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S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 1 May 2011 Staten Island Democratic Association est. 1961 as Staten Island’s reform Democratic Club www.sidems.org At our Next Meeting: Redistricting - Alex Camarda, Citizens Union - Susan Lerner, Common Cause Single Payer Health Insurance - Ajamu Sankofa Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 8:00 P.M., Karl’s Klipper, 40 Bay Street, 718-720442
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  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 1

    � � � � � � � May 2011

    Staten Island Democratic Association est. 1961 as Staten Island’s reform Democratic Club

    www.sidems.org

    At our Next Meeting:

    • Redistricting

    - Alex Camarda, Citizens Union

    - Susan Lerner, Common Cause

    • Single Payer Health Insurance

    - Ajamu Sankofa

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 8:00 P.M., Karl’s Klipper, 40 Bay Street, 718-720442

    � � � � � � �

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 2

    Editorial Policy Items for publication must be submitted to the newsletter no later than the last Friday of the month before the meeting. Please send items to:

    cmaxbauer@yahoo.com. Unless explicitly stated, the views herein are those of the authors and not of S.I.D.A.

    Chris Bauer, Editor

    (917) 576-9248

    Table of Contents • S.I.D.A. President’s Message ........................................................................................... 3 • Redistricting ..................................................................................................................... 4 • Single Payer Health Insurance .......................................................................................... 6 • Minutes ............................................................................................................................. 8 • Letters ............................................................................................................................... 9 • Flashback ........................................................................................................................ 11 • Mark Herman Picnic ...................................................................................................... 12 • ALS Walk ....................................................................................................................... 13 • View from the First Row ................................................................................................ 13 • Bill of Rights, 1st Half .................................................................................................... 14 • Staten Island LGBT

    Pride Parade .................................................................................................................... 15

    • Peace Action of Staten Island ......................................................................................... 15 • Upcoming Meetings ....................................................................................................... 16 • Join/Renewal Form......................................................................................................... 17 • Executive Committee ..................................................................................................... 17

    “I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical.”

    - Thomas Jefferson 1787

    *** MEETING LOCATION! ***

    We are still at

    40 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10301

    718-720442

    We will have a new double speaker sound system to offset noise from the bar!

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 3

    S.I.D.A. President’s Message

    May 2011 unday night, May 1st, the American people learned from President Barack Obama, that Osama bin Laden was killed in a lightning raid of his secret compound in Pakistan adjacent to a military base, a major police station

    and the Pakistani military academy. The world saw a picture of our President, Vice President, Secretary of State and members of the National Security Team following the mission in real time. A U.S. Navy Seal Team landed in the compound in stealth helicopters, killed five people in the raid including Osama bin Laden, his son, and his most trusted courier, and removed Bin Laden’s body for what has been characterized as a quick burial at sea in accordance with Muslim law. In the 38 minutes the team was on the ground the compound was stripped of computer equipment and documents as well. Conflicting information, according to a story in the Staten Island Advance on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 was attributed by White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, to “the fog of war.” Here are headlines from different sections of The New York Times on May 6, 2011, five days later:

    TOP NEWS

    • “Data Show Bin Laden Plots; C.I.A. Hid Near Raided House”

    WASHINGTON MEMO

    • “Raid Account, Hastily Told, Proves Fluid: The shifting narrative of the raid of Osama bin Laden’s complex may have distracted from the accomplishments of the Seal team and raised suspicions of the operation.”

    WORLD

    • “Attack on Bin Laden Used Stealthy Helicopter That Had Been a Secret” • “Celebrating a Death: Ugly, Maybe, but Only Human: Raucous rallies that broke out in New York and

    Washington after news of Osama bin Laden’s killing were a matter of “pure existential release,” a social psychologist said.”

    U.S.

    • “Obama Honors Victims of Bin Laden at Ground Zero: President Obama visited ground zero and laid a wreath at a memorial to the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11 attacks.”

