work and agonizing and I hope you enjoyed it or at least took something from it. Please consider a paid subscription and if you already subscribe thank you so much! There’s absolutely no way this post or any of the other ones would exist without the time and creative freedom afforded by the subscribers who graciously support my work.
And check out the Worcester Sucks Power Hour if you haven’t already! Fun show. New episode coming soon!