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A career-guided initiative as a vision for Jersey City’s schools
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor:

According to Howard Gardner, ?Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are, and what we can do?

My vision is to make JC public schools the schools of choices by implementing the following:

Choice one: Math and Science section.

The 11-12 grade students will study science and math classes for two years. It will include some pre-college classes like pre-calculus, trigonometry, physics and chemistry, etc. and some elective classes. Students who pass the state science exam section will earn a high school diploma of science. In this section, all math and science teachers come together as a team to achieve the goals working with an institute, like Liberty Science Center, Stevens Institute of Technology and Jersey City Medical Center. The following will create a co-op program for all students where they will study, practice and get paid through job training in their field. They will connect what they study in the books with real life situations, solving problems and they will be tomorrow?s scientist, doctors and engineers.

Choice two: Art section.

The 11-12 grader students will study the arts ? language arts, social studies, drama, creative writing, and some elective classes, and will also contain pre-college classes. The language arts and social studies teachers work together as a team, and with the co-op program in place our students will work in newspapers, social services, and court houses to gain real life experiences for their future career objective. Students who pass the state arts exam section will earn a high school diploma of arts.

Can you imagine how many problems this new system will eliminate? You will work towards a career of your choice as student and to study what you want to achieve. The teacher will finally have the students fully engaged in the classrooms because the student chooses to make a career choice. It is the students? choice. This makes a real difference. The students living in Jersey City go to school in Jersey City. They should also have job in Jersey City to help themselves and their parents financially, while giving back to the community and being responsible citizens.

We need to come together, as a community to help our students so they can have a better future. Let?s keep them busy and focused on something positive rather than pushing them towards something negative. This will minimize the escalating problems for our community. We all know that a great city starts with a great education system. Let?s guide them in the right direction to become good citizens for our great country.

Sincerely,
Nabil Youssef
Former City Council candidate
Jersey City


http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/fu ... ndary_stories_left_column

Posted on: 2012/6/24 11:48
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2013 Mayoral Campaigns Are Just Beginning, But Fulop’s Already Won the Education Field
#2
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor,

It was a good thing to see our state and Jersey City leaders gathering in action in our Board of Education?s monthly meeting to urge the BOE to dispense with its search for a new schools superintendent and hire interim superintendent Franklin Walker as the district?s chief administrator.

But the result for this action came hours after, and failed by a 5-3-1 vote.

I would like to ask our leaders, isn?t it kind of late?

I see this action as an official message to the Fulop Team and an indication that the 2013 mayoral race has begun. Such a declaration of war behind enemy lines is a bold move to Fulop?s territory, or the Fulop green zone, a zone which he already claimed and secured a long time ago called the Education Field.

Our leaders are getting out from that battle empty handed again. Fulop will keep his promise of change within our city education system. It is one of his biggest initiatives which he worked very hard for in the past three years to achieve and declare as a victory. He will never let it go.

Where were our leaders these past years when our city education system was deteriorating in front of our eyes but no one moved a muscle? I give our leaders credit for trying at the last election but the result was clear, it is Team Fulop declaring a win, three times in a row.

I can?t say the change is coming any more because the change is already here.

Sincerely,

Nabil Youssef
Former City Council Candidate

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... -won-the-education-field/

Posted on: 2012/6/22 18:50
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Newark, Paterson and Jersey City want school independence from N.J. Board of Ed
#3
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012 ... erson_and_jersey_cit.html

An electronic system that tracks students' credit acquisition as they prepare to graduate high school and extending the school day in a quarter of city schools are a few of the achievements Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson reported to state officials who control her school district this afternoon.

The state Board of Education held a special meeting at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City to hear presentations from superintendents in Newark, Paterson and Jersey City ? three urban school districts that have been controlled by the state for as many as two decades.

Anderson spoke of her successes over the past year ? her first as superintendent of the state's largest district ? and also her challenges. One of the biggest hurdles to the district's success, Anderson said, is the need for state lawmakers to pass tenure reform legislation.

"I've done my part to paint a picture on where we are and why we badly need a better statute. Right now, you get tenure by being around for three years," Anderson said. "In an era of declining enrollment, you have to be able to make hiring and downsizing decisions based on performance."

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) that would dramatically overhaul the state's century-old tenure law may be fast-tracked in Trenton this month. Another bill, sponsored by state Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), would extend the time it takes to earn tenure and will be considered in committee Thursday.

Anderson's status report on changes in the district included moves to close some failing, under-enrolled schools and open new ones; replace ineffective principals with more dynamic school leaders; and create an Office of Community and Family Engagement to address Newarkers' concerns.