    • “At Firehouse in Midtown, a V.I.P. Stops by for Lunch”

    POLITICS

    • “Pentagon Breaks Silence on Pakistani Role” • “Account Tells of One-Sided Battle in Bin Laden Raid” Ten years after the horrific attacks orchestrated by Osama bin Laden, justice has finally come to this terrorist leader of al-Qaida. Our President gave the order to kill or capture bin Laden. His administration and the Navy Seal Team performed their duty. As the stories and headlines cited above demonstrate--while we are thankful that the world is rid of an arch-enemy of peace--we must continue to search for all the facts, and we must make moral as well as political judgments regarding the events which have taken place. (We must also encourage our President to draw down our troops as he promised and to work unceasingly for an end to war in the Middle East.) We are a nation which was founded on the highest principles as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and which is governed under an incredibly powerful Constitution and Bill of Rights. We are a country which prides itself on following the rule of law. We must constantly act within the law, with justice as our standard, in the bright light of peace and not the fog of war.

    - Dennis Brown

    President �

    S

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 4

    Redistricting We will have two speakers on the topic of redistricting at our May 17 General Meeting. One is Alex Camarda of

    ReShapeNY, the reform campaign of Citizens Union. The other is Susan Lerner of Common Cause. What follows is

    information about both groups and the speakers taken from the groups’ websites, http://reshapeny.org and

    www.commoncause.org.

    RESHAPENY

    eShapeNY seeks to end partisan gerrymandering and create a new fair and independent redistricting process to draw state legislative and congressional district lines in time for the 2012 elections.

    ReShapeNY is a broad-based campaign made up of statewide and local civic-minded organizations, as well as individuals who want to bring change to Albany and help restore public confidence in our state government.

    The Goal? To pass state legislation that (1) ends the political manipulation for partisan advantage in the drawing of district lines and (2) establishes an independent commission that would propose to the state legislature how the district maps are drawn for the 2012 elections. The politically balanced and impartial commission would use fair and sensible criteria and be guided by clear guidelines in drawing the maps to ensure the process serves all New Yorkers and their communities rather than preserves the Albany status quo. The public is clamoring for reform to end the gridlock that too often grips our state government. Having an independent redistricting commission draw state and congressional district lines will remove the inherent conflict of self-interest that exists when legislators do it themselves. The current process essentially allows legislators to choose their voters before the voters choose them. Nearly two-thirds of voters according to a June 2010 Quinnipiac poll – across all parties – believe that legislators should create an independent body to draw district lines. This level of public support, coupled with the support of a large majority of legislators, means that the question regarding redistricting reform is not if it will happen, but rather how and when.

    What is Redistricting? Redistricting involves the redrawing of legislative and congressional districts and is a crucial component of the electoral process which occurs every 10 years following the U.S. Census count. In theory, it ensures that all citizens are fairly and equally represented through their elected officials. At the federal level, congressional seats are split up (apportioned) based on the relative populations of each state. States then draw the individual district lines for all federal elections – these are referred to as congressional districts. At the state level, district lines for state legislative seats are drawn based on how the population is dispersed across the state. In New York, state legislators draw their own lines, creating a process that is political and often partisan. Redistricting will occur next in New York in 2011 and 2012, beginning soon after the state receives the data from the U.S. Census on or before April 1st, 2011. New district lines need to be in place before the 2012 elections, meaning that change must occur in 2011 – or wait another 10 years for the next chance to change the process. The New York process is governed by both the federal law and the state constitution.

    What is Partisan

    Gerrymandering? Gerrymandering occurs when electoral district boundaries are deliberately drawn for political purposes, rather than drawing boundaries virtually equal in population that reflect actual communities. It can produce unusual and oftentimes unnecessarily contorted district shapes and sizes that split apart communities. Some districts need to be drawn unusually to comply with the respective laws governing redistricting and to ensure fair and effective minority representation, but too many are drawn for partisan advantage and are not compact enough. Because legislators in New York can draw their own lines, they essentially choose the voters before the voters choose them. Through the Legislative Task Force on Reapportionment and Redistricting (LATFOR), legislators themselves have in the past drawn and then voted upon district lines in order to maintain the power of the political party in charge, protect lawmakers already in office and discourage competition from challengers, even within the same party, and secure allegiance to party leadership . Legislative gerrymandering is the single biggest factor contributing to the gridlock and chaos of Albany because it reinforces a system rooted in self-interest rather than the public interest. As new lines were drawn in past

