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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rally Report

A report I received by e-mail from a secret operative who attended today's rally in Albany in support of tax credits:
There were (as I heard reported on the drive home) somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000-6000 attendees. The vast majority were from Catholic schools, seconded (but very far from a close second) by a decent representation from the Syrian and MO yeshivas. Dead last was the abysmal showing from the UO and Chassidish communities, a few black hats and beards peppered throughout the crowd, but nothing noticeable, especially when you consider the vast numbers that stayed home. Pataki spoke to thunderous applause and cheering, he was the closest thing to a rock star, with students reaching out to shake his hand and touch him as he made his exit. The Catholic students were the most vocal, screaming "save our schools" at the top of their lungs at every opportunity. They also came prepared with signs (which they gave out to the non-Catholics who were there as well), and many were wearing hats with S.O.S. written on them. Afterwards, some groups (including mine) went to lobby our legislators directly in their offices (Harvey Weisenberg and Dean Skelos). Skelos was very gracious and let us take pics with him. The kids were pleased. All in all, definitely an impressive showing overall, though definitely not from the Ultras, who I expect would be most affected by the tax credit. hard to comprehend why not - I'm sure they could have arranged for separate sections for the men and women ;).
Thank you Agent X. More on this later.

Anyone else there? Put reports in comments.
Update: News coverage of the rally: I, II, III, IV, V, VI


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was told that the "UO" schools did arrange for different drop off places at the rally.

12:16 AM  
Blogger and so it shall be... said...

"I was told that the "UO" schools did arrange for different drop off places at the rally."

yeah...they were dropped off at their respective yeshivas and places of work in Brooklyn. What did you expect?

7:49 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

yeah...they were dropped off at their respective yeshivas and places of work in Brooklyn. What did you expect?


8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try to understand that Pataki has subverted the legal decision requiring huge sums of money be paid to the public schools of New York City and consider how many Orthodox families earn their parnasa from the NYC public system. Plus, most Orthodox families would not benefit from the proposal because they earn too much. Most of the benefit would go to the Catholic schools that apparently were well represented.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Henchy said...

I firmly believe that the Yeshivas will find a way to make $$ off the whole thing. Or they will just charge these parents more tuition by claiming they are getting this $$ from the government so it should just go the the Yeshivas.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More suspicion that these educational expense issues aren't independent.

Albany Times-Union:

'Some predict lawmakers may make some kind of compromise on tax credits, if more money for New York City and other needy schools is allocated by Pataki.'

New York Sun:

'But there's a sense that the union might warm up to the plan if Senate Republicans and Mr. Pataki moved toward complying with a court ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case that requires the state to spend an additional $23 billion over five years on city schools to ensure that the schools deliver a "sound basic" education, which the court has found to be a requirement under the state constitution.'

'In an interview with The New York Sun, the leader of the diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, said the president of the UFT, Randi Weingarten, told him during a one-hour meeting on Monday that she "has an evolving position" on tuition tax credits. Without support from the UFT, a dominant interest group in Albany, Assembly Democrats are unlikely to approve the governor's plan.'

Another possible ally might be the unions representing faculty and staff in *Catholic* schools. (Are any Jewish schools unionized?)

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamodia today has a picture of at least 15, maybe even 16 people participating in a mincha minyan at the rally.
Also, see the obviously ridiculous report of thousands of yeshiva student gathering with their teachers....

3:51 PM  
Blogger Orthonomics said...

Orthomom-Please check out my most recent post on tax credits. I think we have a problem.

12:40 AM  
Blogger Y.W. Editor said...

The AGUDAH is trying sooooooo hard.....
But they are such LOSERS. Why do they have to put such dumb ads in the papers if they KNOW that not one Yeshiva will be encouraging their students to participate?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Scraps said...

I have a friend who went. She said that she had a fun time going up to the different groups of Jewish kids and asking them what school they were from. From what she said, there was a decent showing of UO girls' schools there (Prospect, Shevach, Manhattan, TAG, etc); I don't know about the boys though.

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8:38 PM  

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