STAY CONNECTED 24/7 Download our free NJ.com mobile and tablet apps to keep up with the latest New Jersey news, sports and entertainment.Members of the state Board of Education, in comments to Anderson, seemed impressed with her work, but it's unlikely the superintendent's achievements to-date will influence whether the district is controlled by Newarkers or by Trenton. Last year, state officials opted not to relinquish control of the district in spite of Newark's success on a state assessment known as QSAC.

A spokesman for the Department of Education could not be reached for comment on Anderson's report and what influence it might have on the Newark's ability to regain control of its schools. If local control were restored, city voters would get to decide if ultimate decision-making power should fall to the elected school board or to the mayor.

Superintendents of school districts in Paterson and Jersey City also delivered reports to the board. Paterson Board President Christopher Irving offered an impassioned plea to state officials who attended the meeting to return local control in Paterson.

"I was nine years old when the state took control of this district, and I'm 29 years old now," said Irving, who is working toward a PhD. "To tell me there are not nine highly qualified community members in Paterson to serve on this board. It's not right."

Posted on: 2012/6/13 21:23
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Rushing for a New Superintendent Can Harm Us All
#4
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor,

There is too much talk about the search and the process for our Jersey City Public Schools circling around the city among our residents, parents, voters, teachers and of course the taxpayers.

But, if you talk to a wise person, they will tell you that the search and the process must be ceased immediately until we find a better candidate and that is my advice for many reasons:

Financially, we as taxpayers are paying for the former superintendent until June 30, paying for an interim super until September 1 and looking to pay for a new super also, all of them right now at the same time. Can we really afford to pay for a new super and her entourage?s salaries?

Once again, we will let a new outsider in to run our schools system when we have over qualified people living here within our city, Jersey City. Enough is enough.

Taxes went up high for the past two years without there being any need to raise them. We paid for the administration?s salary for a failing district. I think taxpayers should get a refund from the JCPS or tax credits for the next two years because they spent our monies for their own purpose.

The Interview Committee for the candidates was conducted by the board of trustees only which I believe was not the right thing to do. Where are the parents, teachers that live in our district, students, the local union? They all should be included in the committee, not only the trustees. Hopefully that will change for the next time we conduct a new search.

Elections, the chance of having a new president, new governor and new mayor all in 2013, are getting closer every single day. We know what that means: a new vision for our country, state, and city education system for the next school year.

That is why for all of the above I?m asking our BOE trustees to freeze the search and the process for at least one more year until we see the outcomes for the next years elections and the new vision for our country, state and city. Rushing for a new superintendent now is counterproductive and will harm us all, indeed.

Sincerely,

Nabil Youssef
Former City Council Candidate
Jersey City
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... ntendent-can-harm-us-all/

Posted on: 2012/6/4 15:34
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Re: Jersey City schools superintendent settles on two candidates
#5
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


14 October 2009
Are You Dumber Than A First Grader?

Are you dumber than a first grader? This woman is

or, at least, she and her school board claim to be.

No, I'm sorry, after meeting Tuesday night the board and administration of Delaware's Christina School District decided that they were capable of considering the actions, motivations, and needs of five and six-year-old children - it is just anyone age seven-and-up that Dr. Marcia V. Lyles and crew can not figure out how to handle.

The Christina School District is the latest poster child for the need to wipe the entire idea of "Zero Tolerance" from our school vocabulary. They became this when they "zero tolerated" a first grader who had an awful lapse in judgment and brought an eating utensil to school to eat lunch with. Yes, zero tolerance policies make it easy on third-rate administrators like Lyles, and failed policy makers like the Christina board. They don't have to think, they don't have to consider, they don't have to make decisions or defend those decisions. Hell, with policies like this they don't even have to actually talk to children.

A Twitter friend wrote this morning, trying to consider why school board's adopt these kinds of policies, "We don't want to be discriminatory or irrational. Therefore, rules are enforced to promote equality." And while I understand the desire to not be discriminatory, or to be seen as discriminatory ("you only suspend black kids"), I struggle with the notion of promoting equality.

Does equal treatment really promote equality?

A few years ago, on TV-Land, I watched the pilot episode of The Andy Griffith Show. This was actually an episode of Danny Thomas's sitcom Make Room for Daddy, and in this "spinoff pilot" Danny and New York family are driving south to Florida when they are stopped for speeding in Mayberry (ah, life before interstates). Danny gets all huffy and doesn't want to pay the fine. He gets especially outraged when Andy fines him $100 after fining another motorist $5 for doing the same thing. "That's not fair!" Danny thunders.

And Andy tells him that $5 is a great deal of money to the man he fined $5. But $5 means nothing to Danny. And so it would not be fair if the fines were equal.

