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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Principals In NYC Leave 1,800 Teaching Jobs Open Rather Than Hire Excessed Teachers

August 29, 2009
Amid Hiring Freeze, Principals Leave Jobs Empty

Less than two weeks before the start of school, about 1,800 teaching jobs in New York City remain open as principals appear to be resisting orders to fill vacancies with teachers whose previous positions were eliminated.

Facing steep budget cuts, the Education Department enacted a hiring freeze in the spring, requiring principals with openings to hire teachers who are already on the city’s payroll but who have no permanent position, often because their schools were closed for poor performance.

But many principals prefer new teachers. So in an act of quiet defiance, they are allowing jobs to sit vacant, leading to one of the most difficult hiring seasons in recent history despite the large number of vacancies and the thousands of candidates who could fill them.

Teachers who lost their old posts are frustrated about the scarcity of job offers. New teachers who cannot get hired are furious after upending their lives to begin careers they must now delay. And principals are upset that after years of choosing their work force, their options are being drastically limited.

“The picture out there is not pretty,” said Jemina R. Bernard, who directs the New York office of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in low-performing schools. Fewer than half of the recruits this year have landed jobs in city schools; by this time last year, 90 percent had.

The openings represent about 2 percent of the city’s teaching payroll, and officials expect that some will be filled before Sept. 9, the first day of school. But a number of schools may end up with larger classes or have to temporarily stop offering a subject.

For years, a teacher whose job was eliminated because of declining enrollment, budget cuts or school closings had the right to “bump” a teacher with less seniority out of a job at another school. But in 2005 the city and the teachers’ union agreed to give principals the right to choose whom to hire.

As Chancellor Joel I. Klein moved aggressively to close poor-performing schools, more teachers found their positions eliminated. And principals tended to hire younger, newer teachers because they were cheaper and did not carry the stigma of having come from a failing school.

So many of the older teachers, who were guaranteed full salaries and benefits, wound up in the so-called absent teacher reserve pool, usually working as substitutes. There are now 1,983 teachers in the pool, earning more than $200 million a year in pay and benefits.

Mr. Klein has suggested that those who do not find jobs quickly are undesirable, or that they have stopped looking. But now the chancellor, who has given more autonomy to school leaders and encouraged the recruitment of new teachers from nontraditional backgrounds, is trying to coax principals to hire from within.

“The economics are that you have to do this,” Mr. Klein said. “But I think everybody, starting with me, knows that this is not the ideal in any way, shape or form.”

With the teachers’ contract up for renewal this fall, Mr. Klein said he would push for a limit on how long teachers could stay in the reserve pool before they could be laid off. But an arbitration board has rejected such a limit.

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the teachers’ union, the United Federation of Teachers, said that the Education Department had not made a great enough effort to place teachers and that Mr. Klein had unfairly maligned them, making it even harder for them to find jobs. And, Mr. Mulgrew said, principals are reluctant to take on their higher salaries.

About a third of the nearly 2,000 teachers who lost their posts in June have found a job this summer. Some new teachers have landed jobs in specialized areas, like special education and the sciences, in which Mr. Klein has made an exception to the hiring freeze.

But more than 300 teachers have been in the pool for more than a year, and about 150 for more than two years. To entice principals to hire teachers who have been in the pool the longest, Mr. Klein has offered to pay part of their salaries from his central budget for up to eight years.

Several principals — who did not want their names published for fear of angering the administration or the teachers’ union — said they were circumventing the restrictions by offering new teachers jobs as long-term substitutes or hiring them as specialized teachers but placing them in regular classrooms. Some said they planned to eliminate open positions from their budgets rather than take on teachers they considered undesirable, and others said they were holding out in the hope that Mr. Klein would lift the restrictions.

Valerie Hamilton-Roux, 45, who was a reading specialist at Public School 201 in Harlem until it was closed last year, said she had been little more than a “glorified sub” since then. In the last several months, she has attended job fairs and sent out more than a hundred résumés to schools, she said.

“I want to work and be useful, not just a placeholder,” she said. “Whether I don’t say what the principals want to hear or whether they’re skeptical because I haven’t been in the classroom for a year, I don’t know. It’s getting harder to not have sleepless nights.”

Krystel Martinez, 27, also cannot find work. She left a job at Sony Music to enter the Teaching Fellows program, which recruits people without classroom experience to teach while earning a master’s degree in education.

