A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
Well, we got to know a little bit about Zephyr Teachout, who was supposedly the chosen candidate of the Working Families Party. But in the last 48 hours, it became clear that Governor Cuomo wasn't going to let that party line slip away from him. It is impossible to know what promises were made, whose arms were twisted, what deals were struck, but Governor Cuomo got the endorsement of the WFP tonight.
Lest we forget, this is the Governor who made a deal with the hedge fund crowd to assure that New York City could not charge rent to charter schools; that the city could not reject any of the co-locations hurriedly approved by Mayor Bloomberg's lame-duck school board last October; that the city would be required to pay the rent of charter schools that rented private space; and that co-located charter schools could expand at will. Lest we forget, this is the Governor that insisted on a 2% tax cap for school districts, which can be lifted only with a supermajority of a 60% approval vote. Lest we forget, this is the Governor who insisted that test scores had to count for much more as part of every educators' evaluation. This is a Governor of a state with highly inequitable funding. This is a Governor who loves charter schools, corporate tax breaks, and high-stakes testing. He is not a friend of public schools.
Here is the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, GOVERNOR CUOMO, MAYOR DE BLASIO, ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHNEIDERMAN, COMPTROLLER DINAPOLI, AND NEW YORK'S MAJOR UNIONS ANNOUNCE HISTORIC COALITION TO SECURE DEMOCRAT-WORKING FAMILIES MAJORITY IN STATE SENATE, DELIVER KEY PROGRESSIVE VICTORIES
Contact: Khan Shoieb, New York Communications Director,347 596-6389
NEW YORK, NY - On Saturday, May 31st, at the Working Families Party Convention, the Working Families Party, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Schneiderman, Comptroller DiNapoli, and 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, CWA District One, UFT, HTC, UAW Region 9A, UFCW Local 1500, RWDSU, MTDC, and the Teamsters announced a unified, unprecedented coalition to secure a Democrat-Working Families majority in the New York State Senate and deliver progressive victories on a number of key priorities in the early months of the next legislative session. The legislative commitments include a robust, statewide system of public financing of elections, funding 200 community schools, a commitment to fix the school funding formula to invest more money in high-need schools, the DREAM Act, the Women's Equality Act, decriminalization of marijuana, and raising the minimum wage to $10.10 while indexing it to inflation and allowing localities to raise it up to 30% higher than the state minimum wage.
Mayor Bill de Blasio:
I was there at the beginning of the Working Families Party. And I’m proud to be with you today.
From the beginning, the Working Families Party has been the party that has stood up an economy that works for everyone and a democracy in which every voice was heard.
Tonight, that has happened again, because of the WFP, an unprecedented coalition is now committed to making a progressive vision for New York a reality.
Bill Lipton, New York State Director, Working Families Party:
The WFP stuck to its values. Tonight was about fighting to give New Yorkers a better job, a stronger school, and a government that actually hears their voice.Tomorrow, New Yorkers will be closer than ever before to seeing a real wage increase. They will be closer to having justice for immigrants, women, and young people of color. They will be closer to having a government that works for them, not just the wealthy and well-connected. And that's where a real commitment to progressive principles can get you.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:
Our coalition has never been stronger and our team has never been better. The Governor, the Comptroller and I are committed to transforming the state senate and then following through to transform the great state of New York.
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli:
I am proud to stand with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the Working Families Party and New York's labor community in the fight for New York's progressive future. Together, we are restoring New York's reputation as the state that leads the nation in the fight to end income inequality and stands strong for working and middle class families.
George Gresham, President 1199SEIU:
1199 SEIU’s 250,000 New York members are proud to stand together with our leaders to support a strong Democratic majority for the New York State Senate. Together with Governor Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio, labor and the Working Families Party we will deliver a progressive future for New York’s families.
Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU:
We are proud to stand with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and the Working Families Party today and show what's possible when progressives, unions and elected officials put the interest of working families first. We are committed to mobilizing our members statewide to take back the state Senate and ensure the passage of legislation that will raise wages, provide educational opportunity for all, including immigrants, and improve the lives of working people throughout New York.
Chris Shelton, Vice President, CWA District One:
For decades, CWA has fought against an entrenched Senate majority opposed to the progressive, pro-labor policies working people need. Now, standing united with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and all labor unions and the Working Families Party, we are in a position to win reforms we've fought for all these many years, including public financing of elections, the DREAM Act, a minimum wage increase tied to an index, the right for localities to raise their own wages, greater educational justice, marijuana decriminalization, and [anything i don't know about]. It's quite a list, and finally within reach. We urge the Working Families Party to support Governor Cuomo for re-election to achieve the progressive victories this state needs
UFT President Michael Mulgrew:
We look forward to working with the state's leaders and a Democratic majority in the State Senate to bring real innovation to our schools, and to stop the privatization and "corporatization" that have done so much harm to our children's education.
Peter Ward, President of the Hotels Trades Council:
We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio and all New York Democrats in electing a unified Democratic government that fights for working people and progressive values.
Julie Kushner, Director, UAW Region 9A:
Today is an historic moment, creating a grand coalition thathas the potential to bring real change to the hard working people of New York. I am proud to stand today withMayor deBlasio and Governor Cuomo in building this coalition that will begintoday to take on the hard job of winning back the NYS Senate so together we canenact laws that will change the day-to-day experience of millions of workingpeople in our communities. UAW membersare ready to win transformative legislation that will protect womens'reproductive rights, decriminalize marijuana, improve funding for our schools,recognize our DREAMERS, raise the minimum wage and deliver fair elections forall of New York. This is a great day anda great beginning. Let's get to work.
Anthony Speelman, Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 1500:
UFCW Local 1500 proudly stands alongside the Governor, the Mayor, and labor in supporting a unified Democratic Party. This unity will bring a real progressive agenda to our members, New York State, and the entire labor movement.
Stuart Applebaum, RWDSU:
“The RWDSU is proud to stand with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Deblasio in calling for a governing democratic majority in the State Senate. With a democratic majority, progressive and pro-labor legislation can be moved forward to better the lives of New Yorkers.”
Mike McGuire, Political Director, Mason Tenders District Council:
"The Mason Tenders' District Council supports the concept of a unified democratic government because that is the best way to advance the cause of organized labor in New York State. We are proud to follow in the footsteps of or friends Gov. Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio and our colleagues in organized labor in achieving this goal."
Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda:
The Teamsters stand with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and the Working Families Party in working with all Democrats for a stronger more equitable New York. Organized labor has always been the path to equality for workers, immigrants, the downtrodden and the poor. A unified Democratic Party can only stand to strengthen organized labor in the sectors that need it most, such as our burgeoning immigrant workforce.
-- Khan Shoieb New York Communications Director Working Families Party / Working Families Organization o:(718) 222-3796 x219 c:(347) 596-6389 Follow me on Twitter @KShoieb