Just as today, one speeding ticket, with various state surcharges and the resulting rise in car insurance premiums can literally end up destroying a poor person's life (loss of ability to feed family that week, loss of ability to register car, thus loss of job), while the rich state legislators who determine these fines pay the charge without a care in the world.

Equal treatment resulting in gross inequality.

I'm sorry, if you can not see that. If you can not judge how best to apply the law - or the rules - you have no business being a police officer, a judge, a teacher, a principal/headmaster/headteacher, a school superintendent, or a school board member.

Consider "zero tolerance" in your world. Everyone who jaywalks is ticketed. You run into the street chasing your toddler - get a ticket. Everyone who ever exceeds the speed limit gets a ticket. You go 36 mph in a 35 mph zone on your way to the Emergency Room and you pay a $100 fine. Everyone who makes a mistake at work gets laid off for 45 days (the Christina Schools' policy re: students). Sorry you forgot to file that report correctly. You can't pay the mortgage this month. Never a mitigating circumstance. Never a consideration for humanity. Never room for an honest mistake. Seems like a very unpleasant world to live in.

But yes, it would make life easier for the likes of Dr. Lyles.

Well, I've been a police officer and I teach, and I have never had "zero tolerance" policies. Everyone you run across represents a different situation and a different set of human conditions. To treat all the same - in every situation - is both gross injustice and the height of inequality.

And we simply can not let people that lazy, or - to express my honest opinion - that stupid, be in charge of laws, school rules, school assignments, etc.

In my classes I will often get an email like this: "I'm sorry I didn't get the assignment in on time, I had a family emergency and had to drive to Ohio over the weekend and..." A "zero tolerance" person would give them an F for the assignment. I say instead, "I hope everything is all right. Please get it to me when you can." And then I add, because these students are now or will be teachers, "Please do the same for your own students."

Because we are humans. And humans are supposed to be tolerant.

- Ira Socol
Posted by Ira Socol at 10/14/2009 09:33:00 AM 5 comments Links to this post
Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookLabels: Christina School District, Marcia Lyles, school discipline, zero tolerance

Posted on: 2012/5/31 23:12
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Downtown JC Street Is Named for Former Councilman Jaime Vazquez
#6
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Monmouth Street from York Street to Montgomery Street will be named for former Ward E Councilman Jaime Vazquez today.

?Jaime Vazquez Way? will be dedicated today with a ceremony and community celebration from 4 pm to 8 pm. Guests can enjoy food, music, face painting and balloons at the event.

Vazquez, who served from 1985 to 1997, recently ran in November for the two at-large seats on the City Council which eventually went to Rolando Lavarro and Viola Richardson. During his campaign for the at-large seats, he told JCI he wanted to make re-establishing the city?s youth and family services division in all six wards a key priority. He also said he would propose trying to push the Port Authority to impose a ?25 cents levy on every vehicle that passes through the Holland Tunnel? into Manhattan to generate up to an estimated $3 million in new revenues annually.

The Vietnam War vet is the director of veteran affairs for the city.
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... councilman-jaime-vazquez/

Posted on: 2012/5/31 14:45
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Jersey City schools superintendent settles on two candidates
#7
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


The nationwide search to find a new Jersey City schools superintendent has settled on two finalists, both African-American women who have histories as high-ranking administrators in the New York City public school system, according to sources, The Jersey Journal reports.

School officials aren?t set to announce the names until tomorrow, but The Jersey Journal has learned that Debra A. Brathwaite, a deputy superintendent in South Carolina, and Marcia V. Lyles, superintendent of Delaware?s largest school district, are the leading contenders to become chief administrator for Jersey City?s 28,000-student district.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ew_jersey_city_sch_1.html

Posted on: 2012/5/31 14:22
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Former Jersey City Councilman Velazquez to be sworn in as deputy mayor
#8
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


JERSEY CITY - Former Jersey City Councilman At-large Radames "Ray" Velazquez Jr. will be sworn in as a deputy mayor to Jerramiah T. Healy on May 17 at 4 p.m.

On May 15, Healy announced that Velazquez, an attorney, will be paid $1 for the position.

"Ray showed his commitment to our city during his time on the council," Healy said Tuesday. "He is a man of character, knowledge, and dedication to the people of this city. I am honored to appoint him to this position, where he will work hard to help our residents and continue to improve our city."

Healy first appointed Velazquez to the council in September 2010 after former At-large Councilman Mariano Vega resigned after pleading guilty to corruption charges stemming from the 2009 Operation Bid Rig bust. He confessed to taking money from a government informant who posed as crooked developer. Vega is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence.

Velazquez ran in the November 2011 special election to serve out the remainder of Vega's term on the council - which expires June 1, 2013 - but he finished the race in fifth place.