“Why did they go ahead and bring us if there were no jobs for us to have?” Ms. Martinez said. “Some people are losing motivation, but we’re all concerned about having a roof over our heads.”

During a job fair on Wednesday in a clubhouse bar at the Mets’ stadium, Citi Field, principals sat behind small cocktail tables, with lines of job seekers snaking through the hall. Hundreds of candidates stood in line for a chance at one of two jobs at East Bronx Academy for the Future. The principal, Sarah Scrogin, said she had received very few applications from teachers who had been in the reserve pool for an extended time. And like others, she found several candidates whom she would be happy to hire but cannot because of the freeze.

“This should be a time when we are really picky,” Ms. Scrogin said. “The last thing you want to do is bring somebody on who you will regret later.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

New York Governor David Paterson did not have the legal authority to appoint Richard Ravitch (or anyone, for that matter), as lieutenant governor in July, 2009:

Court says Ravitch appointment unlawful
CRAIN's NY, August 20, 2009 - 3:46 pm

(AP) - An appeals court has ruled that New York Gov. David Paterson's appointment of a lieutenant governor was unlawful, upholding a constitutional challenge brought by the state Senate's minority leader.

A Brooklyn-based appellate panel said in an opinion Thursday that no state law or constitutional provision allows the lieutenant governor's post to be filled by anything but an election.

The Democratic governor tapped longtime government adviser Richard Ravitch for the post on July 8 to break up a Senate leadership logjam and said state law allowed the appointment. Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said the state constitution did not.

New York Appellate Court Says Paterson Can’t Appoint Ravitch
By Henry Goldman,

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- New York Governor David Paterson didn’t have legal authority to appoint a lieutenant governor last month, a state Appellate Court ruled.

A four-judge panel of the Second Judicial Department Appellate Division in Brooklyn unanimously affirmed a Nassau Country Supreme Court trial judge’s preliminary injunction barring Paterson appointee Richard Ravitch from taking office.

A state statute authorizing the governor to fill vacant elected positions “cannot be constitutionally applied with respect to a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor,” the court held.

The justices ruled that Republican Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos, of Rockville Centre, Long Island, had legal standing when he sued to block Paterson’s July 8 appointment of Ravitch. They remanded the case to Supreme Court Judge William LaMarca, who granted the July 22 preliminary injunction prohibiting Ravitch from exercising any powers of the office.

“Because we recognize that this matter is one of great public import and ought to be resolved finally and expeditiously by the Court of Appeals, we dispense with the need for the governor to move for leave to appeal,” the justices wrote in an opinion signed by all.

No Lieutenant

The state has lacked a lieutenant governor, who serves as Senate president empowered to break tie votes, since March 2008 when Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal and Paterson, a Democrat, became governor.

Paterson appointed Ravitch, a real estate developer and former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in July to help break a month-long 31-31 deadlock that blocked the Senate from enacting legislation.

In the absence of a lieutenant governor, Democratic Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm Smith of Queens is next in line to become governor. He has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Paterson’s position.

Skelos and Democratic Majority Leader Pedro Espada of the Bronx, who bolted from his party on June 8 to create the partisan stalemate, challenged the appointment. Espada, who returned to the Democrats’ caucus July 9, a day after Ravitch’s appointment, and became majority leader, removed himself from participating in the lawsuit earlier this week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York City Hall, at
Last Updated: August 20, 2009 15:54 EDT

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ARTICLE 195: Official Misconduct and Obstruction of Public Servants

If you are subjected to any actions of a State employee that are outside of their duties and responsibilities and are harmful - as in harming someone, taking money, obstructing justice, tampering with witnesses (or whistleblowers) - then read the law below.

New York State Law


GENERALLY Section 195.00 Official misconduct.
195.05 Obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.
195.06 Killing or injuring a police animal.
195.07 Obstructing governmental administration in the first degree.
195.08 Obstructing governmental administration by means of a
self-defense spray device.
195.10 Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer.
195.11 Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability
in the second degree.
195.12 Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability
in the first degree.
195.15 Obstructing firefighting operations.
195.16 Obstructing emergency medical services.
195.20 Defrauding the government.

S 195.00 Official misconduct.
A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with intent to obtain a benefit or deprive another person of a benefit:
1. He commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized; or
2. He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office.
Official misconduct is a class A misdemeanor.

S 195.05 Obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.
A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any independently unlawful act, or by means of interfering, whether or not physical force is involved, with radio, telephone, television or other telecommunications systems owned or operated by the state, or a county, city, town, village, fire district or emergency medical service or by means of releasing a dangerous animal under circumstances evincing the actor`s intent that the animal obstruct governmental administration.
Obstructing governmental administration is a class A misdemeanor.

