Saturday, June 19, 2010

Robert Duffy and Mayoral Contol in Rochester

Resistance to Mayoral Control Continues Unabated

Mayor Robert Duffy recently said that he is going to put off seizing control of city schools until June 2011. He also said that he is not going to participate in any public meetings until that time.

There is general consensus in the community that Duffy has largely avoided broad and meaningful public engagement and that the battle for control of city schools is far from over.

Teachers, parents, students, college professors, religious leaders, city residents, and even some legislators continue to oppose or seriously question the mayor’s plan to eliminate elected governance and vest all authority in his hands. Widespread public opposition to Duffy’s takeover scheme has developed quickly in recent months and acquired sustainable momentum. Valuable lessons have also been learned from parents, teachers, students, and others who continue to resist mayoral control in NYC, Chicago, and DC and work to affirm their right to be the decision-makers.

The consciousness and organization built to date will be further strengthened in coming weeks and months as many in the community organize more united actions against mayoral control.


Shawgi Tell
Nazareth College

William Cala
Nazareth College

Meg Callahan
Nazareth College

Hilda Chacon
Nazareth College

Sekile Nzinga-Johnson
Nazareth College

Ed Wiltse
Nazareth College

Cedric Johnson
Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Rodmon King
Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Jeffrey A. Liles
St. John Fisher College

James Wood
St. John Fisher College

David Hursh
The University of Rochester

Richard Ryan
University of Rochester

From D and C Columnist Denise Marie Santiago in yesterday's paper.

It's fuzzy now what
the mayor is
committed to

May 28, 2010

A few years ago, Mayor Robert "I'm not a politician"
Duffy was looking for good candidates who shared
his vision of change to run for City Council.

Duffy talked about it in a 2007 article in this
newspaper describing his considerable influence
during primary season. Duffy explained he was
recruiting candidates "who have a deep passion for
our city and our community, who are not looking
for a political career."

He said, too, in the same article: "I'm not looking to
build a political network for the future. I'm not
looking to enhance personal or political influence."

So explain why the mayor, just months into his
second term and in the middle of a lot of unfinished
business, would run for a statewide office that's
largely ceremonial — until the boss dies or gets
caught, say, doing something with someone for a
whole lot of money.

I have more problems with the Democratic ticket for
statewide seats other than Duffy's lieutenant
governor bid.

Take the candidate for governor himself, who
skillfully managed to run a campaign, raise money
and court supporters without once going on the
record as to what he would do to solve the state's
budget crisis or how he would get legislators to
change the rules that ensure their own re-elections.

It's almost as if Attorney General Andrew "Don't ask
me about Mario" Cuomo believed applying for the
job — in his case, publicly announcing his
candidacy — were just a formality because he knows

And so does his dad, the former three-term
governor known to tie his endorsement of
politicians to their support of his son, according to
a recent piece in The New York Times about their

Then there's the all-white Democratic statewide
ballot that shows just how committed the party is to
reflecting its members and the state. A third of New
York residents are minorities.

"We strive for diversity everywhere," the legacy
candidate told reporters on Wednesday. "Can you
always get all the diversity that you want at the time
that you want it? No."

But if there's not one African-American, Latino,
Asian or other politician of color ready to compete
for a statewide office in 2010, which I find hard to
believe, the failure is on the shoulder of party
leaders in not nurturing or promoting them.

Not all of us, after all, are born with a ballot in our

Cuomo points instead to the ballot's geographical
diversity, which is where Duffy comes in.

I get why Cuomo picked him. In addition to his
upstate pedigree, his boy-next-door aura sucks
people in. The question is, why did Duffy say yes?

Because after years of hearing the mayor eschew
politics, after meeting upon meeting listening to him
say all he cares about is getting the job done, why
is he leaving so much on the table?

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