This is what the least attended City Wide PTO forum in recent memory looks like.
Here are my initial thoughts on last night's Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum in Danbury.
1. POOR ATTENDANCE: As someone who has attended and videotaped every PTO forum (dating back to 2007), after you factor out the connected people to charter schools and the candidates, last night's event was the least attended forum I've witnessed.
The low turnout could be due to the early start time of the forum. Traditionally, the event is held later in the evening instead of a 6 PM start time which is too early for most adults with children to attend. The low turnout could also indicate that education is not the central issue that campaigns want you to believe.
2. The MULTIPLE disruptions from OPPONENTS and SUPPORTERS of charter schools were childish and stupid: The nonsense from supporters and opponents of charter schools was sickening, disrespectful, and has no business in the public discourse. The people wanted to hear from the members of the Board of Education about their views on policy. Instead, people witnessed a mainsplaining shoutfest that was complete with numerous interruptions from a bunch of goofballs who are NOT running for elected office.
3. IT'S TIME TO REMOVE THE CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR FROM THE FORUM.
We learned very little from the mayoral candidates regarding their SPECIFIC plan to address decades-old educational concerns. Meanwhile, we had VERY GOOD responses from the candidates of the BOE. They are responsible for the bulk of the educational decisions in the city and deserve more attention than what they received.
Mayoral candidates have an entire mayoral forum where they can debate their differences. Candidates for the BOE candidates, who usually receive little attention from the media, should not be forced to share their time in the spotlight with mayoral candidates who have no say in the day-to-day operations of the school system.
THUMBS UP: Ralph Pietrafesa, Rachel Chaleski.
Of all of the BOE candidates, Ralph Pietrafesa, Rachel Chaleski hit it out of the park with detailed and informed responses to the questions. It was clear that both candidates did their homework and illustrated that they deserved the public's vote.
THUMBS DOWN: EVERY candidate who was more interested in tossing around old recycled political/partisan talking points instead of offering meaningful insight and clarity on real education concerns the BOE will face in the future.
From the defenders of the state legislative delegation's inability to provide Danbury a fair share of ECS funding to the childish temper tantrums over charter schools, let us hope that the public will award the most egregious violators of public decency with a thumbs down vote at the polls.
BIGGEST LOSERS: The public.
Last night's forum was the ONE AND ONLY time the public will see candidates in person before election day. Unfortunately, for the most part, we were presented with a partisan mud-slinging show that lacked details on BOE-related matters that the public deserves.
Today, the Roberto Alves campaign released the candidate's plan to address infrastructure concerns in the city.
Roberto Alves Releases Plan to Support and Maintain Danbury Infrastructure
DANBURY, C.T. — City Councilman and Democratic Candidate for Mayor Roberto Alves today released his plan to support and maintain Danbury’s infrastructure. Alves' plan takes a global approach to address road conditions and flooding, transportation and walkability citywide, quality of life, and community conservation.
“The conditions of our roads and pipes, our transportation networks, our public spaces, and more affect not only our property values, but it affects our bottom line -- this is a quality of life issue,” said Councilman Roberto Alves. “It’s going to take a thoughtful, creative, and cost-effective approach to address our city’s infrastructure needs, present, and future, and as Mayor, I’m not going to sit back and pave the same roads every few years and call it a job well done. I’m going to be proactive, and seek collaborative, creative solutions while keeping taxes low.” Concluded Alves.
Alves’ plan, which can be seen below highlights the need to address present and future infrastructure needs using ARP funds, and partnering with state agencies to obtain grants geared toward making Danbury more walkable and bike-friendly. The plan also addresses the need to update pipes and how the city can make roads more resilient to prevent and mitigate flooding in Danbury’s most flood-prone areas, and better manage stormwater drainage.
Alves Plan to Support and Maintain Danbury’s Infrastructure
It’s no secret that the key to the success of any city is a solid, consistently maintained infrastructure. Everything from our roads, to our facilities, water supply, pipes, electrical grid, to our train tracks, and more affects our property values and our quality of life. Danbury can and should expand our capabilities as a community by supporting infrastructure upgrades.
Strategically apply ARP funds to update our pipes, our drains, and broadband while working with state partners to obtain grants like the Urban Act Grant Program and the Community Connectivity Grant Program (CCGP) to proactively address our city’s walkability while becoming more bike-friendly, map tourism and cultural assets, and assess climate vulnerability -- including flooding
Make our roads more resilient, especially in flood-prone areas by upgrading stormwater drainage and storage systems, using permeable paving materials, and assessing road elevation
Work with the CT DOT to enter into Public-Private-Partnerships (P3s) to rebuild local transportation and connectivity
Lobby the state to complete the I-84 project in a timelier manner than the proposed 20+ year projection
Utilize available grants, like the CCGP, to create accommodations for bicyclists and improve pedestrian accommodations to make them safer, which in turn would encourage more environmentally friendly modes of transportation
Commission a study to assess our city’s aging infrastructure, especially our underground water mains and pipes so we can get in front of routine water shutoffs, water main breaks, and service disruptions
Improve quality of life and promote health, exercise, community conservation, and development by addressing housing affordability, creating community spaces and multi-use destinations such as parks, outdoor fitness and calisthenic spaces, squares, and gardens, using a low-cost, high-impact approach
Roberto Alves has been endorsed by the Connecticut Working Families Party, Western Connecticut AFL-CIO, AFT Connecticut, SEIU 1199 New England, CSEA SEIU Local 2001, CEUI, Carpenters Local 210 and has earned the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction. A product of Danbury’s public schools, Roberto Alves is a City Councilman At-Large and brings nearly a decade of private sector and community-driven experience to the position. He lives on West Redding Road in Danbury with his spouse Robyn, and their two children, Julius and Catalina
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.