Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Prayer Vigil for Victims of Charleston Church Shooting Tonight
2. Our Bill Stalls in Senate
3. Rally on Monday
4. Vote on Tuesday
5. Minority Empowerment Forum Thursday
1) Prayer Vigil for Victims of Charleston Church Shooting Tonight
The Rockland County Minsters Alliance will hold a Prayer Vigil in support of the families of the victims of the church shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Charleston, SC. Please come out to Pray for Peace and the Strength to stand up for Righteousness.
The First Baptist Church of Spring Valley NY.6 Hoyt Street, Spring Valley
Sunday, June 21, 2015 6:00pm-8:00pm
2) Our Bill Stalls in Senate
The bill for a monitor for East Ramapo passed the NY State Assembly as A.5355 on June 11 following a spirited and healthy debate. Opponents of the bill were given every opportunity to present their concerns. Assembly Members Jaffee and Zebrowski answered those concerns at length. The majority of the members of the Assembly, having heard both sides, voted to pass the bill. However, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan refused to allow the companion bill, S.3821, for a discussion or a vote in the Senate. Then Senator Carlucci, who represents our area, submitted a different bill, S.5974.
This new bill was submitted as an ultimatum, with no time left for review, discussion, or feedback. Since then the Senate has stayed overtime due to other issues, giving a us a chance to evaluate the new bill. Further complicating the matter, the Senate Bill would have to also pass through the Assembly all over again.
The purpose of creating a bill was to correct problems identified in the Greenberg Report. The report found that many of the decisions of the school board were harming the quality of education. He recommended a change in the relationship between the state and the board. The state, Mr. Greenberg said, should have a monitor on site at the district, with power to prevent further harm.
Senator Carlucci’s bill does not provide for a monitor with the power to intervene. The monitor would only have the ability to send a written objection to the Education Department. The Assembly members who worked to get the original bill through their house tried to work out a compromise which would involve a hearing officer, but Senator Carlucci would not include that the monitor could file a complaint except for violation of law by the school board. This struck many as odd. Why would a law be needed to stop people from breaking the law?
It is the state which bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that a sound, basic education is provided. The local school board members are chosen by the local community, but they are acting on behalf of the state to accomplish the objectives put forth by the state. The Education Department already has teams of professionals reviewing the practices of East Ramapo and every other district. The problem in East Ramapo is that the school board refuses to comply. We don’t need another written objection. We need NY State to honor its obligation to the children.
For more details and analysis, I recommend the Strong East Ramapo Facebook page.
3) Rally on Monday
Monday, June 22nd from 7 p.m. in Memorial Park in Spring Valley.
The Senate was supposed to conclude their legislative year this past Wednesday. However, they are returning to Albany on Tuesday for their unfinished business. We want to be clear that strengthening the East Ramapo oversight bill MUST BE part of their last day.
Our goals for the rally are to:
— Demand that our Senate Leadership in Albany do better for the children of East Ramapo, that the current Senate Bill is inadequate and that a monitor must be able to stop the board from violating their responsibilities to the children
— Urge Governor Cuomo to intervene on our behalf
— Unite community around our strength and our determination to not give up regardless of what happens.
Make signs like:
— We need STRONG oversight for East Ramapo
— Senator Flanagan: we deserve more than crumbs
— Put some teeth in the bill
— Albany, don’t let East Ramapo down
— Governor Cuomo, where are you?
— We are not done!
Tell your friends, family and neighbors and spread our message widely. Anyone is welcome that cares about justice for the children of the district. Please plan to attend and bring your friends, neighbors and anyone who feels our children and community deserve better!
4) Vote on Tuesday
The Finklestein Library Budget Vote and Trustee Election will be held on Tuesday, June 23 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Library. Each year one of five trustee seats is up for election. This year it is the seat of Denet Alexandre. Mr. Alexandre is a longtime supporter of public education in East Ramapo. Please come out to the library on June 23 to support your public library and to keep Mr. Alexandre on the board.
Budget information and Biographical information about the candidates is available online here
A review of current issues at the library by Mr. Alexandre is available here: http://www.hnenetwork.com/
5) Minority Empowerment Forum Thursday
The Spring Valley NAACP, We The People, and Tender Steps of NY, Inc. will co-sponsor a “United To Build” event on Thursday, June 25, 6:30pm at the Louis Kurtz Civic Center.
The Black and Latino community make up 30% of Rockland County and it is time to unite and let our collective voices be heard. Let’s come together and identify social issues that pertain to each community and figure out how we could unite to tackle those problems.