People are against parks being privatized, the commercialization and sanitizing of our parks, the overarching corporate influence on these public spaces, the public increasingly being denied access to their commons, the resulting lack of transparency and accountability, and so much more.
This is New York City. We should be at the forefront of progressive change. But for too long, New York has shirked this responsibility.
For decades pols pushed a "tough on crime" agenda that swelled prisons and angered communities of color. Shrum & Cosby debate last week's breakthrough decisions on drugs and frisks as Bloomberg throws both a dart and a fit.
Kal Penn once starred in a stoner comedy where he ends up in Guantanamo after a woman on his flight mistakes his bong for a bomb. Now that same Kal Penn has been tweeting his support for New York's stop-and-frisk policy. His tweets have unleashed quite a media storm.
The ongoing expansion of the federal government's takeover of education, dictating the day-to-day terms, by which local public schools are run, has spread with the speed of the Kudzu plant in Georgia.
Over the years, I and countless other New Yorkers have heard far too many horror stories of young men of color being stopped, humiliated, embarrassed and disrespected for no good reason.
I have spent years blaming others for the failures of our system while encouraging my students to fight back, to take action, to believe in the power of one person to make the changes we need. But I've failed to stand up myself -- until now.
The new Common Core Standards tests are really being used as weapons against teachers and schools to force them to adopt questionable but expensive curriculum being marketed by test prep companies that seem to have enormous influence over politicians.
Stopping crime before it happens is a great idea, but stopping young men for "walking while black" -- touted by true believers as the same thing -- is a game played by an occupying army.
We all know that a very small number of people are responsible for committing violent crimes in New York City. And because the majority of those suspected and arrested for violent crimes happen to be black and Latino, that fact should not give license to Bloomberg to demean and humiliate young black and Latino males.
The amount of taxpayer money spent on these incidents is enough to make anyone's head spin. It's simply out of control. And it might be time for the Mayor and Police Commissioner Kelly to accept the reality that police officers need to be retrained and an outside monitor must be established.
Does Mayor Bloomberg honestly believe that the city is safer targeting people like me, a middle-aged college professor, mother and journalist? On several occasions I've been suspected of wrong-doing for simply driving while black.
I like Mayor Bloomberg even when I don't agree with him because he has a history of proactively governing with logic, reason and rationale. In the cases of Stop, Question (more like accuse) and Frisk, I think the mayor and those who share his opinion need more perspective.
Parents and grandparents in this city are tired of having to warn their children about both criminals and the police. Do we want to see crime reduced? Absolutely, because they are doing it to us. But don't criminalize us at the same time.
Arianna and Ron Reagan discuss what's wrong with Washington as seen through Leibowich's #1-selling This Town: Money/media insiders? Radical right who hate Obama and government? Can Bezos's money & tech be a WashPo life-preserver? And did you know about Orion's big supernova?
Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education are rushing to assure parents and school that these sub par grades will not reflect negatively on report cards, middle and high school admissions, teacher evaluations, and school ratings. But how can they not?