There are many components needed to address poverty and I would add racism as well. We first of all must openly own the fact that our politics and economic directions have since the Reagan years have moved away from the progressive agenda. We are paying a price for that. The problem is that those paying the biggest price are the poorest and communities of color
With that said, we actually do know what kind of foundation and basics are needed to systematically support the poor. To begin with the poor face a vast list of factors that add to the stress and struggles. Specific assistance with these aspects is important and need to be individualized. At the same time a basic foundation of support and services/advocacy remain constant. . To illustrate this I would describe a systematic model. The is a model that existed in the ny state service system to provide supports for persons with developmental disabilities beginning in the 1970's The model included an interdisciplinary team, parent/family advocacy training. systematic advocacy and organizing, on-going staff development education, public accountability, the right to speak out and engage in critical thinking when the system falters, and long-term follow-up. The core was a relationship with the focus on the individual/family relationship and the relationship with the core staff contact (social worker) which assured the family being in control of decision-making related to their needs. In order to help assure this being honored the worker was not supervised by those in higher positions in the larger system who might refuse or avoid providing a needed service so as to meet economic limitations. Normally someone such as a doctor or psychiatrist would have greater say than the parent or social worker but this model rejected that power relationship. Since this was part of the public system that also carried greater weight as it was more directly connected to the original funding source. This was important in attempting to provide services for persons with disabilities at a time when there was significant resistance. The other factor worth repeating is that it is only the public sector worker that is protected when speaking out about system problems they encounter. Workers in non-public settings including no
not for profits are Not protected. (see Professor Sullivan's writings John Jay College).
The interdisciplinary teams include inner city outreach. They existed in the various quadrants making up the County. The attitude of the agency was one of activism as well.
This model could be amended to apply to others not just the disabled.
If you wonder what happened to this....well herit goes. After over 30 years of being viewed by those served as highly valued the Governor during his first term seeking to severely cutting the budget proposed sever cuts to public services. This effort shook-up the system and resulted in the ELIMINATION of this entire community based program. I would add that this model was also applicable for persons residing in certified residential options. The part eliminated was the one applying to persons living in the community and interfacing with a complex community system. Today we look at problems faced by students in poor neighborhoods regarding education. This approach could be used for the many students and their families education struggles. It would support the families and advocate with parents to assure the system does what it is supposed to do as compared to what is happening now. Bonnie Cannan
This request for additional funding by Charters is very typical of the way privatization works. The first claim is always that we can save money and do a better job. If you look at other examples the vast majority with other public services is the same . Yet they claim they are also able to do "things" that traditional public education cannot do. All of this while still claiming to be the same as public schools. Now they are requesting more money to building more schools or to fund larger buildings. This will of course mean an increase in funding and then raises the question why are we now spending more money for fewer children. When the movement to close older schools began that was one of the major points. If this new request is upheld the request to add additional buildings will likely occur. Often with privatization this type of circular strategy is prevalent. Yes, it is a strategy not just happenstance! Fool us once shame on you fool us twice shame on us. .
I use the buses and transit center daily. There continues to be a need for an organized citizen grass roots organization of bus riders who depend on the bus. These riders are most often those with the least power and live in the City. This would go along way to fill unmet needs including the needs of riders coming from city neighborhoods. As was true in this article those interviewed do not represent this group. I would also suggest that while there have been some incidents ,I do not think that because there is a large number of students there that indicates frequent incidents. It is also my understanding that the decision to use public transportation for students was made to save money That decision making was never shared with adult bus riders. The number of students does affect the crowding on the buses. Using the former school buses would help to secure students getting to their homes. I would hope however, that if that would be restored that the reason ie racism is not allowed to be the rationale. There are some other issues related to the Center--needs more attention to clearing snow, ice in the area from outside stops on Mortimer to front entrance, needs dollar money change machines, not all buses have stalls in the Center, the route changes which began in January have caused increases in fares , a lack of seating in some areas due to the fact that the Center had to be placed in a small narrow space, there was not enough space inside to accommodate seating in all the bus stall areas ( about 1/3) .
I think it is not surprising that both the Mayor and the Governor continue to cling to the fantasy hope that if we just have Mayoral Control, all education problems will fall by the wayside. This is in spite of the fact that little connection has been made between fundamental changes for education when mayoral control is adopted. One of the primary interests of mayoral control supporters is the continued belief and political agenda that views the corporate some get richer model must dominate education as well. Just look around---the role of development in Rochester and upstate in general relies on both tax breaks for investors and their political contributions to assure their continued dominance.
The corporate organized plan which threatens the current environment to 'restore ' the Charlotte park and beach area has no real interest in listening to the City community at large. In addition to the stronghold the corporate community has, much of the say is given to local agencies Realizing the concentrated power that results -- Why would we expect a value for meaningful citizen involvement? There is no mere coincidence that these two aspects are key to the fundamental problems related to economic inequality, racial oppression, separate but unequal segregated housing , feet dragging regarding moving to an alternative energy system and of course quality education for all. The real changes needed to address these more fundamental problems lies with our willingness to change what we do both politically and at the grass roots organizing level across the community. Bonnie Cannan
Your article stresses the importance of being informed and having the option to view politics as more than voting for the lesser of two ev... The need for the Platform Hawkins supports seeks to change the direction of politics from control of the established powerful to the value of real people who face more and more struggles. Having a vision providing solutions can become reality if we work for it!! Bonnie Cannn
I wonder if people living in the city reading the appealing description of the apartments being planned might wonder why the significant tax breaks given to developers will demand rentals that are totally unaffordable to so many. Ironically it is their taxes that make most of that development possible. Would it be too much to ask that all this and other recent downtown residential redevelopment contain a fair mix of more affordable apartments. We wonder why the economic gap contributes so much to the effects of poverty and community distance. Bonnie CAnnan
The arrogance of people like the Commissioner, who are likely part of the larger system that has for years made political decisions or supported those who did that never really addressed the underlying poverty or racism. No it does not mean poor children cannot learn what it does mean is that if you put up enough barriers and let urban communities deteriorate for years, reduce revenue sharing with local governments, further the wealthy with corporate welfare tax breaks, abandon progressive income taxing, segregate housing opportunities to favor the wealthy, what do you think will result?. It is also interesting that most private schools can decide not to accept the common core curriculum and can make local decisions as to how best to meet their students needs.
Could it be that there is another agenda which points to having the responsibility for public education shift to private sources where recent interest shown by Hedge funds could benefit? If you look at privatization efforts elsewhere, one of the strategies is to allow the decline of public services with limited ability to meet boarder needs of the increasingly poor communities . The need continues to increase and so on. Other factors including globalization,, millions of jobs lost to automation and huge tax breaks for the rich are like a vice that continues to squeeze and squeeze. Status quo politicians do not want to go up against the big businesses that fund them or speak truth to the public who often see especially as applies to education an increasingly desperate matter as they fear their children will be caught in a downward cycle of a lower standard of living Just now realizing how serious the economic future could be easily positions them to be caught with stark reality. Bonnie Cannan
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