Announcement: Brian Jones will seek Nomination from Green Party to be candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York
New York City -- Brian Jones is a New York City-based teacher, activist, and socialist. He will seek the Green Party nomination to be their candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York. The Green Party of New York will select gubernatorial candidates at their May 17th convention in Troy, NY.
Brian Jones is an educator and longtime activist who has fought tirelessly in defense of public education -- against high stakes testing, against the proliferation of charter schools and their role in deepening racial and economic inequality, and against the related scapegoating of public school teachers and their union. Jones seeks to run on a ticket which would be headed by gubernatorial candidate nominee and Teamster Howie Hawkins.
As a union member himself, Jones has challenged the attack on public schools, on teachers and on their union (the United Federation of Teachers). He believes that the unprecedented school closings, evaluating teachers, students and schools based on high stakes standardized tests, and the rapid spread of charter schools all amount to an attempt to privatize public schooling. In a statement released this week, Jones noted that the Democratic Party has enthusiastically supported all of these "reforms". “Governor Cuomo, like the leadership of the Democratic Party, has virtually abandoned any commitment to public education" Jones wrote.
On the issue of charter schools, Jones stated that Cuomo and the Democratic Party “now promote free market schemes and privatization for our schools. I want to participate in a campaign this fall that will highlight for New York’s voters the connections between Governor Cuomo and the charter school movement, which feeds like a vampire on public money and resources.”
On the issue of racism and educational access, Jones pointed out that “New York State’s schools are the most segregated in the nation. This isn’t surprising, since New York also has the greatest gap between rich and poor in the nation. We have to invest in ALL of our schools, not just some of them. We want schools that are safe, humane, child-centered places where young people are treated like intelligent human beings. That means we have to end the racist zero tolerance discipline policies and the policing of school hallways that, for thousands of mostly black and brown students, is the first step into what is often called a school to prison pipeline.”
On the issue of high-stakes testing Jones looks forward to standing with Howie Hawkins in arguing that New York needs to withdraw from the Common Core State Standards and from President Obama’s Race to the Top Initiative. Among other reasons, Jones is concerned that the Common Core Standards were imposed on schools undemocratically. He pointed out that they were funded by Bill Gates and formulated in closed door meetings without the input of educators. "They represent an attempt to facilitate the free market restructuring of public education," Jones wrote.
Announcing his desire to orient his campaign on working-class New Yorkers and grassroots activists, Jones stated: “Our power doesn’t come from wealth, but from organizing." Brian Jones wants to promote this perspective and to engage these issues in what he hopes will be a fruitful partnership with Howie Hawkins and with the New York Green Party. Jones looks forward to using this campaign to recruit broad-based Committees for Howie Hawkins throughout New York City and the State of New York.
Biography of Brian Jones
MORE INFORMATION ON BRIAN JONES
Brian Jones in the New York Times
2/11/14: “Parents Value Schools, but Society Doesn’t”
10/9/12: “Labeling a School ‘Hopeless’ Isn’t the Answer”
9/11/12: “Unions Are Striking Back, at Last”
Brian Jones on MSNBC
3/10/14: “Battle Wages on Over NYC Charter Schools
MORE INFORMATION ON HOWIE HAWKINS