MinnPost News Q & A with Greg Copeland

It is long past time To Take Out The Trash!  Being a proud original signer of the Citizens 2018 Petition seeking the Referendum on Ordinance 18-39, I will Vote NO!
St. Paul voters are ready to get rid of this Costly, Inefficient and Problem Plagued Mandatory Trash Collection failed experiment. Residents were promised by City Council lower rates, than those offered under the four decades old competitive private hauler system; that promise was broken, costs are $590 for families with the just one large cart.
Seniors, zero-wasters and low income people that had previously shared the cost of trash collection with their neighbors for years, are now prohibited under Ordinance18-39 from sharing a cart with their neighbors to reduce collection cost.
The City mandated everyone had to pay for a Cart, and citizens with the smallest carts soon found themselves being billed at a higher per unit cost than the large 96 gallon carts. The City’s perverse pricing scheme violates Minnesota’s long standing environmental solid waste policy by giving the biggest garbage producers a discounted rate.
Those who create the least trash should be paying less, not more for garbage collection.

What does the debate over trash say about St. Paul politics?

Saint  Paul Citizens never before had to go to the Minnesota Supreme Court to place a referendum on the ballot.
The Mayor and the City Council threw our City Charter in the trash, along with the Citizens Certified Referendum Petition signed by over 6000 voters; in an incredible abuse of executive and legislative  power to block the referendum for being put on the ballot for a vote by the citizens.
Even after the Supreme Court ruling went against the Mayor and City Council in an act of immature political pique, they both conspired to insult and  intimidate Saint Paul Voters in a unique act of democratic process suppression, by voting for a 22% increase in the City Property Tax Levy; declaring there will be a $27 Million penalty in the form of higher property taxes, if voters dare to vote NO and repeal the city trash program.
Four days later the Central Committee of the St. Paul DFL ratified their Mayor and City Council’s usurpation of the Truth In Taxation Statute for political purposes; and put out it’s edict that loyal party members, in what otherwise is supposed to be a non-partisan referendum, which was put on the ballot by 6000 city voters and through an Order of Minnesota’s highest Court of Law, are directed to vote to keep the City’s trash and tax system.

Could the issue, alone, be a driving factor behind some voters’ decisions? Could it get someone new elected to the council?

Absolutely to both questions!  A NO Vote will not only Trash the mandatory collection and tax system, but will Put Saint Paul Back On Track, by restoring our civic tradition of Good Government with a New City Council that has respect for the City Charter and the City’s Citizens!

In Ward 6 I am the one candidate: to sign the 2018 Referendum Petition; I have refused to pay Waste Management’s bills based on the City Charter requirement that ordinances are suspended upon referendum petition certification and the subsequent tax assessments are without legal authority; I have made my opposition, and/or Voting NO a full part of my campaign for City Council in print media, radio and television.

(the other candidates who are voting no are possibly doing so because momentum is leaning in the direction of #VoteNo)

#PushBack Against the St Paul Mayor & City Council, and School Board Now

How much is too much?

It’s a good question to ask of the elected and appointed officials in the City Called Saint Paul Minnesota.

If left up to them with no outcry from residents of the “most livable city” they will steal from you, leave you with no way to defend yourself from the gangs, violent criminals, the demolition union, the Green-Organized Trash Overlords, and Housing Code Zealots.

The Mayor, City Council, and St Paul School Board show by their actions they disrespect EVERYONE in Saint Paul by strangling businesses big or independent, oppressing the poor, the wealthy, and pay attention to special interests lining the pockets of elected and appointed officials.

The Mayor and this City Council despite having a document to guide their leadership, The City Charter; they ignore what it says even when judges or the Minnesota Supreme Court rulings tell them to let the citizens decide on a referendum. Our Mayor doesn’t understand the ruling, perhaps he should read The City Charter.

The St Paul Public Schools are owned by the Teachers Union which resists any change to teach the basics to many students living in families living at or barely above the poverty level. This isn’t the most livable city but rather one of the most UNLIVABLE Cities in Minnesota where accountability has taken a permanent vacation.

When elected I, Greg Copeland, intend to represent all citizens in Ward 6, whether you voted for me or not. Your rights to property, voting, and civil rights will be respected as they aren’t now.

Join with me to #PushBack against Business as Usual Crony Politics and bring Equal Opportunity to all.

Bishop Harry Jackson: Here’s Something That Might Narrow the Black-White Education Gap

The following is from Black Community News, originally posted on September 25, 2016 by Bishop Harry Jackson.  As always this post’s content has not been altered, the headline is the same as the article.  Ads and some links have been deleted.  ~~ Publius Jr.

September 25, 2016

classroom“You’re getting your inheritance early.” Those were my father’s words to me as he explained that he was taking money that he might have left me in his will and spending it on my private school tuition. My father’s reasoning was that I would be able to create more wealth for his grandchildren if he invested in my education. Thanks to his wisdom, I would go on to graduate from Williams, one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the nation and to obtain my MBA from Harvard.

Besides my parents’ willingness to sacrifice for my education—a decision my wife and I also made with our own two daughters—there was another key facet of my upbringing that a growing body of research has demonstrated to be extremely helpful to academic achievement. I was born to married parents, and they stayed married. This has turned out to be more important to long term success than both household income and race.

