Friday, September 27, 2013

Why Tish James' Candidacy is Imperative For Registered NYC Democrats Oct. 1

{UPDATE: Read this blog's 9/29 post on the crucial education, libraries and development policies contrasts between James and Squadron, "Heartbeat Away From NYC Mayoralty: Education, Other Issue Contrasts of James, Squadron."}

Tish James @ Dec. '12 PEP: This is nothing more than an attempt to beat the clock to the end of this administration to privatize public schools and bust unions . . .

Let's face the facts head-on: there is a full fledged war against teachers.

It is refreshing when in the face of this war there are local politicians that stand by teachers when there is no immediate gain to be made.

New York City Councilor Letitia James is one such politician. Elected first solely on the Working Families Party ticket, as opposed to running on the Democratic line with the WFP as a secondary consideration, James has been an advocate for progressive policies in municipal issues throughout the 2000s in her tenure serving the 35th district in Brooklyn, a sprawling district from Clinton Hill to Flatbush. See here for an New York City council districts map.

Principally, James has been an erstwhile supporter of public schools, over several years --well before her declaration of candidacy for NYC public advocate-- appearing at mayor Michael Bloomberg's sham "democratic" puppet Panel for Educational Policy ("PEP") fora, opposing charter school co-locations in public schools. View the video below of Tish James at the December 2012 PEP hearing, as she criticizes the charter school franchises in NYC.

Tish James is fighting to stop the New York City Department of Education, DOE, from deleting emails on school policy -- Reason alone to vote for her, as reported in DNA info. From DNAinfo:
CITY HALL — Councilwoman Letitia James wants copies of a colossal amount of Department of Education emails — to ensure they’re not deleted when Mayor Bloomberg exits office in January. James has requested under the state’s Freedom of Information Law that the DOE provide her with all its employees’ emails that discuss key education policies.

The demand came just days after DNAinfo New York’s Sept. 17 story about the Bloomberg administration remaining undecided on an email-retention plan for various city agencies.

With a few months left in its final term, the administration is still mulling whether to preserve emails from the DOE, the NYPD, the mayor’s office and other major agencies or allow them to end up in a digital dumpster. <

Thus, it is highly significant that by contrast, her opponent in the run-off, Daniel Squadron, has accepted over $25,000 in donations from hedge fund executives that are associated with charter schools. Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez has written that this is a sign that Squadron will favor the charter school industry.

Vote for Letitia James, this Tuesday. James was endorsed by all the unions, curiously not the UFT. Could it be that her critiques embarrassingly hit too close to home, in attacking the essence that is school deform in NYC, which the UFT has put on a weak effort to oppose? Watch this rousing speech which ends with a rousing crowd chant of "Save Our Schools."

James with fellow Brooklyn city council member Stephen Levin, fighting the closing of libraries

Read more on Tish James at the Perdido Street School blog.