    R

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 5

    redistricting processes, bipartisan “horse trades” enabled the Assembly and Senate to institutionalize partisan control of each of these bodies. With fewer competitive races as a result of such gerrymandering, voters saw no reason to vote and stayed home, freeing incumbents to win 96% of their re-election races. Safely ensconced, these legislators feel no need to move beyond their partisan base and forge bipartisan solutions to the state’s pressing problems, instead simply backing the political agenda of the powerful legislative leaders who have made it possible for them to continue holding office. This leaves little room for effective and meaningful citizen influence in creating the public policies that affect them. By changing the way voting districts are drawn, we will attack the root of a long standing power structure designed more to keep legislators in office rather than to serve the people of New York State.

    The Solution By establishing an independent redistricting commission whose job is to impartially draw sensible lines that create diverse districts representing real communities, not incumbents, politicians will be more likely respond to a broad constituent base in order to be re-elected. Real candidate choice gives us the power to shape the public policy debate and move toward consensus-based solutions, not back room deals.

    ReShapeNY Speaker

    Alex Camarda

    Alex Camarda is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Citizens Union, an independent, nonpartisan, civic organization of members who promote good government and advance political reform in the city and state of New York. In that capacity, he manages the organization’s redistricting reform campaign, ReShapeNY, and oversees its efforts to achieve its City policy agenda, including advocating for reforms before the recently convened City Lobbying Commission. Camarda previously worked in the State Senate for Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein, serving as his Policy Director in 2008-2009, where he worked on proposals related to property tax relief and a more progressive state income tax. Camarda also worked for Klein in 2004-2005, playing an integral role in his winning campaign for state senate in 2004, and serving in his government office as Deputy Chief of Staff, Press Secretary and Community Liaison. In between stints working for Klein, Camarda was Associate Director for New School Development in the NYC Department of Education, working within the Office of New Schools and Portfolio Development that directs the RFP process for the creation of new small schools that have transformed the educational landscape in New York City. Nearly eighty new schools were created during Camarda’s time at the Department, including the opening of Columbia Secondary School, a selective school on the Upper West Side.

    COMMON CAUSE

    Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Now with nearly 400,000 members and supporters and 36 state organizations, Common Cause remains committed to honest, open and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy. Common Cause/New York is the citizen's lobbyist and we speak up for clean elections and ethical standards for our elected officials. We stand up for responsive government. For years, we've provided a clear, strong voice for you and the citizens of New York. CC/NY is a leading force in the battle for honest and accountable government. In the past three decades, by fighting together we have enacted real change and will continue to do so in New York and nationally.

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 6

    One of Common Cause/NY's highest priorities has always been reforming New York State government to make it more open, honest and accountable to the people it serves. Albany's dysfunction is legendary, but during the 2005/2006 session Common Cause/NY, along with our members, activists and fellow civic organizations, heralded in the passage of reform legislation in seven out of ten areas that we had identified as priorities late in 2004! The reforms were broad, but not deep, so we will continue working hard to address some of the more difficult items on our agenda - redistricting, public financing of elections, and ethics reform. Read on to learn more about our reform campaign and to find out how you can get involved.

    Common Cause Speaker

    Susan Lerner

    Susan Lerner is the executive director of Common Cause New York. Prior to her recent return to New York, Susan was the executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign. She served as a member of the Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Club's Voices of Reform Project and on the Board of Trustees of the California State Summer School for the Arts. She founded and chaired the Committee for Judicial Independence, a grassroots organization dedicated to educating and activating Americans to the importance of an independent federal judiciary, and lead a statewide coalition of groups active on federal judicial nominations. For almost 20 years, Susan was a trial lawyer in Los Angeles specializing in complex commercial litigation and intellectual property. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU School of Law. �

    Single Payer Health Insurance We will have Ajamu Sankofa of Private Health Insurance Must Go! Speak on the topic of single payer health

    insurance at our May 17 General Meeting. The following was taken from PHIMG’s website, www.phimg.org.

