Tuesday, September 6, 2016

NYS Senate candidate Micah Lasher Has Been a Dishonest Slug Since High School

Robert Jackson is the obvious choice over Lasher and other candidates. But for me Lasher, former head of Students First, is as despicable as Trump. And a chorus of people agree with me.

Retired Stuyvesant HS teacher charges Micah Lasher charged with ageism, dishonesty and crookery going back to high school days.

Posted to FB group “Upstate Manhattan: Inwood and Washington Heights” by a retired teacher at Stuyvesant HS.
"I have had a chance to know Micah Lasher, since he was a teenager, when I taught at Stuyvesant High School. He was not in my class, but his reputation was notorious as editor of the school newspaper, and, even then, he was a despicable human being, a hack in every way. Unfortunately, the principal at that time let him get away with so much that she would never let other students get away with. The worse was when he slandered a teacher, the academic adviser for the Student Union, on the school newspaper, who was very well respected and popular with both students and his colleagues. However, when this teacher thought he was going to get the backing from the principal, she sided with him, so I blame this principal, as well as others, for enabling this unforgivable hack. 

Since then, he has demonstrated that he has no morals and will slander anyone if it helps advance his career. Starting from the cartoon of Freddy Ferrer kissing the behind of Al Sharpton and circulating it to voters in the Upper West Side for Mark Green to negative campaigns against long time activist, Sylvia Friedman, to cause her to be unseated by Brian Kavanaugh for the Assembly race, calling her an Albany insider, even though she was only in office for a few months, and making fun of her age and then working for Students First New York, the hedge fund-backed charter school lobby that only cares about measuring student success through standardized tests.

 Micah Lasher cannot be trusted. His ageist campaign against Sylvia Friedman unfortunately is what he used do to the older and more experienced teachers at Stuyvesant, whom he called "dinosaurs". There are teachers, current and retired, who still despise him. Former staff members for Eric Schneiderman, when he was State Senator for this district, came to me to express their disdain for him and told me how much they do not trust him. Unfortunately, Eric Schneiderman, whom I have always had a great deal of respect for, have also either failed to see his character or just do not care. I also blame the staff at Working Families Party, whom I am also a proud member of and have served as a ranking officer for, who have also given him a free pass because he volunteered for them since he was 16. WFP has remained neutral in this race. I am equally upset that the Times has also endorsed him, too, but, unfortunately, I am not surprised."

Support for Jackson from true grassroots groups - even the UFT has joined in on the right side - for a change.

 Support Jackson
Please spread the word to voters that a lovely group of public school activists are hosting a Get Out the Vote Party for Robert Jackson (running against Micah Lasher):
THIS FRIDAY, September 9, 6:30-8:30
Campaign headquarters, 714 W. 181st St.
There will be wine, nibbles, and stimulating conversation (Tory Frye is in charge of that part).
You are all welcome to come!
Why Vote for Jackson
There's an IMPORTANT NYS Senate primary in Manhattan on TUES 9/13
. It's a particularly important vote for supporters of public education -- Robert Jackson is our candidate! The open seat is for Manhattan's Senate District 31 (here's a map of the district, https://ballotpedia.org/New_York_State_Senate_District_31#/media/File:NY_SD_31.JPG)
I know many of you don't live in this district, but please send this to anyone you know who does -- or to anyone who might know someone who does!

Three important points:
(1) Public school parents in Upper Manhattan are hosting a Meet & Greet party for Robert Jackson this FRIDAY, 9/9, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Please join us -- it's a great excuse to have some wine and delicious snacks with people who are passionate about public ed! See the attached flyer for details; members of the host committee are cc'd above. PLEASE RSVP TO ME unless you've already rsvp'd elsewhere or to someone else.
(2) This election may hinge on turnout. So, if you are eligible to vote in Senate District 31, PLEASE GO TO THE POLLS NEXT TUESDAY, 9/13. If you're not in the district, please reach out to friends who might be.
(3) Robert has deep support among supporters of public education and the opponents of privatization. Want to know why? Read more below.

