We write as parents of the Village, Lower Manhattan and southern Chelsea. In this election year, when issues surrounding education and policies supporting families have become a central part of our political conversation, we wish to applaud the work of our assemblymember, Deborah Glick, in supporting the city’s children. She has been outstanding among elected officials in her attention to the needs of parents and kids and in the effectiveness of her advocacy on their behalf.
Glick was the originator, and constant defender, of the idea to secure 75 Morton St. for public school space.
She was among the organizers of the very first two public hearings on school overcrowding in the Village, in the winter of 2008. Her rousing speech to a packed gathering in the auditorium of P.S. 3 alerted many local officials to the depth of a problem they had not even recognized. The group of advocates that came out of those hearings, with Glick’s advice and guidance, went on to secure public school space at the Foundling Hospital, in Hudson Square, and on the N.Y.U. superblocks, as well as 75 Morton St.
Assemblymember Glick actively advocated with local parents to protect teachers from threatened layoffs that would have increased class sizes still further.
She was a vocal opponent of N.Y.U. expansion, particularly its impact on open space for children, at a moment when city officials involved in the decision were all giving ground.
Glick held a public town hall hearing in 2008 to solicit parent input on the proposed extension of mayoral control of the schools. Partly in response to parent opposition, she was that spring one of the few heroic New York State legislators who defied Mayor Bloomberg to vote against unmodified renewal of mayoral control.
She organized rare meetings of parents with highly placed public officials, including David Steiner, then the state Education commissioner; and Dennis Walcott, then a deputy mayor, to address school overcrowding.
The assemblymember provided eloquent responses to many issues of vital interest to parents — when other officials were often silent — giving testimony at public hearings; writing to highly placed officials; and publishing op-eds on (among other things) adequate state funding for class-size reduction; excessive standardized testing; unwanted charter school co-location; and politically motivated school closures.
Glick advocated energetically for extensive public givebacks, including a large subsidy for the arts at P.S. 41 and P.S. 3, in the wake of the Trinity and Rudin rezonings.
She wrote to the state Education commissioner opposing the appointment of Cathie Black as the city’s schools chancellor.
Glick opposed selling off public parkland to private residential developers on Pier 40, defending the preservation of our open spaces and Villagers’ right to our share of tax-funded park dollars to preserve our public infrastructure.
In our experience, which collectively is extensive, we can think of no elected official who has been more principled, attentive and vigorous in his or her support of the interests of kids. We hope that as an administration that has repeatedly challenged New York City’s parents and families passes into history, more public officials will be empowered and inspired to follow Glick’s example.
Irene Kaufman, co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee; former member, P.S. 41 P.T.A., Greenwich Village Girls Basketball League
Ann Kjellberg, co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee; former member, P.S. 41 School Leadership Team; parent, Lab Middle School; former parent, Downtown United Soccer Club, Pier 40 baseball, Greenwich Village Girls Basketball League
Shino Tanikawa, president, Community Education Council District 2; former officer, District 2 Presidents Council; former member, P.S. 3 P.T.A.; co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee
Lisa Donlan, president, Community Education Council District 1
Tamara Rowe, former president, C.E.C. District 2; member, District 2 Presidents Council; former member, P.S. 3 P.T.A. and Clinton School for Writers and Artists P.T.A.; co-founder, Public School Parent Advocacy Committee
Keen Berger, member, Community Board 2 Social Services and Education Committee; former chairperson, District 2 school board; Democratic district leader
Denise Collins, member, C.B. 2 Social Services and Education Committee; P.S. 3 Political Action Committee
Tina Schiller, former member, P.S. 234 Overcrowding Committee; P.S. 234 S.L.T.; former member, C.B. 1 Education Committee
Tricia Joyce, member, P.S. 234 Overcrowding Committee; vice president, P.S. 234 P.T.A.
Heather Campbell, member, C.B. 2 S.L.A. Committee; P.S. 41 Parent Advocacy Committee
Joan Hoffman, G.V. Girls Basketball League; parent activist
Robert Ely, parent activist
Michael Markowitz, parent activist
Rebecca Daniels, parent activist
Vicki Arbitrio, parent activist
Susan Crowson, parent activist
Annette Evans, parent activist
Paul Hovitz, parent activist
Affiliations for identification purposes only