    PHIMG Coalition

    he Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition (PHIMGC) is a growing and diverse New York City-based non-partisan organization focused on education, legislative advocacy and direct action in the fight for single-

    payer healthcare reform and HR 676. Our core mission is education--laying out the basic facts about the American health care system. These are damning facts that the private insurers are trying so hard to keep out of the healthcare debate.

    The Private Health

    Insurance Swindle

    The private health insurance industry is responsible for up to 30% of our insurance premiums being wasted on basic administration. Our money is misspent on false advertising, along with the salaries of employees whose job it is to challenge claims, and armies of D.C. lobbyists who bribe and bully elected officials to represent the industry above the will of the people. This waste, estimated to be anywhere from $180-350 billion per year, is diverted from making sick people healthy, and from enabling healthy people to stay that way. Americans are tired of being abused and harassed by their private health insurers. Claims for life-saving procedures are denied, resulting in avoidable deaths. In addition, thousands of people with health insurance end up in bankruptcy every year due to uncovered healthcare expenses, and this is quickly becoming the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

    T

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 7

    In an oftentimes futile attempt to receive fair compensation for their services, physicians are spending more and more of their time dealing with the billing departments of insurance companies rather than seeing patients. This frustration is causing some to leave the profession, exacerbating the shortage of medical professionals in our country Health insurance companies have approval ratings just slightly higher than those of tobacco companies because of one very simple reason: they are not in the business of providing healthcare at all. The private insurers are in the business of maximizing profit by denying care, thereby putting their customers at risk of serious health injury and death. There can be no national system of guaranteed quality health care for all in the United States as long as it includes the private health insurers. To cover the entire country, without bankrupting it in the process, we must realize massive cost savings. The easiest way to accomplish this is to cut out the middleman and move to a national publicly financed and privately delivered system for providing comprehensive non-profit health INSURANCE to everyone.

    What We're Up Against

    and How We Fight It The private health insurance industry has billions of dollars and thousands of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. to fight us by stoking the political fires with anti-government bigotry and propaganda. They will dishonestly call this socialism and repeat the same tired lies about how publicly funded health care systems don't work for other countries. However, they do work. They save money, improve health outcomes, and save lives. The people of the United States are increasingly aware that insurance-company greed is the reason our health care system is being allowed to rot. More and more of our neighbors are turning away from anti-government zealotry and are supporting genuine health care reform: a publicly funded, privately delivered national healthcare program. Groups like ours are fighting to create a large grassroots movement to ensure that we get real reform, not another bandage. The well-organized voice of the majority of Americans will not be silenced by insurance-industry greed.

    PHIMG Coalition Speaker

    Ajamu Sankofa

    Ajamu Sankofa is a human rights public policy specialist. His expertise is in the area of criminal justice, public health, and healthcare. As a former trial lawyer for the ACLU National Prison Project, he represented incarcerated people throughout the United States against violations of their eighth amendment rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. During this time, Mr. Sankofa directed the Prison Project’s AIDS Project and wrote the first in the nation model policy for the prevention of AIDS among incarcerated juveniles. As the Director of New York City PoliceWatch of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, he organized legal support for victims of police brutality that never makes the headlines. As the Executive Director of the NYC Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, he helped to lead community campaigns against environmental racism. He is a founding member of the Private Health Insurance Must Go Coalition and the National Co-Chair of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care. Mr. Sankofa currently directs the Urban Leadership Program at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education of the City University of New York. He resides in Brooklyn, New York with his two cats Aries and Sunra. �

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 8

    Minutes

    General Meeting

    April 19, 2011

    ice President John Lavelle called the meeting to order at 8:12 p.m. He welcomed everyone to the April meeting and announced that he would be filling in as chair for the evening because President Brown had been in the

    E.R. He said that Brown was doing okay and asked everyone to keep him in their prayers. A motion was made to accept the previous month’s minutes. The motion carried.

    Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Tom Shcherbenko reported a balance as of April 19 of $4,500. Tom reviewed income and club expenses that transpired during the past month with the members. He also mentioned that we will have a lot of expenses in the near future with the upcoming dinner. He urged members to make sure to pay their dues.