In addition to serving on the council, Velazquez previously served as a Jersey City Municipal Judge and as a Hudson County Freeholder representing the 4th District. A graduate of Rutgers College and the University of Notre Dame Law School, Velazquez has operated his own law practice and also served as a partner in a prominent New Jersey law firm.

"I am looking forward to this opportunity to return to service," said Velazquez. "Helping the people of Jersey City, my home, is something I care deeply about and I am honored that Mayor Healy has chosen me to serve in this capacity."

Two months ago Healy swore in lobbyist RajMukherji as deputy mayor.

Velazquez will serve alongside Mukherji and Healy's third deputy mayor, Kabili Tayari. Of the three, only Tayari receives a salary.


Read more: Hudson Reporter - Former Jersey City Councilman Velazquez to be sworn in as deputy mayor

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/fu ... te_lead_story_left_column

Posted on: 2012/5/16 15:26
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Newark Mayor Cory Booker attends fundraiser for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy
#9
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Newark Mayor Cory Booker attended a fundraiser for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy this evening at the Casino in the Park catering house in Lincoln Park in Jersey City.

Here's a couple photos of the the attendees snapped with his iPhone.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... or_cory_booker_atten.html

Posted on: 2012/5/16 1:13
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Longtime head of Jersey City teachers union stepping down after 57 years with district
#10
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Tom Favia, president of the 4,000-strong Jersey City Education Association and famed boys basketball coach, is retiring at the end of the summer, after nearly 60 years with the school district and more than 20 years as head of the powerful union.

Favia, 81, said he has "home problems," including an ill wife, that are demanding more of his time than he can provide while still working. He earns $110,375 as head of the union, state records show.

"And I guess after 57 years they're about ready to get rid of me anyway," he said in a phone interview this afternoon.

The gruff Favia started with the district in 1957, teaching history at School 39 for 10 years and then at Ferris High School, where he was the boys varsity basketball coach. He liked to say he was the only coach with a winning record against St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley.

For 22 years, he's been the chief of the JCEA, the powerful teachers union, where he's been tapped as president in 11 consecutive elections. He's beloved by teachers districtwide, evident by the thunderous ovations he receives from teachers when he speaks on their behalf to the Jersey City Board of Education.

Favia is "a legend," said Bill DeRosa, retired teacher and former BOE president.

"He's been there forever," DeRosa said. "Over the years, he did a lot for teachers, believe me."

Favia landed in hot water in 2007 when The Jersey Journal reported that he ran a private travel agency out of the JCEA's Kennedy Boulevard offices, and used union secretaries to field calls for the agency.

Gerry McCann, at that time a BOE member, called Favia's actions "criminal," but Favia insisted he reimbursed the JCEA for any union resources used by his side business.

Favia today said he hopes for a union election on June 13, where he said Ronald Greco, his second-in-command, will vie for president with city teacher Hector Gonzalez.

He said he regrets not being able to stay for the upcoming round of contract negotiations.

"I think they're going to be very difficult," he said.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ead_of_jersey_city_t.html

Posted on: 2012/5/12 1:10
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Did the NYPD Conduct A Widespread Surveillance of Jersey City Muslims?
#11
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor,

As a Jersey City Muslim resident and voter, I would like to ask our current Mayor of Jersey City, Jerramiah Healy, did the NYPD conduct a widespread surveillance of Jersey City Muslims as part of a counter-terrorism operation?

I am asking the Mayor, City Council and all City Officials to release such information if it is available immediately.

As we know, Jersey City has one of the largest Muslim communities, many mosques and an Islamic Center that serves their needs.

On behalf of the Muslim community of Jersey City, we are asking our Mayor to release such information immediately especially if there was any Jersey City law enforcement agencies or officials that were involved in these widespread surveillance operations.

Sincerely,
Nabil Youssef

Former Jersey City Council Candidate

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... e-of-jersey-city-muslims/

Posted on: 2012/2/28 10:05
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Fulop’s Referendum Shows Respect to Jersey City Voters
#12
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor,

As a Jersey City resident and voter, I was pleased with the decision of Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop announcing that he will introduce an ordinance at the next City Council meeting that will place a referendum on November?s ballot that will allow voters to give their preference for the date of school elections.

As everyone in our city knows, Mr. Fulop supported the past two board of education elections which led to the majority in the current board. It would be so easy to let the current board members to decide to keep the election on April or to move it to November with a very simple vote, especially if they have the majority.

Mr. Fulop chose to let the Jersey City residents and voters decide what they want to do.

I would like to thank you personally because you set an example of empowering the voters and residents. I know you believe like many of us that if we all work together we can make a big difference in our city?s? future.