S 195.06 Killing or injuring a police animal.
A person is guilty of killing or injuring a police animal when such person intentionally kills or injures any animal while such animal is in the performance of its duties and under the supervision of a police or peace officer.
Killing or injuring a police animal is a class A misdemeanor.

S 195.07 Obstructing governmental administration in the first degree.
A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration in the first degree when he commits the crime of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree by means of interfering with a telecommunications system thereby causing serious physical injury to another person.
Obstructing governmental administration in the first degree is a class E felony.

S 195.08 Obstructing governmental administration by means of a
self-defense spray device
A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device when, with the intent to prevent a police officer or peace officer from performing a lawful duty, he causes temporary physical impairment to a police officer or peace officer by intentionally discharging a self-defense spray device, as defined in paragraph fourteen of subdivision a of section 265.20 of this chapter, thereby causing such temporary physical impairment.
Obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device is a class D felony.

S 195.10 Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer.
A person is guilty of refusing to aid a peace or a police officer when, upon command by a peace or a police officer identifiable or identified to him as such, he unreasonably fails or refuses to aid such peace or a police officer in effecting an arrest, or in preventing the commission by another person of any offense.
Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer is a class B misdemeanor.

S 195.11 Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability in
the second degree
A person is guilty of harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability in the second degree when such person intentionally causes physical injury to such animal while it is in the performance of aiding a person with a disability, and thereby renders such animal incapable of providing such aid to such person, or to another person with a disability.
For purposes of this section and section 195.12 of this article, the term "disability" means "disability" as defined in subdivision twenty-one of section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.
Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor.

S 195.12 Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability in
the first degree
A person is guilty of harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability in the first degree when such person:
1. intentionally causes physical injury to such animal while it is in the performance of aiding a person with a disability, and thereby renders such animal permanently incapable of providing such aid to such person, or to another person with a disability; or
2. intentionally kills such animal while it is in the performance of aiding a person with a disability.
Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.

S 195.15 Obstructing firefighting operations.
A person is guilty of obstructing firefighting operations when he intentionally and unreasonably obstructs the efforts of any:
1. fireman in extinguishing a fire, or prevents or dissuades another from extinguishing or helping to extinguish a fire; or
2. fireman, police officer or peace officer in performing his duties in circumstances involving an imminent danger created by an explosion, threat of explosion or the presence of toxic fumes or gases.
Obstructing firefighting operations is a class A misdemeanor.

S 195.16 Obstructing emergency medical services.
A person is guilty of obstructing emergency medical services when he or she intentionally and unreasonably obstructs the efforts of any service, technician, personnel, system or unit specified in section three thousand one of the public health law in the performance of their duties.
Obstructing emergency medical services is a class A misdemeanor.

S 195.20 Defrauding the government.
A person is guilty of defrauding the government when, being a public servant or party officer, he:
(a) engages in a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud the state or a political subdivision of the state or a governmental instrumentality within the state or to obtain property from the state or a political subdivision of the state or a governmental instrumentality within the state by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises and
(b) so obtains property with a value in excess of one thousand dollars from such state, political subdivision or governmental instrumentality.
Defrauding the government is a class E felony.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Event: Fed Up New Yorkers Meeting


The next Fed Up New Yorkers Meeting will be on Thursday, August 19 from 6-7:30 p.m. Please spread the word. Seating will be limited. We have a meeting room (212) at the LGBT Community Center, where we had our last meeting.

Fed Up New Yorkers Strategy Meeting
Where: LGBT Community Center
208 W. 13th St (13th St and 7th Ave)
Room 212
Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

On the agenda: The FUNY Newspaper (Press, Funding, Content and Distribution); Future Events; things we may need to do before the primary and after the primary; Ideas for Fundraising; Community Outreach; other issues members would like to discuss.

Fed Up New Yorkers now has a Web site:

The paper and coalition has been getting a lot of good press lately.

At this point, the site has pdf copies of the newspaper and online versions of each of the articles. There is also a calendar of events. If there are any events coalition members would like me to include (press conferences, meetings, demonstrations, etc.), please send me the information in an e-mail and I'll enter it into the calendar.

Also, I still have a few bundles of the second issue of Fed Up New Yorkers at my apartment, so if anyone can pick up a bundle, please let me know.

