Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Noah Gotbaum May Throw Hat Into Ring for Public Advocate

Woop woop!! Parents are not just getting involved in electoral politics, they're running too. Go Noah!!! ----- Mona Davids

Run, Noah, Run!!!!-- Karen Sprowal

I generally ignore political stuff but here is an interesting development. I've gotten to know Noah as a parent advocate from the upper west side over the years. He is in our movie and in fact his words close the main section. He was up in Albany with us  in Jan. 2011 as part of the group opposing the Cathie Black waiver. (Now that looks like a slam dunk but remember how most of the political forces ran for cover.)

He has taken a strong stand against Evil Moskowitz and her charter invasions. People have been telling me how impressed they were with the video at the SUNY Board hearing recently. Here it is again.

That was pretty powerful. Just watch the charter lobby and ed-industrial complex go wild to stop him. That alone is worth giving him our support. I just may contribute some bucks to my first political campaign in a long time.

I full well understand the realities of politics and that running for citywide office will require him to temper some of his positions, which is why I stay out of getting involved with politicians. But right now he looks like someone we should support.

Noah's dad Victor was a major labor leader and in the 70s fought with Al Shanker -- I have to look back in time to remember why -- I think it was over a Shanker attempt to incorporate Gotbaum union members like school aids and lunchroom workers. They made up. Noah used to sit at the table for meals with Al and Victor and one day we have to get Noah to tell us what they talked about. Noah's stepmom in Betsy, who was Public Advocate for 8 years. So, yes, he has close ties to the UFT and in fact the only chance he has is with UFT support.

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Via Facebook
Noah Gotbaum, a well-known Upper West Side education advocate who comes from a famous New York City political family, is seriously mulling a run for New York City public advocate.

Gotbaum, who is the son of legendary labor leader Victor Gotbaum and step-son of former New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, just registered a campaign committee for an undeclared public office — but said in a phone interview that he’s eying the city’s second ranking position.

“I am considering a public advocate run,” Gotbaum said. “I am exploring the options right now.”

Previously, Gotbaum had been thought by political insiders to be a likely candidate for New York City Council. But Gotbaum says he wants to lead a citywide push on behalf of public education issues — and to push against the Department of Education’s policies.

“There’s a million public school parents all over New York City, and we need an advocate for them,” Gotbaum said.

Gotbaum has served as president of Community Education Council District 3, and had a long career in the private sector beforehand. His wife also tragically died in 2007.
Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James is already in the public advocate’s race, as is former congressional candidate Reshma Saujani. Brooklyn State Sen. Daniel Squadron is also seriously considering a run. But Gotbaum is the only candidate so far from the vote-rich Upper West Side.

Of course, Gotbaum says (like every other potential candidate) that his decision will be predicated on current Public Advocate Bill de Blasio running for mayor in 2013.

The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.


  1. Noah has my vote and the vote of every teacher at my District 3 Harlem public school!

  2. Thanks Norm and thanks Harlem Teacher. Appreciate it. Re UFT endorsement, would absolutely welcome it as 95% of the time the Union and parents are on board together. Believe too, however, that the individual endorsements of NYC's 2+ million parents, students and educators will also prove to be a difference maker. Noah


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