Sincerely,

Nabil Youssef

Former City Council Candidate
Jersey City

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... ct-to-jersey-city-voters/

Posted on: 2012/2/3 16:43
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Your Vote Can Make a Difference
#13
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor:

There is no doubt of what has been happening in City Hall the past six years, which raises many questions among the Jersey City residents and voters. Will the answer to all these questions be cleared in [tomorrow's] election results? I encourage all Jersey City voters to vote because our city is in need of reform. Remember that every vote counts and indeed your vote can make a difference. I believe the election on November 8, 2011 will be too close or neck to neck. So, please go out and vote for what you believe is right for our city.

It is not important which team you chose to be with but it is essential that you vote for what you believe. Let?s practice great democracy to bring the change we are all looking for within our city. Jersey City is a great city and it could be better if all of us decided we really need the change. So, please vote for the right people and let?s move forward to a brighter future.

Respectfully,

Nabil Youssef
At Large Council Candidate (17 E)
Jersey City

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... te-can-make-a-difference/

Posted on: 2011/11/7 22:17
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Teacher for City Council Nabil Youssef (17 E )
#14
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Jersey City Residents and Voters:

The general election is around the corner and I am an independent candidate who is looking for your support.

True, 100 percent independent! My only obligation is to the Jersey City Residents and Voters. I have no obligations or ties neither to the current City Hall administrations nor to any political teams in Jersey City or in Hudson County.

As a Jersey City Public Schools Teacher working for over a decade with our city youth on a daily basis trying to make a difference in their lives, I would like to extend my service to our youth through the whole city from City Hall. It is time to link our school system with our city council (9-9) plan (9 board members and 9 city council members) they get elected by the city voters and residents to serve our city needs with the right hiring of a new superintendent for our schools and the right elected mayor come 2013. We will move forward as a city under my plan and it will make a surmountable difference.

As a fellow teacher and a union member, I am asking my colleagues from the JCPS, Teachers, and JCEA members for your support during this election. I am also calling upon my co-workers, the union members of AFSCME Local 2262, the blue collar workers of the Jersey City Board of Education for your support. It is time to put our differences aside and with your support let?s work together for a better future for our youth and residents by linking JCPS and City Hall.

Jersey City Voters on November 08, 2011 vote for a blue collar worker who will make a difference for a better future in our city, my Number is (17 E), the E is for Education.

Sincerely,

Nabil Youssef
City At-large Council Candidate (17 E)
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... teacher-for-city-council/

Posted on: 2011/10/31 18:10
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Jersey City Public Schools Need a New Immigrant Superintendent
#15
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor:

It is a time of change, indeed! Seton Hall and Stevens Institute of Technology recently inaugurated immigrant presidents. Two immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as students decades ago became presidents of two of New Jersey?s largest private universities in separate ceremonies last week.

Jersey City Public Schools needs a new superintendent to run our school system; an ideal individual with the qualifications to do the job, an immigrant.

Our city is one of the most diverse cities in our nation and an immigrant would be the best fit for schools superintendent. Over the past 12 years as a teacher working in JCPS, I witnessed a huge achievement in education and standardized test scores attained by immigrant students in all JCPS even though we have had a failed education system for the past decade. The immigrant students achieve the highest test score grades in our district. They must be doing something right folks, let?s be real.

As an immigrant parent and teacher myself, I know our JCPS needs a new superintendent who believes in the power of education. The new superintendent should be someone who exercises fairness among the staff and students, someone who respects the students and parents and knows that they are strong partners and allies and not their worst enemy. Someone who knows the meaning of success and knows that failing is not an option. This individual will unite us not divide us because failing within our school system became part of our history.

Education reform in our city is one of my top priorities as a candidate for City Council at-large in the general election Nov. 8.

Thanking you in advance for all your support.

Nabil Youssef
At-Large City Council candidate ( 17 E )

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... immigrant-superintendent/

Posted on: 2011/10/20 9:39
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Hudson County judge to hear complaint about 'bracketing' on Jersey City special election ballot
#16
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


A Hudson County Superior Court judge has scheduled a hearing next week to hear complaints about the county Clerk's decision to bracket some candidates on the ballot for November's Jersey City special election, a source says.

Clerk Barbara Netchert issued an opinion earlier this month allowing the bracketing of candidates' names on November's ballot. In a field that will include 19 candidates, the ruling would allow some candidates to stand out if they decided to pair up

Some candidates have protested, saying the brackets offer an unfair advantage to the incumbents. A spokesman for candidate Imtiaz Syed said Judge Maurice Gallipoli will hear the complaints next Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m.