Thanks so much. I hope to see you next week.

Mike Dang

Fed Up New Yorkers Hit the Streets
posted by Mary Alice Miller, Sat, 08/01/2009 - 9:24pm

Not the two-legged kind. “Fed Up New Yorkers” is a new tabloid that boldly states its mission: “Because No Third Term Means No Third Term!”

The inaugural issue of FUNY became a collectors item overnight, if only for the cover illustration: full color depiction of a smirking King Bloomberg (Mayor for Life) perched on his throne, Quinn peeking from behind him, with loyal lowly serfs - the NY Times, real estate developers, NYU president, NY civic groups, the Republican and Independent Parties - bowed at his feet, greedy hands reaching for treasure chests full of tax breaks, the Bloomberg Foundation, and campaign cash. The illustration is a classic, suitable for framing.

FUNY's articles are compelling reading. One article takes civil rights gay activists to task for supporting the “anti-gay” Mayor. Another calls Bloomberg's New York a “millionaires playground” at the expense of everyone else. Yet another takes a critical look at charter schools. Editorial cartoons graphically make their point.

Publisher Neil Fabricant said, "We decided to publish Fed Up New Yorkers because that's what we are: Fed Up New Yorkers. The mainstream media and Bloomberg's massive propaganda campaign is fostering the impression that his candidacy is a sure thing, and people should either get on board or not bother to vote. Our impression from talking with real New Yorkers is just the opposite. We had to go beyond the blogs to get the news out that the people who have voted twice against a third time aren't going to stand for it."

(The first edition of FDNY featured articles from some of the city's popular blogs.)

FUNY promises to publish regularly until November's general election.

Issue #1 disappeared into New Yorker's hands as soon as it was published last week. If you did not get your copy of the first issue of FDNY, see the attached pdf.

Or look for it on Ebay.

Queens Crap

You're A Disgrace

Friday, August 14, 2009

Public Outrage Grows Against Mayoral Control of Public Schools

In the article below, focus on the following words:

"closed-door session"; "without the proposed amendments that the New York State Senate added to that bill"; "The four amendments—which still have to be debated and voted on in the Assembly—would create a parent training center, an arts advisory committee, the expansion of superintendents’ roles and required public meetings on school safety."

If the reporters of this article are correct, Governor Paterson signed into "law" a bill that has provisions not debated on by the Assembly or the Senate, and thus not voted in by the full two houses of our State government. So, how could he sign this paper and how could it be legally valid? I'm not an attorney, so maybe an attorney would like to post a comment.

I dont know what powers, duties, or responsibilities the Mayor and the New York City Board of Education have now that Paterson has gone ahead and put his signature on a document that has not been voted in by the New York State House or Senate. It is obvious that the Bloomberg/Klein regime will continue to do whatever they want whenever they want.

Let's remember that Paterson was not voted in, but slid into his current position when former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign because of his solicitation and transportation of a prostitute across state lines.

David Paterson is in political trouble right now, as in whether or not he can get elected to his current position or any position, in the future. 

Whatever the answer to that question is, the fight against the "I don't care what the public says, I'm going to do what I want" public service by public employees has to stop or be stopped. We the people need to get out from under the winds of whim, where politicians can change lives without caring about the consequences.

Put an end to Mayoral control, people!!.

Betsy Combier


Sen. Perkins and advocates decry mayoral control of schools
Special to AmNews
Amsterdam News Editor
Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009 12:55 PM EDT

“The mayor’s victory is our children’s loss,” said State Sen. Bill Perkins, (pictured below) who voted against the mayoral control bill twice in the Senate.

“Mayoral control, unfortunately, was renewed when Governor Paterson signed the bill into law on Tuesday, but the so-called amendments were not included. This underscores how in this point in time the parents are still left out; the policing in our public schools will continue to the dismay of parents and educators. Art education and cultural education will continue to not be included and there will not be the type of transparency and accountability that parents demanded and demonstrated on the steps of City Hall for.”

After a stalemate in the New York State Senate over a power struggle and then a deadlock over a vote to extend the Assembly’s version of mayoral control, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has gotten what he wanted and succeeded in getting a large number of legislators to agree with his vision for 1.1 million New York City School students. Mayoral control is back until 2015.

In a closed-door session, at 10:30 on Tuesday morning, Gov. David Paterson signed the 2002 state law that the Assembly overwhelming passed in June—without the proposed amendments that the New York State Senate added to that bill. The four amendments—which still have to be debated and voted on in the Assembly—would create a parent training center, an arts advisory committee, the expansion of superintendents’ roles and required public meetings on school safety.

