Brooklyn: The most important political race in NYC is the 2023 Citywide and Community Education Council (CCEC) Election. Some key policy gains in public education have been introduced by CCEC members. From “mayoral control” of schools to charter school expansion, CCECs have been at the table or behind the scenes, moving policy. And while we may not agree on every issue, we work alongside one another to improve our schools.
Local school governance is under siege. The current CCEC elections have not received the same attention as prior cycles. Over the last year, education officials have abandoned “parent empowerment,” and cronyism has eroded the goodwill between DOE and parents. Layered beneath this is the great exodus of Black families, canaries in the coal mine for the health of NYC schools.
Collective parent advocacy can significantly change the school system. New York City’s “mayoral control” legislation will sunset during the upcoming CCEC terms — strong parent voices will be important in determining how education policy is made and who governs our schools. The governor recently proposed lifting the charter school cap, re-energizing the political game of monopoly that re-allocates public school real estate and funding to the private sector. Special interests will weigh in on upcoming policy debates — unions, political parties, private donors and more. What’s important is that our children’s interests remain at the center of the decision-making, and that is the mission of our CCECs.
Time is running short to run for a CCEC seat — the deadline is Thursday, Feb. 23. The future of NYC schools will be defined by those that join the conversation. NeQuan C. McLean, president, Community Education Council 16
Flushing: Will someone please tell me what they think “woke” means? Preferably, could you use it in a sentence? I have a feeling that if I asked 10 people what it means, I would get 11 answers — kind of like asking 10 people what the lyrics of a song by Leonard Cohen are all about. Saul Grossman
Manhattan: There were plenty of other names besides Marjorie Taylor Greene’s to include in the uvula brain in Thursday’s Bramhall’s cartoon — like George Santos, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush. But quite frankly, this cartoon was beyond disgusting to feature any of our feckless leaders! Karene Copeland
Brooklyn: S.E. Cupp is right in labeling President Biden as “quintessential Joe” (“Joe plays the nice guy with rowdy & rude House,” column, Feb. 9) in the State of the Union address — never addressing the atrocious economy, poor handling of the Ukraine crisis, violence in the nation, surging gas prices, his son’s scandals and most importantly, the “What, me worry?” look as a testament to his eroding cognitive skills. Ron Goldman
Bayonne: Between Voicer Stanley Sifton’s appreciation of the Biden backrub (when and where, Stan, and why?), his gibberish about criminals creating jobs and someone else’s hocking about a Chinese “spy moon,” I was inspired to come up with something equally as lunatic. Sorry, can’t help ya! Marty Wolfson
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Manhattan: Voicer Anthony Gigantiello and the MAGA maniacs want to know why Biden didn’t shoot down the Chinese balloon over our air base, shut down their consulate or impose sanctions. He stated that we are showing our weakness. I have a simple answer: It’s the same reason why nothing was done the three times the Chinese flew their balloon during the Chump — er, Trump administration. Sterling Waterman
Manhattan: For those curious about the recent Chinese balloon “crisis,” here’s one likely explanation: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is eager to reduce U.S.-China trade tensions and whose support has been weakened by his mishandling of COVID in China. Hardliners in Xi’s government who believe that increasing tensions with America is the best way to divert the Chinese public’s attention from their government’s failures ensured the release of the balloon and its passage over American airspace. They were confident that American hardliners would howl in outrage and demand military action against the balloon, and that Biden would eventually have to agree. Ideally, the Chinese hardliners hoped the Blinken visit would be canceled outright, but at least they got a postponement, and they succeeded brilliantly in inflaming U.S.-Chinese tensions. Michael Barnhart
East Hartford, Conn.: When we elected an African-American man as president, and now with a woman of color as vice president, I thought we’d grown as a nation, I really did. But in reading Voicer Ron Boehning’s vicious letter attacking Jane Fonda (apparently he has a problem writing her name — I don’t), I see we still have a long way to go. He dredges up actions (that she has publicly expressed her regrets for) that happened half a century ago. Yes, you read that right. Half. A century. Ago. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that some people’s thinking hasn’t changed or the Daily News believing his letter was worth printing. Jim Miller
Bronx: Your editorial supporting the N.Y. Post’s claim that Twitter censored the Hunter Biden story is simply wrong (“Twitter, the Post and a free press,” Feb. 9). Please remember the FBI’s announcement two weeks before the 2016 election that it had opened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, which turned out to be nothing but impacted that result. The laptop story, which certainly seemed implausible, came at almost the same pre-election point and seemed like a similar attempt to influence the election. As years later there is still not a shred of evidence President Biden was compromised, under the circumstances, this was the right decision by Twitter. David Fisher
San Francisco: Thank you for Mike Lupica’s column “There has never been anyone like Tom Brady” (Feb. 5). It’s worth remembering that Brady (like Brock Purdy this year) began his career as an afterthought — the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, seemingly destined for journeyman backup status at best. He didn’t defy the laws of physics like Patrick Mahomes, and his favorite receiver, Julian Edelman, never made a Pro Bowl. It wasn’t physical gifts or an exceptionally talented supporting cast that vaulted Brady to greatest-of-all-time status, it was his unmatched competitive drive (aided by great defenses) that led him to reach 10 Super Bowls and win seven, more than any NFL franchise. His decision to return this past year allowed me to take my children, Sammy and Sophie, to see him play (against the 49ers). Stephen A. Silver
Rockaway Beach: Re “3rd FDNY bigwig leaves post in slap at commish” (Feb. 10): Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, you’ve got some explaining to do. Maybe you don’t have to run your decisions by your boss, the mayor, but you’ve got to tell the public why the culture you’re creating renders the highest-ranking officers in the FDNY so crushed that they seek demotions. Intelligent New Yorkers fully recognize a political operative when they see one. We get that you’re in charge of rooting out deep-seated racism, staffing inequities and scrutiny over hiring practices. That’s nothing new, and nothing you shouldn’t be doing. That you have zero fire experience is also nothing new for a commissioner, so nobody’s faulting you for that. But don’t confuse the issues. You’re working with people who have serious experience in the business of fire operations who have spent long careers protecting the people of this city. And we, the people, have got their backs. Do better. Maggie Hill
Brooklyn: You printed two very childish letters rebutting my question of why it’s not called terrorism when cops allowed 19 kids to be killed in Uvalde, Texas (and killed 1,200 other Americans last year alone). The two Voicers wrote in to say it’s because peaceful protesters are unlawful, violent criminals and that cops are brutal killers because they are the good guys! They were vague and deflected, proving they didn’t actually believe I was wrong. I’ve never met a right-winger who had even a slight grip on reality or what words mean! How much longer before any of them learn better English? Mildred Manham