Voters in the election will choose who fills two vacancies on the City Council left when former members Mariano Vega and Willie Flood resigned. Vega left his post in September 2010 after pleading guilty to corruption charges, while Flood stepped down in February 2011, citing health concerns.

Current council members Ray Velazquez and Kalimah Ahmad were tapped to replace Vega and Flood until November's election. Velazquez and Ahmad, who have been endorsed by Mayor Jerramiah Healy, have chosen to bracket themselves together on the ballot, as have Sue Mack and Omar Perez, as well as Viola Richardson and Rolando Lavarro.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... nty_judge_to_hear_co.html

Posted on: 2011/9/16 1:14
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Two At-Large Candidates Ask Court to Overturn ‘Bracketing’ Rule for November’s Election
#17
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Two of the 19 candidates for November?s special election of two At-Large City Council seats petitioned Hudson County Superior Court yesterday to overturn the Hudson County Clerk?s previous decision allowing pairs of candidates to be bracketed together on the ballot.

Both Imtiaz Syed and Nabil Youssef (at left and right in photo at right) have sent letters to the court asking it to overturn the decision by Hudson County Clerk Barbara Netchert. The clerk had studied the issue and made the ruling after a request to do so from the two candidates currently filling the At-Large seats, Kalimah Ahmad and Ray Velazquez. They are one of three pairs of candidates who bracketed together, along with Suzanne Mack and Omar Perez, and Rolando Lavarro and current Ward F councilwoman Viola Richardson.

Syed specifically takes aim at Ahmad and Velazquez, who were appointed to fill the seats vacated by Willie Flood and Mariano Vega, and are being supported by Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

?Bracketing the two current incumbent choices of Mayor Healy as a team would serve to undermine the Democratic process by giving these incumbents an unfair advantage, rather than a level playing field,? Syed writes. ?Furthermore, it would infringe upon the long held and cherished concept of ?one man ? one vote.??
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... e-for-novembers-election/

Posted on: 2011/9/15 15:48
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Jersey City Residents & Business Owners Now Eligible for Post-Irene FEMA Aid
#18
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Jersey City residents and business owners dealing with damage from Hurricane Irene are now able to apply for federal aid.

This afternoon, after President Obama?s visit to Wayne and Paterson, Gov. Christie announced that New Jersey?s request for disaster assistance had been approved for all 21 counties. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials were in Hudson County yesterday assessing the damage from last weekend?s storm.

?We?re moving very quickly to make sure we get everyone who needs assistance the assistance they need,? Patricia Brach, a FEMA public information officer, told us yesterday.

Jersey City residents and businesses can apply for federal assistance, including temporary housing, repair, Disaster Unemployment Assistance and other types of aid, by calling 800-621-FEMA or TTY 800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments between 7 am and 10 pm, online at disasterassistance.gov, or via smartphone at m.fema.gov.

Disaster Recovery Centers will be set up in New Jersey for those who wish to speak to a FEMA rep in person, says Brach.

In the end, FEMA officials did not need to visit Jersey City yesterday to assess damage from the storm; visits to Secaucus, Kearny and Hoboken provided enough information to make a determination for the county.

Greg Kierce, the director of Jersey City?s Office of Emergency Management, says residents who were affected should continue to document any damage and repairs.

?It?s going to be a helping hand,? he says of the aid.

All Jersey City residents and businesses who suffered damage in the storm are encouraged to apply.

Posted on: 2011/9/5 10:02
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Combine the City and School Board Budgets
#19
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


To the Editor:

Our city is in dire need of a fiscal reform. My three top priorities are education, reducing taxes and creating jobs.

Jersey City is one of the highest taxed cities in our nation and it is yet to see a good education system and better job opportunities for every resident so they can afford to pay their taxes.

Our city has given too many tax breaks to companies and businesses. They need to step in to help our Jersey City residents to find jobs. With the unemployment rate of 9.5 percent we as a city can not move forward as we stand to lose more jobs. We live in a poor city and I believe everyone deserves to have a job. Our graduates from our city schools need a job. We can not afford to give tax breaks to all our businesses without them paying it back to our community by opening the door for hiring.

It is time for City Hall and the local Board of Education to work together to improve our education system. A career-guided education system helps the city to map its economy, and help the students and residents to find jobs at the same time.

Why don?t we combine the city and public school budgets together with $631 million dollars, $21.5 million from the Abbott School District plus the federal grants coming to our public schools? Let?s add to that our $470 million city budget ? one city one budget. I believe with the right people elected as officials the two budgets, when combined together as one budget, can have a better outcome for our city, education system, a relief from high taxes and job creation.

One of my ideas is melding budgets as a real solution for our city fiscal problems.

