Work together to fight against racism
Anti-racism is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires not only deep self-examination, but a careful, community-informed, inclusive conversation between those who create policy and those who are impacted by it, often not the same groups of people.
Centering any one person in anti-racist work is deeply problematic and antithetical to the work itself.
That is why I am so proud of our team at the Niskayuna Central School District for the way in which we arrived at our Anti-Racism Policy. Teachers, students, alumni, community members, administrators and board members were all part of the process. And the implementation requires more of the same.
By continuing to listen to each other, valuing the contributions of other and lifting each other up, we can bring this policy on paper to life in our community. It’s a powerful framework upon which to build relationships as equals.
We have difficult decisions ahead as a school board and we are very aware that social media often makes it easier to sow division rather than engage in meaningful interaction and tell truths.
I would urge our community to reach out to any of the members of the Board of Education with your questions and your concerns rather than seeking outlets on social media. We work hard for you. We’re listening. We care. We will build this better. Together.
The writer is a member of the Niskayuna Central School District Board of Education.
Refer to gatherings as peaceful protests
The governor has now imposed, meaning to, “force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted or put in place,” another arbitrary and capricious executive order requiring 10 guests or less for home gatherings. Why not nine, or possibly 14 or 12?
Simply because being capricious and arbitrary does not require any basis in true medical research or fact.
Let us not forget that only months ago, the governor had placed no restrictions upon those persons, “protesting peacefully,” and those rioting and looting en mass thousands across New York state.
Had their actions not posed a real and substantial risk to the health of these participants and others?
Apparently not to Gov. Cuomo.
To my knowledge, the governor had not condemned nor intervened in any way concerning the public health or safety in regard to those participating at that time.
Did he limit the protesters’ gatherings? Did the governor demand and threaten the mayors and city police with removal for violating their oath of office at that time for not enforcing existing law, standing down and allowing looting and rioting and the disruption of peaceful protests to continue across New York state, in particular those events which took place in New York City?
Are those “peacefully protesting” and looting somehow immune from this coronavirus and exempt from Gov. Cuomo’s executive orders?
If so, that is good news. Possibly all New Yorkers shall also be at “peaceful protest” this holiday season.
Cuomo’s order is unconstitutional
I disagree strongly with The Gazette’s Nov. 19 editorial (“Response to covid order disappointing.”)
In March and April, Gov. Cuomo was given emergency powers by the Legislature to suspend any law and withhold any funds. He then mandated right before Thanksgiving that no more than 10 people be in any home, to be enforced by the police.
However, nothing the governor or Legislature does can violate the Constitution as it has supremacy over all U.S. laws. The Fourth Amendment is clear that no home can be searched without probable cause and a warrant.
If police drive by a home with 10 cars in the driveway (assuming one person per car) then they have no cause to trespass and no warrant, either. Only if a neighbor reports 50 people entering a home would the police respond, and only if there wasn’t more urgent business like rape, murder, domestic violence, a fatal car crash, etc.
Given the Constitution’s Search and Seizure clauses would you also agree if Gov. Cuomo ordered the police to relocate positive testing people to hotels, or to quarantine facilities? What if he orders police to bring doctors to forcibly vaccinate people in their homes? The Nuremberg Code prohibits this too, i.e. voluntary consent is required.
The people are reminding Gov. Cuomo and the police that they work for us, within the Constitution, and “I was just following orders” (the Nuremberg Defense) is never legal. Particularly for Gov. Cuomo. The sheriff who called this unconstitutional is a lawyer and judge.
On Saturday, shop local, shop small
Small businesses are hurting due to covid. You can help by shopping small on Saturday.
The kick-off to the holiday shopping season looks a lot different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the change in how we celebrate the holidays and purchase gifts for friends and family presents an opportunity for New Yorkers to support their local small businesses.
The pandemic and resulting statewide economic shutdowns and business restrictions forced thousands of small businesses to close their doors.
The effects were devastating, and many are still struggling to survive. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s COVID-19 Small Business Survey, 39% of small businesses will not be able to operate after 7-12 months if economic conditions do not improve and 47% of small businesses are still seeing lower sales volume compared to pre-covid levels. These are devastating and sobering statistics.
As community members and consumers, we can make a difference by spending our dollars locally on Saturday, Nov. 28, and all year long.
Many small businesses are now offering online purchases for curbside pickup or delivery, and consumers can place orders over the phone or buy gift cards.
Small business owners, who are our hardworking neighbors, friends, and family members, need our support. They create jobs, bring in tax revenue, give to charities, and bring life and character to our communities. New York’s economy and our neighborhoods can’t afford to see them close permanently. This Saturday, shop local and shop small.
The writer is New York assistant state director of NFIB.
Republicans can no longer stay silent
In America today, a sitting president is refusing to accept the results of the election and cede power, having lost the Electoral College vote 306-232 and the popular vote by 6 million. This is the stuff of dictatorships.
Having lost court actions to overturn the vote based on bizarre conspiracy claims without evidence, Trump now is trying to pressure state legislators to steal the election for him.
If he succeeds in subverting the will of the people, America will no longer be a republic.
But Trump cannot succeed without the support of the Republican Party establishment, including those here in New York’s Capital Region. All patriotic Americans must call out each and every Republican elected official and party leader who stands with this anti-American attempted coup.
Sen. Jim Tedisco, Assembly member Mary Beth Walsh, Rep. Elise Stefanik — will you continue to be silent, and thereby complicit, as your party commits treason, trying to turn America into an authoritarian fascistic kleptocracy?
While our republic is probably strong enough to withstand this assault, your un-American support for an attempted overthrow of the republic will be remembered long after Trump is gone.
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