Robert Jackson is a public education hero, having acted as the lead plaintiff in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a lawsuit which established that the state was failing to equitably fund city schools. The settlement established class size targets for NYC public schools, which the state continues to circumvent through unconstitutional, inadequate funding. If Robert is elected to the Senate, he will make NYC public education his number one issue

It is impossible to do justice to Robert’s commitment to NYC public school students’ rights and well-being in a short e-mail message.  To learn more please read here: http://robertjackson.nationbuilder.com/issues

It is critical that we public school parents turn out in large numbers for this election!  It will be disastrous if one of his two primary opponents win! 

One was a leading advisor to Mayor Bloomberg, who left that post to manage…wait for it…STUDENTS FIRST NEW YORK (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/nyregion/group-aims-to-counter-influence-of-teachers-union.html?_r=0), a hedge-fund and billionaire backed organization that lobbies relentlessly to advance the corporate education agenda that includes multiplying charter schools (like Success Academy that counsels out special needs students and steals space from public schools that need it), using state test scores to evaluate teachers, firing teachers and other disastrous efforts that undermine public education. This candidate conveniently leaves this work off his official materials and resume! (See here: http://observer.com/2016/05/democrat-leaves-work-for-bloomberg-charter-school-group-off-his-campaign-literature/)

The other candidate has recently noted that she may caucus with the so-called Independent Democratic Conference (see here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/n-y-senate-candidate-stays-neutral-democrats-power-struggle-article-1.2752698), the group that has enabled Republicans to maintain control of the Senate, stymying numerous progressive legislative efforts.

In addition to supporting public education, Robert holds progressive positions on affordable housing, equal rights, the environment and many other issues; he supports small businesses and women & minority owned businesses.

If you've read this far, please note that financial contributions are welcome from folks in and out of the district! https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/robert-jackson-2016
More nominations and support for Jackson from Kids PAC - a school based grassroots group.

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

NYC Kids PAC, composed of parent leaders and public school advocates from throughout the city, endorsed four outstanding candidates running for the NY State Legislature in the Democratic primaries to be held next Tuesday, September 13.  Based on their exceptional records and their responses to our candidate survey (http://nyckidspac.org/current-candidate-surveys/2016-primary-surveys/), the Kids PAC board urged voters who care about education to cast their ballots for incumbent Gustavo Rivera in the Bronx,  Robert Jackson in Manhattan, and Debbie Medina in Brooklyn, all running for the NY State Senate. Finally, they also endorsed Robert Carroll from Brooklyn, running to replace retiring Jim Brennan in the State Assembly.
 “Gustavo 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,” said Shino Tanikawa, President of NYC Kids PAC.  “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.”  Senator Rivera 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.
“Robert Jackson is a hero to many parents, not just in his district but throughout the city, for his stellar record on public education,” said Karen Sprowal, one of his constituents and a board member of NYC Kids PAC.  “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.”

“Though 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,” added Karen. District 31 includes parts of the Upper West Side, Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights in Manhattan.

 “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,” explained Brooke Parker, a Greenpoint resident and Kids PAC board member. 
“Though all three candidates for Jim Brennan’s 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,” said Naila Rosario, a long time parent leader in the district and a Kids PAC board member.  “He also 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.” District 44 covers parts of Park Slope, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood and Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn.
In addition to endorsing these candidates, NYC Kids PAC members are also volunteering for their campaigns and urge other parents to do the same.  As NYC Kids PAC President Shino Tanikawa pointed out, “State elections are very important.  Many damaging educational policies originate at the state level.  It is critical to have allies in the NY Senate and Assembly who will fight with us to protect NYC children and their public schools.”  
Links to the candidates’ surveys and Kids PAC endorsements are here: www.nyckidspac.org

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