The bill that the governor signed is very similar to the original version of the 2002 law, except for a few changes that were added to address some concerns people expressed over the mayor’s governance power.

In a released statement, Gov. Paterson said, “It gives me great pleasure today to sign into law an agreement that will secure the future of New York City’s school governance and allow 1.1 million schoolchildren and their families to breathe a sigh of relief. The agreement continues the progress made under Mayor Bloomberg over the last several years, while adding new layers of cohesion, stability and parental involvement. This is great news for all of the students returning to school next month, as they will continue to receive the support they need both inside and outside of the classroom.”

A representative from Paterson’s office could not be reached for additional comments at press time. Out of his eight appointments to the 13-member Panel for Educational Policy, the mayor will now have to name two public school parents, as determined by the bill the governor signed. The mayor will have to hold public meetings and notify parents and the community before the closing of schools; the panel will review no-bid contracts and an independent budget office will have the authority to review data on the performance of students.

News of the governor’s act was expected by many, but disappointing to others. “I am disappointed,” said Jitu Weusi, a long-time educator and member of The Coalition for Public Education. “We hoped that the governor would at least have had a public hearing before signing the bill. It was disappointing that it was not a more democratic process.” But, Weusi said, he knew that the governor was under a lot of pressure by certain forces. “That pressure would make you do a lot of things,” he said.

“We, The Coalition for Public Education, will continue to develop and build a pressure group to end mayoral control at the earliest possible date,” he added.

Sam Anderson, also a member of The Coalition for Public Education, said, “Governor Paterson is part of the problem; it’s official now.” Paterson, Barack Obama and a host of others have fallen for mayoral control of our school system, which is mainly for predominantly Black and Latino people, said Anderson. The governor “has aligned himself up with the right wing of the Democratic party.”

Anderson continued to say that the Coalition for Public Education has now got to be a “formidable” force for more parental and student involvement to mobilize and provide the basic services needed, such as a grievance procedure that will resolve issues for parents in the schools. Anderson said they must now work “school by school, district by district ”to create mechanisms to develop and retain Black and Latino teachers, while continuing to create meaningful change.

Ironically, on Monday, there was a press conference sponsored by The Coalition for Public Education, along with other advocacy and political groups in attendance such as Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence; Independent Coalition on Public Education; New York Coalition for Neighborhood School Control; and the December 12th Movement that gathered to show their resistance to mayoral control, which they view as an autocratic dictatorship that has no place in a democratic system.

A furious City Councilman Charles Barron fumed, “The people must hold the governor and Senate and assemblymen accountable for mis-education of our children. The mayor been a failure, and it is very disappointing that they can’t see that this mayor, who we’ve invested $130 billion in to educate our children, has failed miserably. And for them to give one person this dictatorial control is incorrigible.”

Barron continued, “We must hold them responsible for endangering our future by putting the responsibility of educating Black and Latino children in the hands of two unqualified individuals such as Bloomberg and Klein.

“Parents have no power; the people have no power. The power was instead kept in the hands of those who are unqualified and uninterested in educating Black and Latino children, in particular, and all children in general. We hope our people have long memories come the election regarding who it was who sold our children out.”

Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott were even spotted entering City Hall while the press conference was taking place. The assembly of organizers and activists booed and chanted “no mayoral control” along with “dictator” at the men as they walked by.

The same day that the press conference was taking place, Mayor Bloomberg introduced a proposal to end social promotion in public schools for grades 3–8.

Previously, the mayor instituted the policy for grades 3, 5, 7 and 8, but now has added two more grade levels, saying that the new policy to end social promotion was a step in the right direction for students.

The Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) has to approve that measure. The mayor’s policy on social promotion made headlines when he first promoted the educational reform.

Bloomberg fired members on the panel who had disagreed with him on the issue. This issue of mayoral control and term limits even received the attention of the federal government when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who is an open advocate for mayoral control and charter schools, sent a letter to an influential educational advocacy group to influence the group to stop fighting for term limits for members of PEP. Even President Obama has made known his admiration for “innovative” practices regarding public education, which includes “schools of choice” that are run independently but receive public money.

Many have expressed their concern for some of the educational initiatives that are being proposed in this season of educational reform, such as paying or firing teachers based on performance and student achievement, and closing down schools that do not make the grade.

