The Democratic Town Committee will meet on Monday, October 3rd to nominate candidates for Ward One Council and Board of Assessment Appeal, filling vacancies on the Democratic slate for the November 8th municipal election.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in Room 504 at City Hall, 27 West Main Street. Also on the agenda will be information on the DTC’s Family, Friends and Neighbors campaign to elect Tim O’Brien and Row A Democrats. All are welcome.
The Fight For Net Neutrality: New Challenge To FCC Ruling That Leaves Wireless Consumers Unprotected
Free Press, a Massachuusetts-based advocacy organization working to reform media, this week filed a petition in federal court in Boston for review of the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2010 Open Internet order.
Free Press will challenge the arbitrary nature of rule provisions that provide less protection for mobile wireless Internet access than they do for wired connections.
“When the FCC first proposed the Open Internet rules, they came with the understanding that there is only one Internet, no matter how people choose to reach it. The final rules provide some basic protections for consumers, but do not deliver on the promise to preserve openness for mobile Internet access. They fail to protect wireless users from discrimination, and they let mobile providers block innovative applications with impunity,” said Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood.”Our challenge will show that there is no evidence in the record to justify this arbitrary distinction between wired and wireless Internet access. The disparity that the FCC’s rules create is unjust and unjustified. And it’s especially problematic because of the increasing popularity of wireless, along with its increasing importance for younger demographics and diverse populations who rely on mobile devices as their primary means for getting online. Free Press will fight in court to make these rules stronger, even as we work elsewhere to uphold the FCC’s crucial role in promoting openness and equality on the Internet.”
More information on this issue at www.freepress.net
Tim O’Brien: Quality Education is Important for New Britain’s Future
One of a series of articles by Mayoral Nominee Tim O’Brien from the New Britain City Journal
Ensuring a quality education for our city’s kids is one of the key reasons I am running for Mayor. While the many people involved in our active school communities have a lot to be proud of, education needs to be a higher priority in our City Hall.
Quality schools matter to everyone. Kids, of course, need the opportunities in life they get from quality education. Our city needs to have a skilled workforce for a successful economy to create good jobs and attract businesses – which is also important for lowering homeowners’ property taxes. And, it is important for our city’s future that young families feel good about raising their children here, rather than selling their houses and moving, as some good people who care about New Britain have done because they are concerned about their kids’ education.
This is why I have worked hard, successfully, as a state legislator to increase state support for our local schools.
I and the other New Britain legislators have increased annual state education funding by more than 25%. This adds up to more $100 million in increased education aid I have brought to New Britain. And, even with billions of dollars in state budget cuts during the present recession, I protected this education funding from these cuts. These annual education grants are equivalent to around 70% of what City Hall allocates to schools. On top of this, I have brought tens of millions of dollars in state school construction funding to New Britain. While I have fought hard for even more state education funding for New Britain and for important reforms to make the way education is funded in our state fairer, the increases in education aid I have brought to our city and defended from cuts are very significant – and they save homeowners thousands of dollars a year in property taxes.
But, even with these large increases in state aid, our City Hall’s commitment to education has been lacking. New Britain’s City Hall is known for chronic lack of support for schools – often providing barely above the legal minimum. Over the years, this has left our city’s schools in an increasingly precarious position – as we can see this year, with concerns about teacher layoffs and increasing class sizes harming the quality of education.
It is just not good enough for New Britain’s Mayor to say education is not his responsibility. We need education to, finally, not be the lowest priority in the city budget.
We need a Mayor with the common sense to take advantage of the state interdistrict magnet school funding that has been available to our city for years and that I have worked hard as a state legislator to make available to New Britain. This funding is not presently coming to our city because our City Hall, up until very recently, has not been doing the basic thing needed to get it – asking for it. Accepting this funding is a great way we can increase the number of teachers, classroom space and education opportunities available for our city’s kids at magnet schools in our own city and, by planning well, increase state support for our existing city schools without more local property taxes.
Some politicians’ talk about education seems more concerned with pointing fingers of blame and sowing division in our community than in finding common sense solutions. As Mayor, I will act to end the political acrimony around education, bring people together and work with our city school leadership so that we will improve City Hall’s commitment to our local schools, bring magnet school funding to our city and move our city forward.
Building a brighter future for our city is the reason I am running for Mayor – and ensuring quality education and a bright future for our city’s kids is key to that better tomorrow.
Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. (Paul) Ryan has called the deficit an “existential threat” to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat. Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.
“The Social Contract” Paul Krugman, New York Times Op Ed, 9/22/2011