2016 Endorsements

NYC Kids PAC endorses Gustavo Rivera, Robert Jackson, Debbie Medina and Robert Carroll for the State Legislature in Tuesday’s Primaries

We hope you and your family had a great summer and you’re ready for a new school year. There’s an important primary for State Legislature next Tuesday, Sept. 13, and we wanted to make sure that you knew about it. It is critical to have allies in the NY Senate and Assembly who will fight with us to protect our children and their public schools

NYC Kids PAC, composed of parent leaders and public school advocates from throughout the city, are endorsing four outstanding candidates running for state office on Tuesday. Based on their exceptional records and their responses to our candidate surveys, our board urges you to be sure to vote for Gustavo Rivera in the Bronx, Robert Jackson in Manhattan, and Debbie Medina in Brooklyn, all running for the State Senate, as well as Robert Carroll, who is running to replace retiring Jim Brennan from Brooklyn in the State Assembly.

We endorse Gustavo Rivera, who represents District 33, which includes parts of Kingsbridge Heights, East Tremont, Crotona Park, Fordham, Belmont, Van Nest, Claremont, High Bridge and Morris Park in the Bronx. Senator Rivera has an exceptional record of standing up for our children and resisting the hedge-fund backed charter school onslaught which is diverting hundreds of millions of dollars and taking precious space from our public schools. His responses to our survey were also exceptionally thoughtful on school funding, equity, and campaign finance reform. In contrast, his opponent, Fernando Cabrera, failed to respond to our survey and supports tuition tax credits for private schools, which would create huge tax breaks for billionaires and further imperil our already underfunded public schools.

We strongly endorse Robert Jackson who is running for State Senate in District 31, which includes parts of the Upper West Side, Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights in Manhattan. Jackson is a hero to many parents, not just in his district but throughout the city, for his stellar record on public education. He led the CFE lawsuit as President of the school board in Washington Heights and Inwood, resulting in the Court of Appeals decision that the state had illegally underfunded NYC public schools. He went on to chair the City Council Education Committee, and has been fighting with parents every step of the way for our kids to obtain their constitutional right to a sound basic education. His responses to our survey also showed a profound understanding of problems related to privatization, the Common Core standards, high-stakes testing and school overcrowding.

While his opponent, Marisol Alcantara, had many good responses to our survey, she favors the continued expansion of charter schools, and has been supported by the IDC, the caucus that deprived the Democrats of control of the State Senate by voting with the Republicans. Meanwhile, Micah Lasher, who is also running for this seat, refused to complete our survey and has a long history of supporting charter school expansion and high stakes testing, first as the chief lobbyist for the NYC Department of Education under Bloomberg and Klein, and then as the founding director of StudentsFirstNY. StudentsFirstNY is relentlessly pro-charter and pro-corporate reform, though Lasher has scrubbed his affiliation with the organization from his campaign biography and his Linked-In profile. That’s why we enthusiastically support Robert Jackson as the best candidate by far for anyone who cares about protecting and strengthening our public schools.

We endorse Debbie Medina has a long history of decades of grassroots community activism for social justice in District 18, which covers parts of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. In recent years, Medina has stood up for neighborhood public schools and joined the community in a fight against Success Academy’s co-location in MS 50. As the responses to our survey make clear, Medina is a strong advocate of public education and supports smaller classes, reducing the role of high stakes testing in public education, and stopping the expansion of charter schools. Medina is also committed to keeping big money out of politics to ensure that our neighborhood public schools are sufficiently and equitably funded. Meanwhile, incumbent Martin Dilan failed to complete our survey and has done little for the schools in the district.

Finally, we endorse Robert Carroll, who is running in District 44 for Assembly, which covers parts of Park Slope, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood and Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn. Though all three candidates for this Assembly seat had good answers to our survey, Robert Carroll’s was the best, scoring 100% on governance, privatization and charters, parent empowerment, testing, standards, resources and more. Carroll has a progressive record as an activist on Community Board 7 and we’re confident that he will do a great job in the Assembly, advocating for our public schools.

In addition to endorsing these candidates, NYC Kids PAC members are also volunteering for their campaigns and urge other parents to do the same. Links to the candidates’ surveys are here.

Please share this message with your friends, neighbors, colleagues and fellow parents at your children’s schools!

Here’s hoping for a great school year, and thanks!

Shino, Isaac, Leonie, Fatima, Eduardo, Andy, Brooke, Naila, Karen and Tesa

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