Former West New York Board of Education candidate Dr. Marie Volpe, who ran with the Kids First ticket for the November 4 election, slammed the Children First slate – which won all four seats up for grabs in the election – and Mayor Felix Roque for, in her eyes, making this election political.
Hi Dear Friends,
We didn’t win on November 4th – sad part is the entrenched corrupt administration spent $100,000 on mailers and flooded the town with flyers and paid a lot of people to work for them – while we spent #6,000 and had only volunteers helping us.
What they also did was on front of their mailers they had the Democratic candidates for Senate (Cory Booker,etc.) and on the back they had the Mayor’s candidates for the Board of Ed. listed so since people in this town are largely democratic and they just voted the blue ticket.
We ran as independents because we believe that the Board of Education should be independent, autonomous and not aligned politically. But, alas, the 19 year old who the mayor appointed last year ran and was elected along with the other candidates picked by the Mayor – all of whom work have town jobs.
What really saddens me is not that we or I lost, it is that there is this massive machine right here in this town, like a bulldozer, tied to the county machine and the state and it seems unbeatable, unstoppable and it doesn’t make one proud.
And yet, I met so many people and had the most wonderfully touching conversations on an individual level and I heard over and over how people wanted the best for their children and they know something is wrong in this town, with the administration and with the school system but they can’t articulate exactly how or what needs to be changed, maybe they don’t have time to become more informed, maybe they don’t know how, many are not educated and there are still more struggling with English.
There used to be adult continuing education programs for adults in the local high school – for years, that is gone now – so how can parents help their kids with homework; how do they encourage their children to dream, what dreams do they have for themselves – how can they develop skills to improve their own station in life? For them, it just becomes a matter of surviving every day, getting thru the day, getting food on the table.
And you see this one block west of our beautiful boulevard, the whole world changes and you see the struggling single parent, the immigrants (legal or not), the small bodegas – they are the working poor that represent the majority in this predominately Hispanic (85-90%) community. So what saddens me is that even when you want to try to make a contribution – they wont let you. So we will just have to find other ways to try to make a difference; when one door closes, another opens.
Thank you for always believing in me, thank you for your incredible support.
p.s. My colleagues at Columbia University were so interested in helping us to improve the educational system in town, now we will seek informal ways to help our people. Your thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated.