Decision Maker

Linda Rosenthal

  • NY067
  • State Representative

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Petitioning Carl Heastie, Catherine Nolan, Carmen Arroyo, Jacob C. Ashby, Michael Benedetto, Anthony Brindisi, Steven Englebright, Earlene Hooper, Alicia Hyndman, Ellen Jaffee, Ron Kim, Peter A. Lawrence, Barb...

Keep SHSAT as the sole specialized high school admissions criterion

Background: The mayor and several local politicians have advocated for changes to the admissions criteria for eight specialized high schools in New York City.  The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) has always been the sole criteria for admission to these elite schools for students of every color.  Because of their scores on this test, presently, thousands of underserved minority Asian students have been able to obtain a quality education that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Politicians are proposing to scrap the SHSAT in order to increase diversity in these specialized high schools.  The Independent Budget Office estimates at approximately 1450, or nearly half, of Asian students will be displaced. Despite 10,000 signatures on a petition to preserve the SHSAT, new Bills (Assembly Bill A2173) to change the admission requirements away from the SHSAT have once again been proposed.  Proponents of abolishing the objective and unbiased SHSAT claim that the SHSAT is an unfair measure of achievement because it favors only those who can afford test preparation, and thus limits the opportunity for a high-quality education for those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. This claim, however, is unsubstantiated because between 34% to 61% of the current student body in these specialized high schools are eligible for free lunch ($35K annual income for a family of four) and more than three-quarters of the student body at Stuyvesant (one of the specialized schools) are either first- or second-generation immigrants where English isn’t their first language.  Several politicians argue even the best college in the nation use multiple criteria for admissions.  However, the median household income for Harvard undergrads is $168K and for Brown undergrads is $204K.  Is that the kind of socioeconomic diversity we are looking for in New York City’s public high schools? Furthermore the SHSAT has been validated by a formal study sponsored by the DOE but kept secret for 5 years. The under representation of Black and Latino students in specialized high schools is unacceptable, however, changing the admission requirements away from the SHSAT does not address the crisis in k-8 education in low income Black and Hispanic communities. Changing the SHSAT will only hurt low-income families as a whole and disadvantage the poorest ethnic group in New York city.  Thus, we urge Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie and members of the New York State Assembly Education Committee (chaired by Michael Benedetto) to keep the SHSAT as the sole admission criterion for these politically under-represented who have worked hard for admission into these schools.  Taking away education opportunities from one disadvantaged minority group to serve another minority group is not the solution!

Save SHSAT
26,949 supporters
Petitioning Andrew M. Cuomo, Gustavo Rivera, Patrick M. Gallivan, Brian Benjamin, Christopher L. Jacobs, Todd D. Kaminsky, Betty Little, Jen Metzger, Patricia A. Ritchie, Julia Salazar, Toby Ann Stavisky, Andr...

Veto/Vote NO to S2994 & A2371 and Protect Our Religious Freedom for Vaccine Choice

Senate Bill S29942019-2020 Legislative SessionRepeals subdivision 9 of section 2164 of the public health law relating to exemption from vaccination due to religious beliefs. Assembly Bill A23712019-2020 Legislative SessionRepeals subdivision 9 of section 2164 of the public health law relating to exemption from vaccination due to religious beliefs. Our Religious Exemptions are in jeopardy!! These bills are meant to ELIMINATE our freedom to decide to vaccinate or not vaccine our children based on our deep, personal, sincere religious beliefs. Our existing exemptions will be revoked and our children will be forced out of public schools where they have created a life with friends, teachers, sports, extra curricular programs, and more. This is a violation of our privacy to medical decisions, a violation of our freedom of choice, a violation on our religious beliefs, and a violation of basic human rights to make a medical decision for vulnerable children!! We have a constitutional right to education regardless of religious beliefs and that includes our religious decisions on vaccination for our children! We strongly urge our representatives to preserve our rights, protect our children from mandated vaccines against our will, and honor our opposition to these bills. Thank you! 

Heather Truberg
1,947 supporters
Petitioning Peter Abbate Jr., Thomas Abinanti, Carmen Arroyo, Jacob C. Ashby, Jeffrion Aubry, William Barclay, Brian Barnwell, Didi Barrett, Charles Barron, Michael Benedetto, Rodneyse Bichotte, Michael Blake,...

Enact a law in New York to protect honey bee swarms and colonies from extermination.

Purpose of petition: Institute a law in New York to protect hanging honey bee swarms and honey bee colonies that are located in structures or other places where they are unwanted from extermination by pest control companies or the general public. I ask for your signature to help make it illegal to kill honey bee swarms and unwelcome honey bee colonies because I recently witnessed the effects of the poisoning of a hanging swarm of honey bees. It took days for the bees to die. They were not causing any harm to anyone; if a beekeeper were called instead of using poison, they could have been relocated rather than poisoned. Background: The European (or western) Honey Bee, (Apis mellifera) was first introduced to the United States in 1622. By 1947, America had almost 6 million managed honey bee colonies. Today, we have an estimated 2.67 million managed honey bee colonies. Over the past decade, American honey bee colonies have been dying at an average rate of about 30% per year. Beekeepers in the United States lost an estimated 40.1% of their managed honey bee colonies during the 2017-2018 period. During this period, New York lost 40.4% of its managed honey bee colonies; Connecticut, 73%; Massachusetts, 64.9; Vermont, 57.1; Pennsylvania, 53.1%; and New Jersey, 45.6%. The decline of managed honey bees is alarming and we must take action to protect honey bees before it is too late. (The 2018-2019 national honey bee loss data has not yet been released.) The honey bee occupies every continent except Antarctica; this species is the single most important pollinator for global agriculture and plant reproduction. Honey bees, the "Angels of Agriculture" links the animal and plant kingdoms, and are the strongest link in the chain between food producers and consumers. Honey bees’ role in human survival is overlooked and undervalued. Through pollination, they are responsible for many of the fruits and vegetables we eat, and provide food and shelter for wildlife. Of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the global food supply, 71 crops are pollinated by honey bees. The effect of honey bees on the economy and ecosystem diversity is significant. Honey bees are an indispensable part of our planet's ecology. Honey bees contribute close to $20 billion to the value of U.S. crop production and provide increased yields and superior quality crops to growers and consumers. They are responsible for pollinating approximately 80% of all American agricultural food crops. While native bees and other pollinators do provide pollination, research indicates there have been substantial losses of wild bees; both the number of wild bee species and their population numbers appear to have declined. With a declining pollination force, our food industry will see negative changes in production, quality, price, and availability. Higher prices for fruits and vegetables will become the norm as they become harder to obtain. In New York State, honey bees pollinate more than $300 million worth of agricultural crops. New York State is home to more than 60,000 honey bee colonies, but that is not enough for our needs! Additional colonies are shipped into New York to fulfill our pollination requirements. Without a healthy honey bee population, fruit and vegetable production would be at risk. The problem. Honeybees are not protected under the Endangered Species Act, and there are no federal laws to prohibit people from killing them. Contrary to popular belief, in New York State it is not illegal to kill honey bees. Pest control companies and the general public can exterminate honey bee colonies or hanging swarms at any time, for any reason. This must stop. New Jersey, our neighboring state, has a law in place that protects honeybee swarms and honey bee colonies that are located in structures or places where they are unwanted. This petition and those who sign it ask for a very similar law to be adopted in New York State. Protection of the honey bee is in the best interest of the people of the State of New York.Below is the text of New Jersey law. SUBCHAPTER 6. PRESERVATION OF HONEY BEE COLONIES § 2:24-6.1 Relocating honey bee colonies (a) To preserve honey bee colonies in the State, any person including certified and licensed responsible pesticide applicators and commercial pesticide applicators and operators operating in the State shall contact the State Apiarist by phone at least 24 hours in advance of extermination of honey bees to obtain assistance in trying to relocate nuisance honey bee colonies or hanging swarms of honey bees, in lieu of destroying said honey bees. Honey bees shall not be destroyed without prior approval from the State Apiarist.(b) In the event the State Apiarist is not reachable, any person including certified and licensed responsible pesticide applicators and commercial pesticide applicators and operators shall attempt to contact no fewer than three beekeepers identified by the New Jersey Beekeepers Association as swarm collectors servicing the affected county, in order to obtain assistance in relocating nuisance honey bee colonies or hanging swarms before nuisance honey bee colonies or hanging swarms of honey bees may be destroyed. (c) The New Jersey Beekeepers Association maintains a website listing beekeepers offering to collect honey bee swarms and colonies inside structures at:  More background:A honey bee swarm is the birth of a new colony, and is a beautiful, natural phenomenon. Although honey bees can swarm at almost any time of the year, swarm season in New York typically occurs in May and June. Swarming is a natural biological function of honey bees. Honey bee swarms are not dangerous and are very gentle. They tend to be at their most docile phase of life while in a swarm. They have no home or young to defend. Their stomachs are filled with honey, so they are practically unable to sting. They usually hang on a bush or tree branch while scout bees look for a dry dark cavity. When they agree on the location, the swarm will take flight and move into that cavity. This process can take from minutes to days, depending on the weather and availability of a suitable new home. Allowing a beekeeper to capture the swarm alive, rather than be exterminated by pest control companies or the general public (out of fear, ignorance, and greed), can help save honey bees. Swarms of honey bees only have a survival rate of about 25% on their own, so if we allow a beekeeper to relocate them, they'll have a much better chance of survival. When honey bee colonies are located in structures or in other unwanted places, they can, and should be safely and humanely removed and relocated rather than exterminated. An established honey bee colony can contain up to 50,000 or more honey bees. Pest control companies use large amounts of poisons to kill a colony. Left behind after the extermination are poisoned, dead and dying bees, poisoned brood (baby bees), poisoned honey, poisoned pollen, and poisoned bees wax. This can attract other honey bees or animals and harm them as well. It festers and can mold and rot, and cause harm to humans and/or the structure it was in.This is not a good option for anyone, except the pest control company. An experienced beekeeper can remove the living colony and relocate it. They will remove all of the components of the colony including the bees, their brood, honey, bees wax, and pollen. They will bee-proof the cavity to prevent future colonies from moving in. In some cases, public safety may necessitate that an established honey bee colony or a hanging swarm of honey bees be exterminated, but that decision should be left to the entities designated by the proposed law, not an exterminator who gets paid to kill honey bees regardless of any perceived or real health and/or safety risk to the public. The signers of this petition ask for New York lawmakers to institute a law similar to the law  New Jersey currently has (shown above) in order to protect honey bee swarms and honey bee colonies in unwanted locations. The author of this petition is a Certified Master Beekeeper and a commercial beekeeper, and will offer any assistance necessary to bring the proposed law to fruition. Too often honey bee colonies are "exterminated" when in a structure rather than saved. This must stop.  I ask for your signature to help make it illegal to kill honey bee swarms and unwelcome honey bee colonies. I witnessed the effects of the poisoning of a hanging swarm of honey bees. It took days for the bees to die. They were not causing any harm to anyone; if a beekeeper were called instead of using poison, they could have been relocated rather than poisoned. Fear and ignorance, and maybe greed, caused a beautiful swarm of approximately 40,000 bees to die. Honey bee swarms are at the most vulnerable phase of their life, while hanging and waiting for the scout bees to locate a home. Its like shooting a sitting duck. Please, this has to stop. Will you help me? Lawmakers, will you be the hero to the honey bees and give them a chance to live?   

Deborah Klughers
1,549 supporters
Petitioning Grace Meng, Kathleen M. Rice, Hakeem S. Jeffries, Linda Rosenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney

Take away luxury taxes on feminine products.

We want to take away the tax on feminine products. Almost every woman has about 456 periods in their lifetime. This can add up to almost $19,000 between pads, tampons, and pain medicine. That is money that could be going to college, a house, a car, etc. From tampons alone, women spend about $1,800. Period products are taxed as a luxury- something women cannot control is being taxed. They are considered "not a necessity!" That is like putting a tax on toilet paper. Because of this tax, many women are not able to get feminine products they need. They have to choose between eating or buying products. This results in women using substitutes like paper bags and newspaper, which can lead to poor hygiene. This tax is a result of the pink tax. The pink tax taxes many women's products. "There has been a lot of research on the pink tax that found that overall, women were paying more than men 42% of the time. How much more? About $1,351 more a year in extra costs. Yup – that’s $1,351 that can’t go into her retirement fund."(https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/the-pink-tax/ This tax is not just on feminine products, but also razors, shaving cream, deodorant, and other toiletries. This luxury tax also causes a gender gap because women are having thousands of dollars taken from them, all because of something natural. By taking away this tax, many more women will be able to afford these products and could use that money for other necessities. 

Rachel Wolfson and Hannah Ford
397 supporters
Petitioning European Parliament, Council of the European Union, Bundesrat, Sahra Wagenknecht (LINKE), Linda Rosenthal, European Commission, Human Rights Campaign, Bernard Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Christian Li...

Rainbow for Bosnia & Herzegovina

Rainbow for Bosnia & Herzegovina. Liebe Freundinnen und Freunde, ich als Vater, Künstler, Sozialarbeiter und politischer Aktivist möchte euch bitten, diese Petition zu unterstützen und zu unterschreiben. Ziel der Petition ist es, von Deutschland (und darüber hinaus) aus, eine Politik des gesunden Menschenverstandes in Bosnien und Herzegowina zu unterstützen. Die bosnisch-herzegowinische Gesellschaft verdient es, über die dunklen Wolken gescheiterter Politik und Verbrechen aus der Vergangenheit hinauszuwachsen. Ich bitte euch, diese Petition zu unterstützen, nicht nur im Interesse der Gesellschaft in Bosnien und Herzegowina und ihrer Hoffnung auf ein besseres Leben, sondern weil das auch im Sinne einer demokratischen, multikulturellen, sozialen Zukunft Europas ist. Für eine EU, die auf Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Schutz von Minderheiten, Menschenrechten und der Kultur des Antifaschismus aufbaut! Seit mehr als einem Vierteljahrhundert ist die europäische multikulturelle Gesellschaft in Südosteuropa im Gefahr. Die Regierungen der Nachfolgestaaten des ehemaligen Jugoslawien, geführt durch nationalistische und populistische Politik, zettelten einen Krieg an, der mehr als 100.000 Menschenleben forderte, dabei eine Politik der ethnischen Säuberungen, Kriegsverbrechens, Vergewaltigungen und Völkermordes verfolgen. Das Friedensabkommen, das dem Krieg in Bosnien und Herzegowina im Jahr 1995 mit Hilfe der EU und den USA eine Ende setzte, verlängert die Qual von Bosnien und Herzegowina, denn er steht im Widerspruch zu den Menschenrechtskonventionen und schafft korrupte politische Systeme und Regierungen, die organisierte Kriminalität unterstützen. Das Friedensabkommen von Dayton schaffte im 21. Jahrhundert in Europa politische Systeme, die auf religiöser und nationaler Trennung basieren. Die gleichen politischen Systeme verherrlichen verurteilte Kriegsverbrecher, unterstützen und schaffen Relativierung der nazistischen und faschistischen Politik und der Verbrechen des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Können wir mit einer solchen Politik in der Nachbarstaaten der EU im 21. Jahrhundert leben? Müssen wir auf den Moment warten, in dem an unsere Tür geklopft wird? Verstecken wir uns und werden alle leiser, während die Regeln der Dummheit herrschen? Nein, ich kann nicht still sein und so erhebe ich meine Stimme, und tue es auch Du für Deine Zukunft. Ein befreundeter Musiker aus USA nannte seine Band "Bosnian Rainbows". Ich fragte ihn einmal: „Warum dieser Name, Du warst nie in Bosnien, warum?“ Und er antwortete: „In den neunziger Jahren, in den unglücklichen Momenten, tröstete mich meine Mutter oft mit dem Satz: Siehst du Sohn, selbst in Bosnien kommt nach dem Regen ein Regenbogen." Lasst uns dem Regenbogen helfen, sich über Bosnien zu entfalten!  

Asmir Šabić
290 supporters
Closed
Petitioning New York Governor

Replace Property Tax with Ground Rent

Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap sets the cap at the rate of inflation or 2%, whichever is less; prohibits any property tax levy above the cap unless endorsed by both by the local governing board and a 60% electoral majority, and provides only limited exceptions such as extraordinary legal or capital expenditures. Whether it is a tax cap or a circuit-breaker that several “progressive” organizations like the unions are proposing, neither is a sound policy. What makes sense to those who understand land economics is to shift the tax off improvements and onto land.  This would tend to lower the tax for most homeowners and shift the burden to underused parcels (e.g., vacant lots, derelict buildings, and land containing unexploited natural resources).  For those homeowners who do own property and are hard-pressed to pay, there is another option, called deferral, wherein the Ground Rent (aka: Land Value Tax) would only be collected upon sale of the property.  Arbitrarily capping the property tax will be a disaster equal to that of proposition 13 in California, which single-handedly brought down the most prosperous state, while providing taxless windfalls for large landholders like the oil & gas industry.  Furthermore, a cap on taxes forces up prices, and promotes sprawl while taking away funding for education.  Ideally, we should only pay a Land Value Tax, and no tax on buildings or other improvements.  For more information, please see www.urbantools.org and www.commongroundnyc.org. Our proposal is to eliminate taxes on all productive activity, charge 8%/year on assessed values of Land instead.  Then, the state will free up underused land (22 square miles in NYC alone!) for productive purposes, end the land speculation that is responsible for the current economic crisis, and produce more affordable housing.  This revenue-neutral proposal will attract new businesses and prevent flight of existing businesses. On behalf of all New Yorkers and not just the special Land-holding speculators, please enact a Land Value Tax, and repeal the property tax cap.  

Scott Baker
191 supporters
Michael Bloomberg, Dennis Walcott, Scott Stringer, Gale Brewer: Stop the redevelopment plans for the Museum Magnet School/P.S.191

Dear Constituent: Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to redevelopment of P.S. 191, the Museum Magnet School. I share your concerns about the impacts of the proposed development on the school and the surrounding community and the decision by the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to develop this plan in secret. It has been more than three months since the DOE closed the Request for Expressions of Interest for development at P.S. 191, P.S. 199 and the School of Cooperative Technology on the Upper East Side, and yet the DOE has still not given any indication of how or whether it will solicit and incorporate community feedback into its decision process. I have written two letters to Chancellor Dennis Walcott to express my strong opposition to the DOE’s lack of public process or consideration of parent and community feedback, and to demand answers detailed answers to questions about the proposed development. I am still awaiting a reply to these letters, which are included below. As many of you know, I also worked with P.S. 191 and the Amsterdam Houses Residents Association to organize a meeting of members of both communities to discuss the proposed development, and I continue to work with this coalition. I have also introduced legislation to ensure that the DOE does not give away public land to developers to create luxury housing without the public having an instrumental role in all decisions. I am inspired by your advocacy and am proud to stand with you. Signing this petition, however, is only the first step, and I will continue to work with you to make sure that your voice is heard by the DOE. If you are interested in additional steps you can take or if you have questions about this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact me at (212) 873-6368 or rosenthall@assembly.state.ny.us. Thank you again for contacting my office. Sincerely, Linda B. Rosenthal Member of Assembly – 67 AD ------------------------------------ March 5, 2013 Dennis Walcott Chancellor New York City Department of Education 52 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007 Dear Chancellor Walcott: I am writing regarding proposed development in my district in Manhattan at P.S. 199 and P.S. 191. Like many parents and neighbors, I was outraged when I learned that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) began looking for developers to potentially demolish and build on the sites of Manhattan's P.S. 199 and/or P.S. 191 without first consulting the community. Only after a parent found a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for developers in a November 2012 issue of Crain’s did DOE even acknowledge it was considering development. DOE and the New York City Educational Construction Fund (ECF) not only failed to notify any stakeholders before publishing the RFEI, but then waited nearly three months after its publication to present the potential development to the Parents