All this comes at time when more states with heavy urban populations are transitioning to a mayor-controlled public education system.

Mayoral control is predicated on the premise that the public educational system has failed far too many students, mainly students of color, who are disproportionately affected by high dropout rates and low testing scores and who, many proponents of these educational reforms say, are being left behind in the competitive work force, especially against other students in different countries, along with their European counterparts.

But many opposition groups to mayoral control have asked what will happen when another mayor comes along who is not as vested in public education as their predecessor? Others assert that mayoral control is not about the students, but about politics.

While the Bloomberg administration has said that the achievement gap is closing, graduation rates are climbing and test scores are up since 2002,studies are continuously being revealed that show the measurements the administration are using may not be fully accurate. And others have said that public education is now too focused on showing these “measurable” stats of improvement over the quality of the education that students are exposed to, in addition to making the test easy to pass in the process. They charge that schools have become “testing mills.”

At the press conference on Monday against mayoral control, Weusi read from a paper in front of the podium that stated, “Under dictatorial powers of the mayor—police rule in the schools; criminalization of children; continuation of the classroom to prison pipeline; excessive high stakes testing; crowded classrooms; harassment of veteran teachers; the notorious ‘rubber room’; reckless and excessive spending of public money; using charter schools as a means to privatize public schools creating a three-tier public school system; no discussion, no debate, no democratic tradition; no libraries with books; no science and computer labs in all schools; charters in minority neighborhoods with all-white staffs; no independent parent organization of training establishment of an independent commission to evaluate education; no educational leader of NYC public schools—for all these reasons and more, we say NO to mayoral control.”

Perkins concluded, “We want the people to understand this loss is not the end of the movement to empower our parents and bring transparency and accountability to our schools, bring back art and culture to the curriculum and curb the excessive policing in our schools. The organizing will continue because they are angrier than ever.

“Until our children get the type of education they are entitled to without the fudging of the numbers and the procurement practices and the Bloomberg buddy system are brought to light, the organizing will continue,” said Perkins. “Obviously, the answer is a new mayor who will listen to and bring about the changes that the parents have continued to demand. For parents, this is the most important issue in this upcoming election.”

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Campaign to Dump Christine Quinn Gathers Momentum

From Betsy Combier: The following is presented by me from the "Dump NY City Council member Christine Quinn" crowd as a public service.

Oh - by the way, the debate was only for a select few:
Media and Public Shut out of Election Debate at NYU -- Outrageous !!


Dear Neighbors, Activists and Voters:

On August 13, the three Democratic candidates running for the City Council seat in District 3 are debating the issues at NYU that is sponsored by several downtown newspapers. The candidates are Yetta Kurland, Maria Derr and Christine Quinn.

A loose coalition of people committed to the defeat of Christine Quinn (including myself, Donny Moss, John Phillips, supporters of Hudson Rise, the League of Humane Voters and others) are holding a demo against Christine Quinn outside of the building before the debate starts.

One of the many reasons to hold a demo is to trigger the press to report on both the movement to unseat Christine Quinn and the reasons why New Yorkers want to see her go.

Debate Details:
CD 3 candidates will debate: Yetta Kurland, Maria Passanante-Derr and the incumbent, Christine Quinn.

New York University
19 West 4th St (between Mercer and Greene Streets) Room 101
7:00 - 8:30

Arrive by 5pm to get in line for a seat.
Bring a photo idea.

The Democratic primary is only five weeks away, and we must be in the streets now educating voters about why not to vote for Christine Quinn.


Thank you!

Rosemary Kuropat



To those who received the Quinn demo announcement,

This "action" is being planned by two individuals, not the group of
activists that came together a few months back to fight Quinn's
re-election. Some of their planned activities (disruptions that are
not mentioned in the email) could easily help Quinn and hurt the
challengers (of the two challengers, Yetta Kurland appears to have a
real chance to defeat Quinn).

In twenty years of involvement in political campaigns I have seen a
number of instances where rogue operators, who cross the line,
actually hurt the candidate they are purporting to help.

We remain committed -- as much as ever -- to defeat Quinn. But we do
not condone this action and we are not part of it. It was planned
without our knowledge. None on the groups of which I am affiliated
with are supporting this action.

John Fisher

07 August 2009

Here's an example of our esteemed City Councilmember -- and Speaker, don't forget! -- at work:

There are 59 Sanitation Districts in New York City (12 in Manhattan, referred to as MN1 to MN12), and there are 51 City Council Districts. That means that "Fair Share" should be 1 (or maybe 2, for a particularly large district). But anything more than that does not rise to the definition of "fair share."