    Social Secretary’s Report

    Social Secretary Liz Price announced that S.I.D.A.’s 50th Anniversary Dinner is set for September 27th at the Staaten. She mentioned that there are still many details to work out. Liz announced that the Planning Committee met on April 5th and that the next meeting is scheduled for April 21st at the Kings Arms Diner, time 7:00 pm. Liz mentioned that all are welcome. Liz also announced that the annual Mark Herman picnic is scheduled for July 17th.

    Environmental Committee Chair Susan Chew urged members to call Gov. Cuomo and to ask him to prohibit hydro fracturing in the New York water shed. She also mentioned that there is a new bill in Congress, The New Alternative Transportation HR 1380. Finally, Susan said that she is looking for a few volunteers to man a table at the St George Day festivities on Saturday, April 23rd. Meet at Victory Boulevard and Bay St.

    Issues Committee Chair Loretta Prisco mentioned that the committee is scheduled to meet next week and they will review Social Security Issues.

    Political Action Committee

    Chair Richard Reichard urged S.I.D.A. members to write Letters to the Editor. He also wants us to keep track of the various local Republican officials on Staten Island. He made two motions: Motion # 1

    “To have a member of the Executive Committee send a letter to the editor, acknowledging Senator Savino and Assemblymembers Cusick and Titone for signing the pledge to support independent redistricting and for signing on as a co-sponsor to pending legislation.” Motion # 2

    “To have the Club participate in the New Yorkers for Clean Water’s anti-hydraulic fracking rally outside of State Senator Lanza’s office on Saturday April 30th.” Both motions passed.

    Guest Speaker

    Assemblyman Matt Titone, 61st District, reported that he has fought hard against medical malpractice award caps. They don’t work and don’t help good doctors stay in business. He said instead that we should lobby for patient safety reforms that actually work. Assemblyman Titone handed out information and urged members to join him in the fight against medical malpractice caps. He feels we need to get rid of incompetent doctors. He said that unfortunately the medical profession doesn’t police itself. We need better policing of the medical profession by the medical profession. Assemblyman Titone also feels that a bad doctors list should be established. After his presentation Assemblyman Titone answered questions from many S.I.D.A. members in attendance.

    Old Business

    There was no old business.

    V

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 9

    New Business

    Vice President Lavelle announced that on April 28th Congressman Grimm will be holding a town hall meeting. He told members to call Congressman Grimm’s office for tickets. There will only be seating for 350 people.

    Members expressed their concerns about the current meeting venue and many members offered suggestions for other places to meet. Vice President Lavelle mentioned that the Executive Committee has been working to find an alternative venue for future meetings. Vice President Lavelle mentioned that he wants S.I.D.A. to start a PAC (political action committee). Tom Shcherbenko thanked Vice President Lavelle for filling in for President Brown and also wished him a happy birthday. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Marie Dwyer

    Corresponding &

    Recording Secretary �

    Letters We in S.I.D.A. like to make our views known. The following are some of the letters written by S.I.D.A. members that

    have appeared in print. Unless otherwise indicated, all letters were in the Staten Island Advance and/or posted on

    the Advance’s website www.silive.com. Unless explicitly stated, the views herein are those of the authors and are not

    the views of S.I.D.A.

    On-line, March 4, 2011

    Young Democrats Merely

    Inquired About St. Patrick's

    Parade Rules

    e: The Young Democrats and the St. Patrick’s Parade: The Young Democrats of Richmond County wrote a letter to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee merely to inquire whether political groups were allowed to

    march in the parade. The primary concern was that a non-profit organization that accepts public funds to operate a parade was favoring one political group over another.

    For approximately two weeks, the committee refused to comment on clear misconceptions regarding parade rules — rules which CANNOT be found anywhere on-line. The Young Democrats did not attempt to keep any party or group from marching. We sought only to ensure fairness and transparency. In the end, both groups are allowed to, and will, march in the parade. Unfortunately, the press unfairly created a "story" where there was none.

    - Amy Lavelle

    [The writer is the president of the Young

    Democrats of Richmond County.]

    R

    Photo by Diana Jackman Shcherbenko

    Young Democrats of Richmond County marching in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 6, 2011.

