Tag Archive: UFT

Sep 28 2012

Addabbo gets UFT Endorsement

Senator Addabbo stands with a cadre of elected officials and members of the UFT at a school named after his late father, State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

Who’s having a good week? On Tuesday State Senator Joseph Addabbo received an enormous boost to his campaign against Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich.

A UFT endorsement carries a lot of weight and can tip the balance of an election considering the large volume of boots they can put on the ground for a candidate, not to mention an enormous sphere of influence and expansive networking prowess.

Read the full press release below.

Press Release: Queens, NY- The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) have endorsed State Sen. Joseph Addabbo for a third term representing New York’s 15th Senate District.

“Senator Addabbo has proven time and again that he is a tireless advocate on behalf of students,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

The unions endorsed the Queens Democrat in front of the Joseph P. Addabbo School in Ozone Park, named after the senator’s late father, 13-term U.S. Congressman Joseph Addabbo.

“I am incredibly honored to have the endorsement of the UFT and NYSUT,” Addabbo said. “Education has always been and always will be one of my first priorities, and because of the support of organizations like the UFT and NYSUT, I have been successful in my fight for quality education for every child.”

Senator Addabbo fought to restore much-needed yellow bus services for over 4,000 7th and 8th graders in New York City, and has worked to decrease class sizes. He also supported a law in which schools have to make detailed plans to address cyberbullying, and backed the 2010 law to combat bullying and discrimination in schools among students with different backgrounds.

With two children in New York schools, Addabbo said he knows how important education is.

“Education is the key to building a better future, and ensuring the success of the next generation,” said Addabbo, a graduate of St. John’s University and Touro Law School. “All children should have the opportunity to learn and reach their full potential.”

Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee, this year helped secure an extra $292 million for city schools, in addition to providing more than $31 million for community colleges, and $28 million for New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/addabbo-has-a-good-week-uft/

May 24 2012

Meng Passes UFT Test With Flying Colors

Meng gets an A and a powerful boost in her campaign courtesy of the UFT.

Meng receives a powerful Union endorsement.


PRESS RELEASE: The United Federation of Teachers announced its recommendation of Grace Meng’s candidacy to the New York State United Teachers for the newly drawn 6thCongressional District.The union claims a statewide membership of over 600,000 members and represents teachers, professors, healthcare professionals and day care providers.

Assemblywoman Meng said,

Nothing is more important than ensuring all of our children receive an A+ education. That’s why I am honored and humbled to receive the recommendation of the United Federation of Teachers – a union which has done so much for our students, teachers and public education system. I am hopeful to earn the support of the New York State United Teachers in the coming days and look forward to continuing the fightfor healthy and safe learning environments for students, securing the necessary resources our teachers deserve and advocating for a first-rate education in all of our schools as a representative in Congress.

The UFT is one of New York’s largest and most politically engaged unions, boasting an extensive media apparatus, direct communication capabilities and an active and dedicated membership. The union has demonstrated considerable electoral strength in Queens in recent elections by playing a pivotal role in the elections and re-elections of Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder and Senator Shirley Huntley.

With over 13,000 UFT households in the 6th Congressional district, the UFT’s support is arguably the most coveted union endorsement in the race for the newly drawn NY-6.

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You can probably guess why Liz Crowley didn’t get the endorsement.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/teachers-back-meng-uft/

Mar 01 2012

The Teacher Who Won the Hearts of All

City Councilman Dan Halloran swears-in Andrew Rocco as the new President of the College Point Civic & Tax Payers Association.

The civic leaders of tomorrow were handed the reigns of leadership as Councilman Halloran swore in an energized civic president and a new slate of talented club officers.

His name is Andrew Rocco and if you live in Queens, chances are you’ve seen him around. From advocating for school bus service to organizing the neighborhood, Andrew Rocco – affectionately known as Andy – has earned the title of President of the College Point Civic Tax Payers Association.

The CPCTA is not a political club, or a philanthropy organization. Instead, the organization is the go-to spot to have anything accomplished in College Point. Do you have a dangerous street yearning for a stop sign? Do you need extra police patrols on your block? This association is one of the most active and organized in Queens to get the job done.

Under the tutelage of outgoing President Joe Femenia, the group has swelled in number. Police officers, business owners, even scientists are known to attend the meetings and play an active role in the group’s success as an organization.  For example, at the officer’s swearing-in ceremony, more than 70 members attended, and they come back for every meeting.

In the crowd, many young faces that heard about the organization from Rocco looked cheerful and comfortable while sitting side by side with veteran members – as if a sense of community transcended age and divisive politics.

Rocco, a UFT teacher and organizer by trade, is a lifelong resident of College Point. He’s well aquainted with the daily grind, everyone knows him by name.