Gov. Chris Christie ?strongly encouraged? school districts to use their extra cash from the Abbott School District to reduce property tax burdens for homeowners, but our district went in another direction.

Nabil Youssef
At-Large City Council candidate

Posted on: 2011/9/2 22:34
 Top 


Re: Meld budgets, focus on jobs, writes Jersey City council candidate
#20
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Gov. Chris Christie "strongly encouraged" districts to use their extra cash to reduce property tax burdens for homeowners. The idea of Meld budgets

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011 ... ool_districts_to_use.html

Few N.J. school districts to use increased state aid toward property tax relief

Only a sliver of the state?s roughly 600 school districts have opted to use their share of an unexpected $150 million boost in state aid for property tax relief, a Department of Education spokesman said Thursday.

The 20 school districts from across the state include mid-sized Bridgewater-Raritan and East Brunswick as well as Morris County?s Butler and Hunterdon County?s Hampton.

Gov. Chris Christie "strongly encouraged" districts to use their extra cash to reduce property tax burdens for homeowners, but most districts went in another direction. Some underfunded districts used the money to restore programs and reduce class sizes. Others chose to save it for next year?s budget.

The budget Christie signed authorized $150 million for non-Abbott school districts, on top of the $8.1 billion allocated for all districts in his proposed budget.

Warren Township Superintendent Tami Crader said the school board is using the district?s extra $387,320 in aid for property tax relief as a "thank you" to voters who passed the school budget in April.


"To hold on to that large amount of money considering we had no increased need would have been disingenuous," Crader said. "This represents an effort by our board to be conservative."

Districts had just five days after receiving their exact state aid figures to tell the Department of Education how they intended to use the money, said New Jersey School Boards Association spokesman Frank Belluscio.

In Glen Ridge, school board members squeezed in a vote to use the district?s $268,047 in additional aid to lower homeowners? property tax bills, said business administrator Peter Caprio.

"This year we had one of the lowest tax increases we?ve had in years, and now it?s even lower," Caprio said. "We were at 2 percent. Now we?re down to 1 percent and these dollars are going right back to the taxpayers."

Previous coverage:

? 20 of 580 school districts will use restored state aid to lower property taxes

? N.J. public school districts to receive at least 2 percent funding increase

Related topics: butler, chris-christie, east-brunswick, glen-ridge, hampton-hunterdon-county, nj-budget-2011, nj-department-of-education, raritan-somerset-county, warren-township.

Thank You All.

Posted on: 2011/8/8 14:31
 Top 


I am running for Jersey City Council seat because we need a reform
#21
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Dear Editor:

There is no doubt of what happened in our Jersey City Council the past two weeks, which raised many questions among the Jersey City residents and voters. Can a Mayor or a Councilperson in our city put their political parties or agenda before the needs of our residents and voters? If there is a good proposal made and not matching with their agenda it is always voted down. There seems to be only one solution concerning our city council, it is in dire need of a reform. Our City Council members need to be freed from their obligations so they can really serve our city well.

We need independent City Council members. Jersey City is the most diverse city in our nation. Our residents speak 28 different languages and have not yet elected or appointed one City Council from the minority. Shouldn?t the City Council in any city represent the people living in the city? In our case, we are so far from that reality. Our current Mayor has 6 years of service and has had many opportunities to appoint more than one City Council or head of department. Unfortunately, he has not appointed any minority members to date.

Jersey City voters, I am announcing, that I will be running for the November elections City Council-at-Large Open seat. I am looking for your support. I believe that our city needs is an Independent City Councilperson that represents the voice of our city residents. Thanking you in advance for all your support.

Respectfully,

Nabil Youssef

Former Jersey City Board of Education Candidate


Copyright 2011 Hudson Reporter. All rights reserved.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - I am running for Jersey City Council seat because we need a reform

Posted on: 2011/8/6 16:36
 Top 


Dan Levin, Sue Mack and Nabil Youssef Announce Candidacies for At-Large Council Seats
#22
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


We?re eight weeks from the filing deadline, but Jersey City?s November special election for two At-Large seats on the City Council is beginning to get more crowded.

Former mayoral candidate Dan Levin, longtime Board of Education trustee Sue Mack and former school board candidate Nabil Youssef have all now announced their official candidacies, joining community activist Rolando Lavarro and both incumbents, Kalimah Ahmad and Ray Velazquez.

?I am running for a seat on the Jersey City municipal council with a simple mission to improve the decisions made by our city,? Levin said in a release announcing his candidacy last week. ?I will bring a clear, common sense vision and sound management approach to solve our problems and build upon our opportunities while keeping the needs of residents central to all considerations and actions.?