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 10

    On-line April 11, 2011

    Printed April 11, 2011

    Beware of Republicans' Attempt to Radically Change Medicare On April 5, the Republicans released their 2012 budget plan. Central to their budget plan is the privatization of Medicare. Under their plan, beginning in 2022 new Medicare beneficiaries would be given vouchers to purchase private health insurance. Republicans like to call vouchers “premium support” because their polling showed that the public has a negative opinion of vouchers. They can call it by another name but it is still a voucher. Their plan would also raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, “Voucher recipients would probably face higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare.” Republicans believe that seniors must also make sacrifices to reduce the nation’s deficit. However Republicans do not believe high-income individuals must make sacrifices. So while they will ask seniors to pay more for health care, their plan calls for reducing the tax rate for high-income individuals from 35 percent to 25 percent. Congressman Michael Grimm has come out in support of the Republican plan. Do you support the Republican plan that reduces taxes on high-income individuals and requires seniors to pay more for health care?

    - Richard Reichard �

    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 11

    We keep our history alive by reprinting articles from past newsletters, minutes from past meetings, or other items of

    interest from the past. If you have items that might be appropriate for the Flashback column, please call Joy Robins

    at (718) 816-4128. Here are some photos, c. 2001, courtesy of Ralph Dickar.

    Judge Candidate Barbara Panepinto & Joy Robins, Cargo Cafe

    At a peace rally, March 19, 2001

    Richard Reichard, Joann Olbrich, Priscilla Marco, Robin Carey

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 12

    Lathrope Voorspuy Dan Kramer, Chris Bauer Sally Jones

    As a public service we are announcing in the newsletter:

    THE MARK HERMAN PICNIC

    SUNDAY JULY 17, 2011 Noon to 6:00 P.M.

    Fort Wadsworth Picnic Area Directions 1. Take Bay Street into Fort Wadsworth; this becomes New

    York Avenue. Follow under the Expressway until it ends in Battery Road

    2. Turn left onto Battery Road 3. Turn Right onto North Carolina Road. Go down the hill. 4. Park at the picnic area.

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 13

    Dear Friends and family,

    On May 22nd, I am participating in the Long Branch Walk to Defeat ALS in honor of my sister

    Denise Di Marzo. You can help me make a difference by supporting my fund-raising efforts with a

    donation or by joining my team.

    Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal

    neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and

    breathe. Your participation in the Walk will make a difference in the lives of those affected by

    ALS. The money we raise will help The Association lead global research, assist people with ALS,

    and fund certified clinical care centers. Each dollar we contribute will make a difference!

    To join our team, DetermineD-NJ, or to make a donation, please visit my Walk page at

    http://web.alsa.org/goto/MarieDwyerspage. Or go to the Website alswalks.org, go to NJ walks,

    Click on Long Branch, and my Team Name is DetermineD-NJ.

    Please consider walking with us on 22nd and/or sponsoring our team. With your help, we will be

    able to make a difference in the lives of people affected by this disease. Any amount, great or

    small, helps in the fight. I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my

    progress.

    Thank you so much for doing your part in the battle against ALS and we look forward to seeing

    many of you at the Walk!

    - Marie Dwyer �

    View from the First Row

    ell ya whadda I’m gonna do…Start a charter school to give you ‘choice.’ Tell the parents of seriously disabled kids and English language learners that we

    don’t have programs for them. Expel all the bad kids to local public schools so your kid learns. Keep them OUT! Send them to the public school up the block. If we send enough of them, their scores will go down, we can shut them down and get great space for your kid. We’ll pay big bucks to private companies and managers for expert advice. Eva Moskowitz wouldn’t be getting $400,000 annually if she wasn’t good. Right? If they can run businesses, they can run schools. Anyone can do this stuff. And those teachers – we won’t ask them a thing – whadda they know? Anyway, they’ll leave after a short stint and we’ll get a fresh batch – energetic young things – don’t know much anyway.