With only two roads in and surrounded by water, College Point has a distinct neighborhood identity.  People are proud to be a part of the fabric of life in this community and its thanks impart to civic-minded citizens like Rocco that nurture strong roots and responsibility for home ownership.  In  College Point, it is not uncommon for families to pass on their homes generation after generation.

It was a cold and rainy night on the wind-swept shores of College Point but that didn’t stop City Councilman Dan Halloran from swearing-in the new board for 2012. Halloran also issued certificates of recognition to the new board for their selfless commitment to community service.

Beaming with a sense of pride for his beloved neighborhood, Rocco, who studied history and political science at The College of St. Rose, stood apart from the crowd while addressing the members from the center of the old Poppenhusen classroom. While looking at his friends and neighbors, he was already thinking about the group’s agenda for the year, and like a natural-born leader Rocco hopes to expand the membership by engaging the community through social media.

At the end of the ceremony, Rocco thanked everyone for attending and reminded them about the next meeting date.

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We are very proud of Andy Rocco he’s the right choice and we wish him the best of luck in all endeavors.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/03/the-teacher-who-won-the-hearts-of-all-andrew-rocco/

Oct 20 2011

UFT Spox Feels Optimistic About Chancellor Walcott

I was at the Clinton Democratic Club and our guest speaker of the evening was Queens Coordinator of the UFT, Dermot Smyth who came to give an update on city schools. He gave us the straight scoop.

Budget cuts, overcrowding, increasing parental involvement, and decentralizing an out-of-touch bureaucracy at the DOE were the primary concerns amidst a room packed with civic leaders and concerned parents.

His comments give us an inside look at what the UFT has been advocating, and he makes some valid points:

 

Dermot Smyth, Queens Coordinator of the UFT addressed the Clinton Democratic Club. See what he has to say on a host of issues with this QP exclusive report.

On Overcrowding:

“In order to serve our students we need a smaller group in the classroom. We have 20,000 new students coming in and less teachers.”

On Community Outreach:

“We have to strengthen community alliances and work with parents in tandem.”

 On Mayor Bloomberg:

“We cannot allow the Mayor to play politics with our children’s education”

“Bloomberg sold to the public that he’s done a great job. He hasn’t.”

“He’s pro-education, Pro-Bloomberg”

 On Chancellor Dennis Walcott:

“We have a chance because he [Dennis] will listen, he’s changed the tone.”

He stood with us. He talks about Dial-a-Teacher where students can call up for homework help for free.”

“Yes he has to do Bloomberg’s bidding, but I’m optimistic.”

On Former Chancellor Joel Klein:

“Disengage was Joe’s policy.”

On Priorities of Budget Cuts:

“When money has dried-up, we must protect our children –  we should do without, the city is not in as bad of a financial state as the Mayor makes it out to be. How is it fare to put kids on the pipeline?”’

On The Current Role of The DOE:

“Centralization from on high is wrong.”

 On Future Prospectus:

“More fights are down the pipeline. I rep teachers and they have already been cut to the bone”

We need new revenue sources.”

On Role of UFT:

“We will stand with you to protect our schools.”

A Call To Action:

“We need to standup and work together with elected officials so stand with us and protect our children.”

We have to protect our schools as a community institution.”

Outrage

Smyth answered questions from parents dissatisfied with the response of their concerns to the DOE. Joe Vaccarro, a Clinton Democratic Club Member, spoke of a personal experience trying to illicit a response from the central bureaucracy.

“We had every parent write a letter and the Mayors advance team didn’t even show up”.

With what Vaccarro believes to be a boilerplate response, 

“The Mayor told us to go to hell – in a nice way,” he said.

Smyth responded with a sense of empathy to Vaccarro’s concerns.

“The Central BOE is blamed with blanket decisions. It is not looked at from a community standpoint,” according to Smyth.

Darren Kaplan of College Point was outraged with “Phantom Busses” that due to nothing less than an out-of-touch centralized bureaucracy have become a mismanaged resource. Under the present policy, students are denied entry to near empty yellow school busses for no other reason than red tape. The situation is compounded by poor logistical planning by the DOE.

“Even if there’s only three students on the bus,” he said with emphasis,

“My kid has been denied entry, she can’t get to school. There is no junior high or high school in College Point, 194 in Whitestone — is the only one, and they can’t get to it under these conditions.”

“On the night before school started at 5:30 PM, I got a recorded voicemail from the principal: No bus service for 7th and 8th graders.”

“They suggested I give my 13 year old five bucks to take the city bus!”

This is outrageous. But luckily at the Clinton Democratic Club, I counted at least 16 civic and labor leaders. President Paul Vallone encouraged us to take the message back to our respective clubs and organizations. Dermot gave out his contact information to all of the attendees. There was also some scuttlebut about Occupy The Bus Stop at JHS 194. There was a lot of networking and our members did a great job expressing their specific concerns to Smyth who will take the message back to the UFT.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/uft/


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