Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Solution to the Economy on President's Day

Happy President's Day! Today marks the first time I'll mention my marketing agency thekbuzz here, because we're launching a really cool program with possible economic implications in Queens.

You can read all about the program, The Atlas Solution, here, and I'll let you be the judge: Clever marketing program, chance to make an impact on the local economy, or perhaps both?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day to the City I Love!

Today is a special day for me, my 7 month old Kate's first Valentine's day. Happy Valentine's Day to the 3 women I love at home, Carrie, Charlotte, and Kate, to my family I love everywhere, and to all of the people I love in the greatest city in the world, New York!

I think John Lennon summed it up best right here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Queens is on the Rise! Thanks, Helen

This morning I attended a Queens Chamber of Commerce breakfast with Borough President Helen Marshall. The food was good, and the people I met and saw again were great, but BP Marshall, and moreover Queens, stole the show.

Her adapted State-of-the-Borough speech (link to full text here) was phenomenal, and it made me feel terrific, not only as a future Councilperson out of Queens, but as a Queens resident, choosing to raise my family here.

Thanks, Helen.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Christine Quinn's bonus pay idea for teachers a great idea at face value!

NYC Council Chair and likely 2009 mayoral candidate Christine Quinn will push hard for a pilot program which would give highly qualified teachers bonus pay to work in tough schools in difficult areas, according to today's Daily Politics from the NY Daily News. The full text of the excerpt from tomorrow's State of the City speech appears below. This is a terrific (and politically smart) idea from Quinn, and as a future Councilman who wants to make education my number one priority, I can whole-heartedly support this initiative. I hope the UFT (and more important Mayor Bloomberg) give it the same support.

"As The Council's Middle School Task Force report showed, our middle schools are having great difficulty attracting and keeping qualified experienced teachers.

And as you might expect, the problem is most acute in the lowest performing schools in our poorest neighborhoods.

To turn around this situation I am proposing a pilot program for bonus pay to recruit and retain highly qualified, experienced teachers.

I am calling on the Department of Education and the education unions to come together to offer substantial salary incentives to teachers who are willing to work and stay in our most troubled middle schools.

Look, we have to admit that some schools are harder to teach in than others.

And if we are going to convince our best teachers to go there or stay there we have to be willing to experiment with different approaches to compensating them.

If this new approach works I will push hard to take it city-wide and guarantee every middle school student a great education. With innovative and cooperative efforts like this we are on the path to having schools that every New Yorker can feel confident in and proud of."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Whether it's for Obama or Clinton, Make Sure You Vote Today or Register Soon

It's Super Tuesday, and I'm feeling super! As the New York Times said the other day about Jewish voters in New York (of which I'm one of course), it's an embarrassment of riches with Obama and Clinton. Both are excellent candidates that bring a lot to the table for New Yorkers and the nation.

I'll be voting for Clinton, but I do like Obama a lot too. Heck, I don't agree with his politics, but from everything I can tell, John McCain would make a pretty darn good leader too.

The only way you can lose is if you don't vote.

I interviewed a babysitter for my kids yesterday, a smart, passionate college senior who wants to make the world a better place. She wasn't voting, and felt disillusioned about government and the political process. This made me very sad. Surely if this bright, idealistic 22 year old had no intention to vote, there are countless other people young and old not voting in arguably the most important election year of our lives.

The good news? There's still time for the November election.
VOTE TODAY IF IT'S YOUR STATE'S PRIMARY, AND IF YOU'RE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE YET, REGISTER TODAY! CLICK HERE! Every vote does count, young ladies and gentlemen, and your future is in fact on the line.

Besides, if you're in the 23rd District of New York City, I'll need you to register in time to vote for me next year.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Went to 2 Events Last Night...and One was actually moving

Last night I attended the quarterly fundraiser for the Queens County Democratic Party, who is whole-heartedly supporting Hillary for President. Saw a lot of the same faces, mostly friendly, that I see at all of these functions. Frankly, these functions are already starting to get boring- and the race has barely begun. Thanks to Morty Povman and my friends from the JFK Regular Democratic Club for setting me up at the really wasn't so bad, just not as inspirational as I'd hoped.

I left early, though, to attend a the kickoff party for my neighbor's Relay for Life event with the American Cancer Society. The event last night was held at the Queens County Farm, in my district, just as the relay will be at the Farm May 31st - June 1st, 2008. What an amazing, inspiring group of people the folks are that I met and saw last night. I can't wait for the Relay, at which I'll be a Team Captain. Let me know if you're interested in participating in any way.