Thank you to the signatories for my current bid for 1/3 of the available City of Beacon School Board seats, your unwavering support is what continues to inspire me to serve unconventionally! To All my supporters, May 15th is the next opportunity to directly affect policy decisions for the residents of our unique city – Please save the date (May 15th, 2018). Our youth are worth it.
School Budget Vote and Election FYI
- Tuesday, May 15, 2018
- Polls open at 7:00 A.M. and close at 9:00 P.M.
- There are two polling locations for the Beacon City School District:
- Beacon High School - Voters who reside within the boundaries of the City of Beacon: 101 Matteawan Road Beacon, New York, 12508
- Glenham Elementary - Voters who reside within the boundaries of the Town of Fishkill or the Town of Wappinger: 20 Chase Drive Fishkill, New York 12524
Let’s not sugarcoat this. Former Sheriff David A. Clarke J.R.’s behavior goes beyond insensitive, “JOE BIDEN: “I’VE BEEN IN A LOT OF LOCKER ROOMS IN MY LIFE.”
Really Joe? Please tell us why and what you were doing hanging around all those locker rooms, Joe? Taking in the sights? Did the soap keep falling out of your hands Joe? Huh? Tell us Joe. #MAGA.”.
The childish dispute between Former Vice President Biden and President Trump only makes sense because of the climate we’re stuck in today, unfortunately it’s expected now. The fact that Sheriff David Clark is coming to Dutchess County to speak in April makes less sense and continues to show the general public (imho), that many of our public servants don’t care what they say or do, or the people surrounding them. How easily we forget that words matter, that our actions speak louder than our words!
Speaking for myself, inviting this man to our Dutchess County as a guest speaker for anything is a careless, thoughtless error. This is not a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.” This is a “it’s always the right time to do what is right” moment. Whoever invited him, please unitive him and book a speaker that doesn’t promote hate and violence.
"As I was writing this article, I was afraid that in explaining my appreciation and admiration of Black Panther, and how it furthers the discussion of the representation of African Americans in cinema, that my opinions may inadvertently and unintentionally come across as exploitative or even encouraging appropriation in some critical way; "whitesplaining" as some would call it. I was hesitant beyond measure, and I wanted to be mindful and to keep a diligent amount of grace and respect for the topics that are heavily involved, not only in discussing the film, but in really experiencing it in the way it was intended to be by the director and artists behind it. I spoke with a close friend of mine and contributor to this site, Ali T. Muhammad, about these tentative and unsure thoughts and his advice was encouraging and simple: he told me he loved me, that he trusted me and that as a person who thinks the way I do I should write my truth and be honest on how the movie made me feel."
It was fun being a part of this - I'm grateful for the opportunity. Take the pledge:
On Sunday March 4th, I was invited to join my friends Micheal J. Love and Eddie Williams at a Rising Hope Inc reunion in Katonah, New York. Rising Hope is a New York State prison college level education program organized and serviced through volunteerism. Khalil Cumberbatch, Associate Vice President of Policy at the The Fortune Society, was the guest speaker. Please listen to his speech and read his article to New York City Mayor De Blasio:
I saw Judge Peter Forman today walking across the street back to his chambers and after exchanging pleasantries he invited me upstairs to participate in graduation day for the Dutchess County Court Judicial Diversion Program. The program is comprised of criminal justice agencies, treatment providers and community organizations and members of our community that have been convicted of breaking the law and qualify for this alternative to incarceration. 8 people graduated out of over 60 that are in the program, many moved into the third step which is before graduation. It was short simple and my perspective was once again widened just because I showed up. I’ve heard of the program but witnessing the family and friend testimonies and hearing the graduates rap sheets as well as how long they’ve been sober and how adored they were by their Judicial Diversion Team. It was transformative to say the least! After speaking with some of the Dutchess County residents in the program I would like to see more money allocated to this program in order to pay for more housing to include more residents in the program, as well as potential job opportunities for graduates who complete the program. This will mean hiring more probation officers and people in the judicial and criminal justice departments most likely and in doing so it could provide a real commitment to our community, lending towards the “it takes a village” societal practice. Aside from drug and mental health courts, having elected officials present at functions like today also provide a sense of support that has been lacking in broken and marginalized neighborhoods. Our neighbors living in these neighborhoods and are affected by what happens in their backyards every day. The least we can do is meet them where they are... alas I’m stoked to have been a fly on the wall in such a real moment for real people.