    T

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 14

    Parent input? Are you kidding? That’s why we pay the big bucks to managers. Remember, hedge fund managers are smart. They may have robbed us blind, got away with it, but are smart enough to be able to do it again. To top it off, we’ll get more tax money per kid than the local public school. Oh, you say that charters aren’t doing better than public schools? Well, at least your kid won’t be going to school with “those kids.” Worth the price, no? All on tax dollars.

    - Loretta Prisco �

    Bill of Rights, 1st Half So that we remain a well-educated and informed club, and because we sometimes forget, here are the first five

    amendments to our Constitution.

    Amendment IAmendment IAmendment IAmendment I

    ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to

    petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment IIAmendment IIAmendment IIAmendment II

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment IIIAmendment IIIAmendment IIIAmendment III

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Amendment IVAmendment IVAmendment IVAmendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment VAmendment VAmendment VAmendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    C

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 15

    Staten Island LGBT Pride Parade and Festival

    Seventh Annual Staten Island LGBT Pride Parade and Festival

    Saturday, June 4th

    , 2011 It will step off in St. George at noon and will culminate with an outdoor festival that will begin at 1:00 PM, and continue until 4:00 PM, in Tompkinsville Park. Food, music, entertainment, community resource / information tables, vendor merchandise and a variety of recreational activities will be available throughout the afternoon for all to enjoy.

    S.I.D.A. will march in the parade. Come march behind the S.I.D.A banner!

    Sunday, May 22 10:45 am – 12 noon, and concert at 7 pm

    Help Install the Peace Pole on Staten Island

    In the pulpit: Rev. Susan Karlson Guest Musicians: Brother Sun Unitarian Church of Staten Island

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 16

    312 Fillmore St., Staten Island, NY 10301 The Peace Pole Project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi (1916 – 1980), who dedicated his life to spreading the message, "May Peace Prevail on Earth". The Unitarian Church of Staten Island, as a member of the Building Bridges Coalition, participates in the traveling Peace Pole project and will install the Peace Pole during the service. The Peace Pole will reside at the church from May 22nd till June 4th. Singing group, Brother Sun, will play during the service and will hold a concert that same evening at 7 pm.

    Saturday,June 4 Noon

    Join PASI contingent at 7th Annual SI Pride Parade and Festival Start with us at Central Avenue and Slosson Terrace in St. George. Stop by our table at Tompkinsville Park. Peace Action of Staten Island www.peacesi.org 718-989-2881 PO Box 201 St. George Station Staten Island, NY 10301

    Upcoming Meetings

    May 17, 2011 General Meeting

    Karl’s Klipper, 40 Bay Street • Redistricting

    - Alex Camarda, Citizens Union - Susan Lerner, Common Cause

    • Single Payer Health Insurance - Ajamu Sankofa, Private Health Insurance Must Go!

    June 21, 2011 General Meeting

    Site TBD • TBA

  • S.I.D.A., May 2011 Page 17

    It’s Time to Join or Renew Your S.I.D.A. Membership! To become a member, renew membership, or make a donation, call Tom Shcherbenko at (718) 420-0252, or complete and return the coupon. Voting privileges begin 45 days after joining.

    ------------� -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2011 DUES DONATION

    $15 - Family $5

    $10 - Individual $50

    $5 - Senior, Student, Unemployed $100

    Other

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    Make checks payable S.I.D.A. to S.I.D.A. and send to: P.O. Box 140371 Staten Island, NY 10314-0371

    S.I.D.A. Executive Committee President .........................Dennis Brown Member at-Large .. Rosemary Palladino Vice President .............. John F. Lavelle Member at-Large ........... Loretta Prisco Executive Secretary ........ Mark Herman Ex Officio ...................... Belinda Dixon Corresponding & Ex Officio .......................... Gary Carsel Recording Secretary ........ Marie Dwyer Ex Officio ...................... Joann Olbrich Treasurer ................. Tom Shcherbenko Ex Officio ......................... Nick Popolo Social Secretary ...................... Liz Price Ex Officio ................. Richard Reichard Member at-Large ............... Susan Chew Ex Officio ....................... John Sollazzo Member at-Large ................Peter Killen Ex Officio ............................ Mark Zink Member at-Large ......... Roy Moskowitz