Former Democratic assemblyman asks Flanagan to end mayoral control

Former Democratic assemblyman asks Flanagan to end mayoral control

May 13, 2016

Citing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s un-kept campaign promise of more inclusion of parents in the public education process, the Campaign for Fair Latino Representation, in a letter to state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Senator Carl Marcellino, the Chair of the Education Committee, is asking the  the Senate to end New York City mayoral control of the school system.

The two-page missive states that, “Latinos in particular, who make up the largest segment of the city's public school students (41 percent), have been ill-served by the current system.”

The organization “calls for the adoption of an elected school board for New York City and that provides for a one-year transitional extension of Mayoral control during which an independent commission is established to develop a new school governance system.”

The letter is signed by Javier Nieves, the chair of the Campaign for Fair Latino Representation, and a former state Assembly member who represented Brooklyn’s 51st Assembly District (now represented by Félix Ortiz) in the Assembly for one term. Nieves is a Democrat and actively campaigned for Bill de Blasio in the 2013 primary and general election.

His disenchantment with Mayor de Blasio stems from the larger discussion on the lack of Latino appointments in his administration, which has become a major concern among Latino activists and professionals across the city. The Campaign for Fair Latino Representation was formed in April 2014 to address this exclusion.

The organization has met with various de Blasio administration representatives, including First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, but their repeated requests to meet directly with de Blasio have been rejected.

The emailed letter opposing mayoral control was sent only to Republican Senators and also cites “recent opinion polls among residents of the city have indicated that New Yorkers are opposed or very divided over the issue of Mayoral control.” The letter goes on to state, “existing research on mayoral control does not conclude that it results in higher educational achievement.”

According to the Campaign for Fair Latino Representation, “at no time has Mayor de Blasio held public hearings on the subject or consulted with the public in other ways.”

Nieves, who served with Flanagan when they were both first elected to the Assembly, was in the process on Friday afternoon of requesting a meeting with the Majority Leader on behalf of his organization for next week. Stay tuned.