Congratulations to everyone who graduated and moved forward today!
Positive outlets create alternatives to incarceration. Signups for Adult All Gender and Adult Men's indoor basketball leagues:
This morning on my walk to work I happened upon a loaded pistol sitting on top of one of our Main Street trash receptacles. First off I called our Mayor who promptly told me to call our police department who responded quickly. They handled the situation accordingly and I want to thank the officers for their service. Here’s a reminder to anyone watching this video though, especially after yet another horrific shooting tragedy in one of our public schools: SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Keep your head on a swivel and pay attention to your surroundings my people. This is real life. Literally anyone could have found this gun. The trash receptacles were empty on Main Street, Beacon New York, someone found this weapon before I did... and I was the first to notify the police. None of this makes sense to me, senseless deaths, political theatre continuing to divide us, neglect... clearly I’m still processing this event from this morning and the tragic shooting. Most specifically what I’m asking of you, is to really and truly be the change, our humanity depends on it.
Read More At WPDH
#seesomethingsaysomething #wethechange #bethechange (Do the right thing like Ali, not a Spike Lee Joint)
Before leaving Beacon City Council late in the year 2017, I was informed that Cheif Solomon would be leaving our Police Department and that the City of Beacon would not have a permanent Chief of Police. I was unsure how our current City Administration and newly elected City Council would assure residents that the position of Chief will be filled in a transparent manner. Given our diverse and evolving population, having a clear and open public hiring process, would reassure residents that a diverse pool of applicants has been encouraged to apply and then considered. In today’s social climate, it is urgent to have committed community leaders that will contribute to our collective growth and development. A way to foster this ideal is by having responsible and responsive leaders who reflect our population.
That’s how I felt, sure about what I wanted to see, insecure about how this transition would happen and willing to fight to see positive policy effectuated. Then I had a long conversation, at the gym mind you, with our Mayor Randy Casale. He better informed me on the process in which we hire law enforcement (a process that I’ve been a part of in my 2 terms serving on Beacon City Council) more specifically on how we appoint officers to the Captain and Cheif positions. He explained the time line in which our acting Cheif of Police would be placed in, a provisional period after the City Council approves him and until he passes the civil service test with a top 3 score followed by a probational period for when or if he passes the test, where he’ll be under the microscope for another year before becoming the official City of Beacon Police Cheif. Our Mayor also stressed the fact that an open hiring process is needed at times, such as when we went out of the department and hired Cheif Solomon. Mayor Casale felt strongly that Captain Kevin Janjulas, now our acting and provisional Cheif of Police (as of Monday 2/5/18) would continue to serve our residents well and follow the charge that our Cheif Executive Officer (our Mayor) has set.
I had my reservations up until recently, after listening to what our Mayor had to say, our community members, members of our police department and my conscious, I would implore the citizens of Beacon to stand with our City Administration, City Council, and Law Enforcement. This past Tuesday (2/6/18), unbeknownst to the public Cheif Janjulas, Mayor Casale, Yvonne and Lavonne McNair (two members of Beacon’s Commission on Human Rights members) met productively with the New Covenant School parents whom had been victimized this past Summer causing many of our community members to become dismayed. I would suggest that we improve upon our public relations as a municipality. Working on that weakness will foster a stronger relationship between our citizens, law enforcement, and public officials. A better informed and more educated public can only help as the culture is shifting in our magnificent city.