---- — Pass campaign finance reform
Governor Cuomo’s 2014-2015 budget proposal includes important steps in the direction of campaign finance reform and The League of Women Voters calls upon the legislature and governor to make comprehensive reform a reality with the passage of this budget.
Our current campaign finance system erodes public trust and negatively effects democratic engagement. New York needs robust and independent enforcement of campaign finance laws, lower contribution limits, elimination of loopholes, robust disclosure and a small donor match public financing system of elections, all of which were recommended by the Moreland Commission. The inclusion of the campaign finance reform in the budget presents an opportunity to get the reforms we so desperately need. The legislature and governor must not let this opportunity pass.
Victoria M. Gates
Cooperstown League of Women Voters
Vote for CCS project
On Friday, Feb. 28, President Obama hosted the finalists in the first White House Film Festival, a competition to have students enter films that focused on the importance of technology in their lives. At the end of his welcoming remarks, referring to using technology he quipped, “You are much better at this than all the adults.”
He is right, and while most adults are well aware of this, we too often ignore the monumental implications this has for education in America. For probably the first time in history, students are better equipped to learn the skills needed for their future than are their teachers, and the reason is technology. We are using the methods and tools of an analog era to teach a digital generation of kids.
During most of my career as an English teacher, the facilities in which I taught didn’t really matter. I could have discussed literature and writing sitting on the floor. But those times are over, and we cannot afford to let our school district fall into technological and structural disrepair. The old adage, “It was good enough for me,” no longer applies. All of what comprises this project is necessary now, for security, safety and curriculum. Furthermore, the cost of doing what we need to do will never go down, and less than 30 percent of the cost will be paid by taxpayers. Our students no longer compete for jobs and colleges with those from surrounding schools or those in the state or in the nation. Travel to any competitive university and you will see how many young people from other countries are taking spots in American colleges.
We must be willing to pay for a top flight education for our children, or they, and we, will suffer. I urge everyone to vote in favor of the referendum on March 12. Please do not assume an outcome and stay at home. Come support our school and our children.