Have a look at the maps to the left: The smaller map represents Quinn's district: mostly, the West Side, from Canal Street to 54th Street. Within her district are part or all of 3 sanitation districts: about half of MN2, MN4 & MN5.

Get this! There are facilities that serve 6 -- yes, that's right, SIX -- garbage facilities in Quinn's council district. Now how's that for bringing home the bacon?! The only problem is, of course, that the bacon she's bringing home to her district is left-over from this morning's breakfast.

Then there's an even more scorching fact: most of them are in Hudson Square and Chelsea, the latter supposedly being her home base, her source of power, the power in her pumps. What's even more despicable is the way that Quinn works so hard to keep Community Board 2 (Hudson Square) and CB 4 (Chelsea) at each other's throats: by suggesting that one of us simply wants to dump on the other.

Remember Robert Trentlyon? During the City Council hearings on the 3-district Sanitation facility that Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, Dan Klein from the Department of Sanitation and -- yes, you guessed the Third Mouseketeer! -- Christine Quinn wants to ram down the neighborhood's collective throats, old (really old) Bob just couldn't say enough bad things about CB 2 -- he even had the audacity to say that we didn't really need any more park space (mind you, CB 2 has the second lowest green space to resident ratio in the City)! At the time, this really angered me.

But now that I've been around the divisive politics of Christine Quinn, I understand that he's a puppet! Reports are that Dan Klein from DSNY, with Quinn's "blessing" (a thought that runs chills up my spine, mind you), has met with CB 4 members to tell them that "the community" (meaning, the people opposing this obscenely expensive facility) is trying to foist the third district (that would be MN5) onto them! Of course, the truth is that we have presented dozens of options that are in or very near to MN5. Dan Klein, however, has nixed them all! The only option that remains viable is on 51st Street, in a lot that the owner would like to sell.

Yes, 51st Street is in MN4 - by three blocks. But moving the MN5 facility there would save 4,200 truck miles per year!

Don't think that matters? INFORM, the national environmental research organization, states that diesel garbage trucks get the lowest fuel efficiency of any vehicle on the road: 2.8 miles per gallon.

Diesel garbage trucks are a major source of air pollution, including smog-forming compounds, particulate matter, and toxic chemical constituents. Heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles, including garbage trucks, make up only 7 percent of vehicles on the road, but they contribute 69 percent of on-road fine particulate pollution and 40 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions.

And diesel garbage trucks are notoriously loud, generating noise levels of up to 100 decibels, which can cause serious hearing damage.

So, by not driving those 4,200 miles each year, the City will save $11,000 anually in fuel costs (at current diesel prices) and more important, will improve the quality of the air breathed by the people who live in MN 2, where the trucks would have been based, in MN4, because the trucks will drive through that neighborhood to get to MN5, and yes, in MN5, whose garbage is being hauled.

The real injustice is that MN5 doesn't have to host its own facility (not to mention MN1, our friends below Canal Street)...and that's what CB2 and CB4 should join together to protest. But instead, we are being divided by people like Quinn and Klein and Skyler, who are more interested in the politics and in keeping their own jobs.

Slush funds and secret kitties: The Quinnberg Saga

With the recent revelation that the Mayor's Office has its own secret kitty for "discretionary disbursements" (not legal ones, mind you), we know that Quinn's Slush Funds were just part of a pattern of secret kitties in City Hall on both sides, and that better explains why we haven't seen any reports from either the federal or the City "investigation" into Speaker Quinn's misdeeds. Mike has to do something to keep the Quinnster quiet while he piles yesterday's trash all over her district.

Man, this whole thing stinks...and that's why the Quinnster Must Go.
Posted by Chronicler at 1:56 PM

Friday, August 7, 2009

NY City Council Gives Raises To Staff

I dont really have to comment on the news below, as we all know that the taxpayers of New York are suffering right now, and many are losing their jobs.

It simply is not good politics to raise the salaries of taxpayer-funded staff of City Council members - many of whom are under a cloud.

The cloud: voting for a third term without a referendum of the public, who voted twice in favor of term limits.

Dont forget that any City Council member that can win a third term gets free publicly-funded healthcare for the rest of his/her life.

Thus, dear readers, take a look at the report done by City Council members on the health care crisis, which does not affect the City Council members (they will all be able to get the care they need whenever they need it). More below:

Are we paying for corruption?

