Disappointed with more of the same
As members of the Winthrop community, we, the One Winthrop Initiative, would like to express our disappointment that our collective voices have not been heard, and another male with less experience but an extensive Winthrop history was elected to represent us in the school committee. Six candidates submitted letters of interest for the open seat on the school committee, 2 were women. One of these women was a woman of color. Both women were far more qualified than any of the male candidates, with years of experience in education, advanced degrees in education, and multi-level personal experiences with our school system. One woman had a large base of support which had been expressed to the council and committee through letters, email, social media, and face to face communications. The town council members and the school committee members, 13 of the 16 whom are men, voted Tuesday night for more of the same. They voted for a person who has served in this role before, when our schools were ranked in the bottom third of the state. Reasons for their choice were “he’s a good guy,” “he was my mentor,” “I voted for the best person for the job regardless of gender or race,” and “we need a budget guy.” While we are certain this person is a good guy and we have no ill will against him, the man chosen was the safe choice whom the majority in power knew would think and act like them, allowing the power differential to remain the same. Choosing someone who is the same as you ensures the ‘status quo’ will continue.
However this does not ensure that all persons in Winthrop will be represented or that we will see any improvement in our public education system. Women and people of color will continue to be underrepresented and not have a voice. It is time for new ideas and approaches and a leader with the education and experience to serve Winthrop’s children. Winthrop’s demographics have changed. Current school year data reveals that people of color represent approximately 18% of our students, families, and community members. Almost a quarter of our town is not represented at all in our school committee or government. Women make up over half of Winthrop’s population, and are grossly underrepresented in policy decisions. It is time for this to change. Multiple research studies prove that diversity has a profound and positive impact on business. Winthrop must embrace this – hearing difference of opinion, ensuring that all voices are heard and represented is imperative in moving our town forward.
Despite new buildings, our schools continue to perform below the state average. Now is the time to implement change and to hear different voices and ideas to make improvement a reality. More of the same will not achieve this or benefit anyone. “Good guy” and “past mentor” must not be considered qualifications for the important role of implementing changes to improve our school systems, meeting the needs of ALL children. It is time to support and appoint elected officials with education experience who know on multiple levels the unique challenges that our students face; students of color, children with learning differences, low performers and those who excel but are under challenged.
Another school committee seat is expected to be open in January as Ron Vecchia assumes his leadership role as Town Council President. We implore the members of the Town Council and the School Committee to listen to your constituents, hear our voices, embrace diversity, and let us be represented. Electing a woman to the School Committee in January with the qualifications and experience Winthrop needs is the only option.
One Winthrop Initiative
Leah Hart Tennen
America on the Rise Finally
The following is a response to the Journal Editorial published on Dec. 7, 2017. I read your editorials in multiple community papers. Please publish this response in every paper in which you printed “America As We Know It Is Over.”
Could the Democrat icon John F. Kennedy win a democrat primary today? I believe not. I think JFK would be labeled a far right wing extremist and attacked within his own party. After all it was JFK who successfully proposed his tax cut in 1961 and had the economy roaring back by the time of his death in 1963.
Likewise the Trump proposed tax cut, “Tax Reduction and Jobs Act” will accomplish the same outstanding performance for this economy. No, this proposed bill is not overly complicated, and we do not have… “to pass it, to see what is in it” like the Affordable Care Act; AKA Obama Care.
The final version of the Trump tax cut has just been passed. This bill is estimated to boost the economy by another 3 percent. This will result in even more jobs and higher wages for our economy.
This tax cut does the following:
- It cuts taxes for individuals and businesses
- It will allow businesses to immediately expense investments in their businesses. Any business owner understands the logic and value of this tax change. This will help businesses compete better nationally and internationally.
- It will double the standard deduction by individuals. This helps everyone including senior citizens and the retired.
- The Tax Reduction and Job Act will however eliminate many historical deductions. State and local taxes will no longer be deductible. Personally it strikes me as counterproductive to be subsiding wasteful and inefficient government spending by making state taxes deductible. Most states will still be better off under the proposed Tax Reduction and Jobs Act.
When tax rates are reduced, the economy’s growth improves and living standards increase. Here is the irrefutable history:
- 1920 Tax Cut: Personal income tax revenues grew and tax revenues grew by 61 percent
- John F. Kennedy tax cut: Across the board tax cuts produced 62 percent growth in tax revenues and an economic boom.
- Regan tax cut: This produced a tax revenue increase of 99 percent and personal tax revenues improved by 54 percent.
We were told by the Obama Administration that we needed to adjust to a new reality and economy. The last administration stated that a 3 percent growth in the economy is no longer attainable or realistic. This quarter our Trump economy just attained 3 percent economic growth! It is time to admit the reality of our remarkable economic turnaround in less than one year! It is time to drop any personal bias and get behind our renewed economic growth and strength.
Republican Town Committee
Vice-Chair: Steve Belmonte
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