As the special election for the 45th Council District heats up, L. Rickie Tulloch and Xamayla Rose – two longtime community activists and candidates – this week put out clear policy agendas on public schools and immigrant services, respectively.
Meanwhile, the two leading fundraisers and perceived frontrunners – Farah Louis and longtime community activist Monique Chandler-Waterman – have yet to roll out any kind of clear policy agendas and are both considered political insiders.
Louis, who was the only candidate that missed a recent student-led community forum across the street from Flatbush Gardens a.k.a. Vanderveer Houses, has the backing of Kings County Democratic Party Boss Frank Sedio, high-powered Democratic Party attorney Frank Carone and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte.
Chandler-Waterman reportedly picked up the endorsement of former city council member for the district and current public advocate, Jumaane Williams.
The endorsement came through the publication, City & State, which covers government from the marble halls down with very little connection to the streets of the district, other than providing very favorable coverage of Williams while he was in the city council and in his run for public advocate.
While in the city council, Williams poured tens of thousands of dollars into Chandler-Waterman’s non-profit, East Flatbush Village. Both Louis and Chandler-Waterman were on Williams’ payroll at one time or another when he was in the city council.
Undaunted by the political connections, Tulloch yesterday unveiled his plan to address inequality in our public schools and create opportunities for all New York City students by expanding the presence of Gifted and Talented programs in public schools, especially in communities of color.
“Basing admission to our city’s specialized high schools on the result of a single test is an outdated and unfair practice that we need to move away from. If we want to see greater racial representation in our elite high schools, we need to work to strengthen all of our schools. As a City Councilmember, I will fight to ensure all of our students have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life,” said Tulloch.
Tulloch will also urge the City Council to work with the Department of Education (DOE) to secure support and funding to establish these programs in elementary and middle schools throughout the 45th Council District and use them as a model for other areas of the city.
“As your next City Councilmember, I will work to expand Gifted and Talented programs in our schools so that all of our students have the opportunity to build on a strong foundation. If we want to address the segregation of our elite schools, we must take a holistic approach and improve our schools at every level so that all of our students have the tools they need to succeed,” added Tulloch.
Tulloch is also pushing that curriculum in NYC schools include financial literacy education, starting in middle school. Tulloch is an accountant, with a Bachelor’s’ degree in accounting and a Masters’ degree in economics from Brooklyn College.
Meanwhile, Rose followed up on the new immigration services community directory she released last week with the unveiling of an Open for Services campaign that will provide constituent services for residents in neighborhoods across the district, especially for immigrants.
Part of the campaign includes a 24/7 hotline that will have a guaranteed 24-hour response time from a campaign member who will direct the caller to the appropriate City agency or non-profit organization depending on the issue.
Rose is a daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who previously worked with the Obama Administration implementing Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) assistance and also worked to help find jobs for Caribbean immigrants in New York City.