A recent study of Florida schools revealed a paradox: highly ranked schools were producing only modest student achievement. But a deeper look turned up a likely explanation. The Institute for Family Studies found that, “the share of married-parent families in a county is one of the strongest predictors of high-school graduation rates for Florida counties; indeed, it’s a more powerful predictor than family income, race or ethnicity.”

It is not hard to imagine why children growing up in households headed by married couples generally have better educational outcomes. Married couples are typically able to provide more emotionally and financially stable environments for children, offering them more attention, supervision and opportunities than most single parents are able to provide. Naturally, the fact that far more black families are headed by single parents has implications for black educational achievement.

In short, to close the education gap, we need to work on closing the marriage gap, something which is widely misunderstood. For several years, conventional wisdom has maintained that traditional marriage is a thing of the past. Although marriage is indeed declining among Americans of all races and income levels, it is declining far more quickly in certain demographic groups. Writing in FiveThirtyEight, Ben Casselman explained, “Affluent, college-educated Americans are increasingly delaying marriage until their 30s. But they aren’t abandoning marriage altogether; in fact, they appear likely to get married at close to the same rate as past generations. They rarely have children outside of marriage, and they are relatively unlikely to get divorced.” Meanwhile, lower income, less educated Americans are not just delaying marriage; many are forgoing it altogether. When they do get married, they are also much more likely to get divorced.

The loosening of sexual morality—which cuts across class and income—has had a disproportionately destructive effect on the poor and less educated. Out of wedlock childbearing leads to children being raised in less stable environments and increases the likelihood that those children will not graduate from high school. The answer that is most often put forward for this is greater access to condoms to mitigate the consequences of sexually promiscuous behavior. Yet a recent study conducted by the University of Notre Dame entitled The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs, found that access to condoms in schools led to a 10 percent increase in teen births, rather than a decrease.

Unfortunately, if these trends aren’t addressed effectively, the alarming inequality in our society will only get worse. The best curriculum and the most dedicated teachers can never fully compensate for dysfunctional or unstable families. So what can we do to strengthen families? It stands to reason that if married parents have such a positive effect on student performance, we should at the very least eliminate policies that punish couples for marrying. The government may be limited in its ability to help families, but it certainly shouldn’t undermine them.

Beyond public policy, I believe communities of faith are uniquely suited to strengthen marriages and to encourage and facilitate parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Churches, synagogues and temples can and must fearlessly preach the value of marriage. They should actively encourage young people to enter into healthy marriages and offer both living examples of successful marriages as well as learning opportunities for skills such as communication, home management and the care and discipline of children.

Faith communities can also support the education of children of single parents. In addition to supervised study time and tutoring, they can provide mentorship for the aspects of achievement that are not directly related to academics. These include things like helping parents interact with teachers and school administrators and assistance with the college selection and application process.

Any plan to heal the racial divide must address the education gap. And no plan to close that gap will succeed unless it works to strengthen families.

Photo credit: Alan Alfaro (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

HarryJacksonBishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD.

The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.

Black Students Can Benefit from School Choice and Charter Schools

The following article was copied and pasted from the Black Community News that Star Parker puts together.  The article’s content is not altered.  We have added font color and changed font styles, and have set off a section of the article in quotes to add emphasis  ~~ Publius Jr.

Black School-Choice Advocate to NAACP: Talk to Parents and Children Touched By School Choice

BCN Editor October 5, 2016

Virginia Walden Ford, a national board member and a founding member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), wrote an op-ed for the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal about the NAACP opposing school choice and the growth of charter schools.

The organization is part of a teachers union lawsuit in Florida to eliminate a scholarship program that helps low-income families. The NAACP also drafted a resolution calling for a moratorium on new charter schools.

“The NAACP, which was started to support the rights of black people, is now taking a position that, in my opinion, only hurts black children and other children of color’s chance of getting a quality education in this country through access to school choice,” Ford wrote. “Involving itself in lawsuits against the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program seems counter to their mission.”

Ford speaks from personal experience. After her son began failing in school, a neighbor helped her get a scholarship for him to attend a better school.

“Because of that scholarship, he was able to be successful and graduate and move forward with his life. This is what I’ve seen over the years with the children who have had access to school choice, including public charter schools and private and public scholarship programs like the tuition tax credit scholarship program in Florida.”

The NAACP fought against the “separate but equal” doctrine enshrined in law in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, which the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1896.

“But now the NAACP, who fought so hard for us to get the education we deserved in the ’60s, is trying to make it harder for parents to make the same decisions our parents did then on behalf of their children,” Ford wrote. “Threats to school choice options like the Florida tuition tax credit scholarship program create unnecessary limitations for families who can’t get access to quality education simply because they live in the ‘wrong ZIP code’ or don’t have resources to attend quality private schools.

The BAEO co-authored a letter to the NAACP, asking to meet with the organization before it passed the anti-school choice resolution.

“My hope is that the NAACP and other leaders in the African-American community who support these lawsuits in Florida will spend a moment talking to the parents and children who have been touched by school choice.”

Photo credit: By Jbak87 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons