Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. A New Era of Involvement
2. Message from Trustee Anderson
3. Board of Ed Meeting Tuesday
1) A New Era of Involvement
The historic victory of the NAACP and NYCLU in their landmark civil rights case against the East Ramapo school board has ended the school board’s racist practice of voter dilution which was disenfranchising thousands of Black and Latinx voters. The student body of East Ramapo is now 95% Latino and Black, so this change will result in the parents of public school students finally having some power at the polls.
However, the decision to use a ward system to elect board members also means changes for voters who don’t live in one of the three wards in which voters of color are a majority. Just like voters in wards 1-3, voters in wards 4-9 will now know who is their person on the board, and will be able to watch their performance at meetings, contact them with concerns, and hold them accountable with their votes. This may usher in a new era of community involvement in how our school system is run.
Just as in previous years, a group of candidates has come together based on a mission of improving the quality of education. You can learn about who they are and what they stand for on their website: https://eastramapotogether.wordpress.com/
If you are not in a ward where one of these candidates is running, it might be difficult to know what to do when your ballot arrives. Some of the candidates on those ballots are those who opposed the ward system, who approved millions of dollars in wasteful spending on frivolous lawsuits, who voted to sell district property at pennies on the dollar, who have never asked a question in a board meeting about graduation rates, class size, test scores, or any other educational issue. If you find yourself represented by someone like that, do not despair! You can still write about your concerns to the board member, and copy the superintendent, the state education dept., and your representatives in Albany. Even if the board member is unopposed, you can still use the option to write-in on the ballot. This is the only time all nine board members will be elected at once, starting with the next election in 2022 they will return to rotating three seats per year.
2) Message from Trustee Anderson
I want to thank you for so many things that I don’t know where to start? For many of you I wish to thank you for reaching out to me to tell me how you appreciated me telling my story about my high school experience with geometry. The great thing about that is you saw the importance of supporting our public school children. I was lucky because I had my mom and grandmother to support me, but our kids are now having the benefit of an army to support them. According to YouTube, 233 persons tuned in to the last Board meeting and that was because of your pushing friends, family, and neighbors to tune in. Please keep up the good work because we can’t let our children down. Please try to increase that number of 233. Only by our being informed by the actions of the Board will we be able to put pressure on them to make decisions that are beneficial to our Black and Brown children. Please keep in mind that our children need us!
There is a very important vote for ERCSD trustees on February 2nd. All nine seats are up. Thanks to the NAACP, NYCLU, and Latham and Watkins there will be a Ward vote. You will be able to choose the person you feel who best represents your Ward? This is an all mail vote. You should receive your ballot by the middle of the month. Please mark your ballot and mail it back immediately. If you live in these Wards please vote for these candidates:
- Ward 1 Ashley Leveille
- Ward 2 Sabrina Charles Pierre
- Ward 3 Sherry McGill
- Ward 9 Carole Anderson
Happy New Year!
Silence is not an option.
Silence is complicity.
Change only comes when people stand up to demand it.
3) Board of Ed Meeting Tuesday
As Trustee Anderson has explained, it is important to attend the board meetings, currently being held virtually on YouTube due to the pandemic.
The next meeting is this Tuesday, January 5 at 7:30 PM.
Directions for YouTube:
Go to ERCSD Homepage.
Click on District Clerk.
Click on Announcements.
First line states: “Click here for YouTube.”