Betsy Combier

By SALLY GOLDENBERG, August 7, 2009 --

The City Council followed in lock-step with Mayor Bloomberg yesterday, announcing an 8 percent raise for staff members that will cost the city about $3.9 million.

The raises match those the mayor awarded to his managers and nonunion staff last month, following a contract deal with the city's largest municipal union, District Council 37.

The council increases will go to 550 staffers, but not to the members themselves. They earn base salaries of $112,500, and a hike would require legislation.

Primary Care in New York City

Health care - rather than sick care - requires preventive and primaryservices. With more than half of New York City communities facingsignificant shortages of primary care physicians who serve low-incomeNew Yorkers, those New Yorkers disproportionately rely on emergency roomservices for health care. Furthermore, 32% of the primary carephysicians who serve low-income New Yorkers base their practices in hospitals.

Faced with the hospital closures proposed in the Berger Commission report, many New Yorkers - especially those with low incomes- will lose a major source of primary care and will face increasedbarriers to accessing health care.Populations served by health centers show lower rates of costly healthconditions and lower rates of preventable hospitalizations when comparedto those who do not live within close proximity to a health center.

Uninsured people living close to a community health center are lesslikely to postpone or delay seeking needed care, and less likely to havevisited an emergency room, compared to other uninsured persons.The City's role should be to expand the primary health careinfrastructure for our residents to access preventive medicine.

Currently, about 62% of New York City zip codes have an inadequatenumber of primary care physicians. A ratio that represents adequateaccess is fewer than 2000 Medicaid enrollees per 1 full time equivalent(FTE) primary care physician, but more than 40% of New York City zip codes have more than 3000 Medicaid enrollees per 1 FTE.

Important Resources

Download a copy of the Concept Paper
View the press release about the Initiative.
See pictures from the press conference on the initiative.

Targeting High-need Areas

New York City's diverse communities suffer from disturbing health disparities. Poor New Yorkers are 4 times more likely to self-report poor health than are wealthy New Yorkers and life expectancy in the City's poorest neighborhoods is significantly shorter than in wealthy areas. Residents of poor communities have consistently worse health outcomes than their neighbors in wealthier areas. This trend isespecially apparent in the treatment of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma that can best be managed in primary care settings. These communities are also, not surprisingly, the same areas that have ashortage of primary care physicians (and often a shortage of other health care providers as well). Eleven communities have been targeted by the initiative for expansion of services: south Bronx, central Bronx,north Brooklyn, central Brooklyn, Flatbush, east and central Harlem, theLower East Side, West Queens/ LIC/Astoria, Jamaica/Southeast Queens,Rockaway, and Port Richmond/Stapleton/St. George.

The Primary Care Initiative

To address primary health care shortages effectively, the City Council proposes an expansion of primary care capacity in the communities with the most severe primary care shortages. Through fiscal year 2012, the Council proposes to support state-of-the-art health care facilities in the communities with the most severe primary health care shortages. This initiative will expand existing health clinics, support the development of satellite clinics and build new health care facilities. Grants will be provided directly to clinics to build and improve infrastructure and to off set start-up operating costs.

The initiative consists of three parts:
* Community assessments were concluded this year (see report)
* The New York City Council, with the help of HHC, DOHMH and our working group completed these community assessments. This working group included advocates, providers and community organizations and experts in the field. The Council would like to specifically thank Alianza Dominicana, Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Caribbean Women's Health Association, Commission on the Public's Health System, Community Healthcare Network, Community Health Care Association of NY, Community Service Society of New York - NYC Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program, Hunter College, Institute for Urban Family Health, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY, Lehman College, Make the Road New York, New York City Council, Policy Division and Health Committee, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York City Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, New York Immigration Coalition, Primary Care Development Corporation, Project Hospitality, Ryan/Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center, The Bronx Health Link, Urban Health Plan and William F. Ryan Community Health Center.

* Capital grants will be made to successful applicants during fiscal years 2009-2012.
* Expense grants will be made to successful applicants during fiscal years 2009-2012.

Providers that benefit from these grants will accept public health insurance, offer affordable services to the uninsured, endeavor toprovide culturally competent care, and operate at hours that areconvenient for patients. Beneficiaries will also be required to trackspecific data on health services provided.

What's next?

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a concept paper forpublic comment which will help target funding awarded through theRequest for Proposals later this year. Come to a public forum in your borough to hear more and offer your comments.