Levin, who owns a framing business in Hoboken, is a longtime Jersey City good-government activist, having been involved in Civic JC, the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy and Bike JC. In terms of policy, he says he will continue his support for ?community-based policing; cleaner streets through code enforcement and maintenance report cards; banning campaign contributions in city offices; a strict government ethical standards code; eliminating semi-autonomous agencies and folding them into city departments for improved accountability and substantial cost savings; planning and prioritizing spending and services; a five-year financial master plan; open space and parks; and conserving historic and natural resources.?

Mack said earlier this month that she had ?recently decided to run for one of two seats,? and has created a Facebook fan page, where she is currently getting supporters? opinions on logo designs. Mack is the longest serving member of the Jersey City Board of Education, and she was elected this spring to her sixth term.

And Youssef, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for the school board this spring, says he is running to be an ?independent? voice on the council.

?If there is a good proposal made and not matching with their agenda it is always voted down. There seems to be only one solution concerning our City Council, it is in dire need of a reform,? he wrote in a letter disseminated to local reporters. ?Our City Council members need to be freed from their obligations so they can really serve our city well.?

There are a total of three At-Large seats on the City Council; council president Peter Brennan holds one, and the other two are held by council members who were recently appointed and must face a special election this November. Velazquez was appointed in October to fill disgraced councilman Mariano Vega?s seat after he pleaded guilty to corruption charges, while Ahmad was appointed this February to replace councilwoman Willie Flood, who stepped down due to illness.

Mayor Jerramiah Healy has endorsed Ahmad and Velazquez, but considering the current, fractured state of the local Democratic party, there are plenty of other power brokers who could help candidates win the citywide seats, and it is also unclear if any other candidates will attempt to package themselves together. Though Lavarro ran on mayoral candidate Lou Manzo?s slate in 2009, he did pick up Levin?s endorsement in that year?s runoff election. Meanwhile, Mack was endorsed in her school board race by this fall?s largest X factor, Ward E councilman Steven Fulop.

The Downtown councilman has been building steam towards his 2013 mayoral run, and he may want to back two At-Large candidates to try reinforcing the message that he can win citywide races. Of course, if Fulop invests too much effort into candidates who don?t win, he runs the risk of facing a renewed chorus of Democratic Party insiders who say he can?t compete all over town.

Fulop tells JCI he will definitely be involved, but he?s taking a wait-and-see approach for now, which also gives his team a chance to rest after expending a lot of effort in April?s school board contest and the Democratic committee seat races.

?We intend on being engaged in the November election and want to get a better idea for what the field of candidates looks like,? he says. ?There are quite a few that have expressed interest but haven?t formally jumped in and we want to see how that materializes.?

Posted on: 2011/8/6 16:18
 Top 


Meld budgets, focus on jobs, writes Jersey City council candidate
#23
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Our city is in dire need of a reform my three top priorities would address: education, reduce taxes, create jobs.


Jersey City has the highest taxes in our nation and it is yet to see a good education system or better job opportunities for every resident so they can afford to pay their taxes.


Our city has given too many tax breaks to companies and businesses. They need to step in to help our Jersey City residents to find jobs. With the unemployment rate of 9.4 percent we as a city can not move forward as we stand to lose more jobs. We live in a poor city and I believe everyone deserves to have a job. Our graduates from our city need a job. We can not afford to give tax breaks to all our businesses without them paying it back to our community by opening the door for hiring.


It is time for City Hall and the local Board of Education to work together to improve our education system. A career-guided education system helps the city to map its economy, and help the students and residents at the same time.


Why don't we combine the city and public school budgets together with $631 million dollars, $21.5 million from the Abbott School District plus the federal grants coming to our public schools? Let's add to that our $470 million city budget, one city one budget. I believe with the right people elected as officials the two budgets, when combined together as one budget, can have a better outcome for our city, education system, a relief from high taxes and job creation.


Thanking you in advance for all your support.


NABIL YOUSSEF
FORMER BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE
JERSEY CITY

Posted on: 2011/8/6 16:03
 Top 


Re: 2011 BOE Election - Nabil Youssef - Teacher for School Board
#24
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


6A Mr. Youssef you get MY Vote Man WOW What a Guy.......

Posted on: 2011/4/24 7:27
 Top 


Re: 2011 Board of Education Election - Steve Fulop backed candidates
#25
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


shelly skinner's
Your Team are Good for Charter School Business Shelly!
Teachers or JCEA family members voting for this team will be shooting on their foot.
They will see the same things like proposed leasing public school floors to charter schools in Newark.
I know that Jersey City Voters or JCEA family members Will Never Vote for Your team they looking for an independents
candidates I know that for fact........

Posted on: 2011/4/21 19:09
 Top 



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