Treyger Applauds De Blasio Decision To Drop SHSAT Plan
City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend), chair of the council’s Education Committee, yesterday commended Mayor Bill de Blasio for dropping his plan to get rid of the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT) for entrance into the city’s elite academic public high schools.
De Blasio told a group of ethnic and community reporters at a City Hall roundtable yesterday that he’s open to keeping the admissions tests, departing from his previous position that the exams must be eliminated to diversify the student bodies.
“We’re going to start over and listen to everyone and listen or something that will give us progress. The one thing I can’t live with is the status quo,” he told reporters.
Treyger said de Blasio needs to move on from this issue and focus on the real systemic, pressing issues facing our entire school system.
“I’ve never supported the Mayor’s specialized high school plan because of his failure to consult and engage impacted communities and because his short-sighted plan that bashed the SHSAT relied on more tests that also have disparities —while proposing nothing new to close achievement gaps seen throughout the system,” said Treyger.
“We need to tackle system-wide inequity and segregation. We need more resources for our schools. We need gifted and talented, enrichment opportunities in every school and in every district. We need more guidance counselors, psychologists, and social workers. We need to comply with IEPs. We need to address overcrowded schools and reduce class size by building new schools and hiring more teachers. We need accessible school buildings for all students and all staff. We need art, theater, music, sports, debate, and other key subjects offered as daily opportunities for students. It is time to move on to tackle systemic problems and inequity that impact more than just 1% of our city’s 1.1 million students,” he added.
Clarke Strongly Supports Need for Trump Impeachment
U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D- Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope.) this week strongly recommended that President Donald Trump face impeachment after the House Democratic Caucus met to discuss the issue.
“With Donald Trump in office our democracy remains at stake. It is unconstitutional and completely unacceptable for this President to contact foreign governments in an attempt to tarnish Presidential candidates to interfere with and attempt to puppeteer our elections,” said Clarke.
“I’ve been a vocal proponent of impeaching Donald Trump since 2017, and this latest law-breaking incident only validates my beliefs that we must move forward in impeaching Donald J. Trump from the highest office in our country.
“The American people deserve transparency in our government. The American people deserve a President who truly works for the people. The American people deserve a President who abides by our Constitution. Simply put, Americans deserve much more than Donald Trump,” she added.
Adams Stands In Solidarity With EMTs
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday said he stood in solidarity for pay equity in that the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) receive equal pay and comparable treatment from the City as first responders.
Currently, the 4,000 FDNY EMS Bureau members receive $8,000 less in starting salary than other first responders; a gap that becomes wider by tens of thousands of dollars after five years of service. Additionally, many EMTs are people of color and women.
“As a former first responder of color, I stand in solidarity with our EMTs and paramedics who are rightfully pursuing pay equity. These lifesavers are hard-working professionals who are wholly underpaid compared to their FDNY brethren,” said Adams.
“For decades we have fought for equal opportunity and compensation in our city’s police and fire departments, and it is critical that emergency service workers are not left behind. Gender and racial discrimination cannot stand in New York City, especially not for women and men who put their lives at risk to save ours every single day,” he added.
Ortiz Named Legislator Of The Year By MADD
Assemblymember and Assistant Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) saw the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) name him and three other New York legislators as “2019 Legislators of the Year” for authoring legislation that would lower the illegal blood alcohol concentration from .08 to .05 and improve the implementation of the state’s ignition interlock law.
MADD joined with Ortiz and Senator John Liu (D-Queens) earlier this year to announce support for .05 legislation which, if passed, would make New York the second state in the nation to lower the BAC threshold.
“I am honored to be named a Legislator of the Year by MADD. I’ve made it a priority throughout my legislative career to make our roads safer for pedestrians and drivers alike. The right to drive a car is dependent on being a responsible motorist. There’s no tolerance for drunk drivers to sit behind the wheel of a car. I will continue to fight for progressive laws to protect the public from reckless driving action,” said Ortiz.
MADD honored 45 state lawmakers this year, including six in five states for their work on .05 legislation. In addition to Ortiz and Liu, Senator Monica Martinez (D-Suffolk) and Assembly Member Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) were also named 2019 New York Legislators of the Year by MADD.
Levin Expected Council To Pass Hi Green Options Legislation
City Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg.) yesterday said before the council’s regular stated meeting that he expected the council to pass his bill to improve access to green energy options.
The measure, Intro 140, would study Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and require recommendations for implementation for everyday New Yorkers to drive our energy transition toward renewable options. CCA is a municipal energy procurement model approved by the Public Service Commission and supported by the New York State Energy Resource and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that allows local communities to determine the default supplier of electricity and/or renewable credits for homes and small businesses within a city or locality’s jurisdiction.
“The CCA model puts the control of choosing an energy supplier in local hands. As New York City works toward further reduce energy and carbon emissions, it is vital that we examine the greater choice of available renewable energy sources. CCA provides a way forward for achieving this,” said Levin, in an emailed statement.
At post time it is unclear if the legislation passed.