PLACE NYC – Update on George Santos Endorsement (May 11, 2023)

As an advocacy organization, PLACE NYC volunteers make endorsements for political candidates based on publicly available information about a candidate’s positions solely based on alignment with our education policy mission

In October 2022, PLACE NYC endorsed George Santos for New York’s 3rd congressional district based on his publicly stated positions on education, including his professed support for rigorous, high quality public education and merit-based admissions to NYC public schools that was available to our group and the broader public at that time. However, the New York Times uncovered, post-endorsement and post-election in December 2022, that much of his resume had been fabricated and, since their reporting, federal prosecutors have charged him with 13 counts of fraud and money laundering. 

All PLACE NYC endorsements are election specific and expire for all candidates after an election has passed, and then we review all candidates again for selected races for the next election cycle whether or not they have previously received a PLACE NYC endorsement. We believe this methodology sets a higher standard of authentic advocacy to ensure: 1) candidates are not taking our supporters’ votes for granted, and 2) candidates’ current positions on education policies have not shifted in a direction that would negatively impact our advocacy issues and mission

Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Rep. George Santos, PLACE NYC is clarifying that his endorsement for the November 2022 election ended on election day, November 2022, and he will no longer be considered for any future endorsements. 

New York, NY, October 6, 2022 – Public school K-12 families have a lot at stake in November’s General Election. As parents, we see how our public schools are failing our children and hindering their ability to succeed and compete locally, nationally or on a global level. The NYS Comptroller’s Report on College Readiness recently highlighted only 57% of NYC high school graduates are considered “college-ready.” Basic measures of accountability such as standardized testing are being undermined. The NY State Education Department continues to lower standards for foundational PreK-12 education, while simultaneously limiting opportunities for advanced coursework. Last year’s State Test scores revealed that among students in Grades 3 through 8, earned scores of “meeting” or “exceeding” expectations were shockingly low – only 38% in Math and 49% in ELA. Even with record spending on education, the Citizens Budget Commission has found that there is little accountability under past and current leadership. 

In an effort to halt the continued erosion of quality in NYC public school education, PLACE NYC is pleased to announce our endorsements for the November 8th General Election. 

For Governor, we support public school parent Lee Zeldin because of his commitment to equal access for a K-12 high-quality education and his pledge to protect NYC’s Specialized High Schools. We believe Zeldin can lead a much-needed change for the better in state leadership’s approach to public school education for all students. For Lieutenant Governor, we endorse Alison Esposito. Zeldin and Esposito exhibit deep knowledge on education issues; in May, they unveiled a promising “Students First” plan. Key takeaways are: “protecting and expanding advanced and specialized academics including G&T, screened schools, honors programs”; keeping merit-based entry exams into Specialized Schools; and expanding options for alternative learning and degrees/certificate holders. 

In contrast, Governor Kathy Hochul declined to meet with PLACE NYC’s public school families. Hochul has done little to truly address pandemic learning loss. We are deeply concerned with her apparent lack of interest in K-12 education, aside from pledging funds without defined measures of accountability to stakeholders. Under her governance, she undermined Mayoral Control by agreeing to structural changes to NYC’s Panel for Educational Policy. Hochul also signed an unfunded Class Size mandate into law, which will most likely reduce available seats in all high-demand NYC public schools and also limit enrollment in accelerated learning programs such as Gifted & Talented, Advanced Placement courses, and Specialized High Schools. 

Finally, we are pleased to announce that PLACE NY is hosting a virtual town hall with Lee Zeldin on October 11th at 5:30 pm where parents can hear more about his education platform and ask questions. 

PLACE NYC Endorsements:

For New York State Governor

Lee Zeldin, (R)

For New York State Lieutenant Governor

Alison Esposito, (R)

For New York State Comptroller

Thomas DiNapoli, (D)

For US Congress 

Congressional District 3, George Santos (R)

Congressional District 11, Nicole Malliotakis (R)

For New York State Senate

Senate District 11 (Qns), Stefano Forte (R)

Senate District 15 (Qns), Joseph Addabbo (D)

Senate District 17 (Bklyn), Vito LaBella (R)

Senate District 47 (Manh), Maria Danzilo (Parent Party)

For New York State Assembly

Assembly District 24 (Qns), David Weprin (D) 

Assembly District 25 (Qns), Nily Rozic (D) 

Assembly District 28 (Qns), Michael Conigliaro (R)

Assembly District 29 (Qns), Alicia Hyndman (D)

Assembly District 46 (Bklyn), Alec Brook-Krasny (R)

Assembly District 47 (Bklyn), William Colton (D)

Assembly District 63 (SI), Sam Pirozzolo (R)

Assembly District 73 (Manh), Alex Bores (D)

Assembly District 76 (Manh), Rebecca Seawright (D)

Ballot Proposals

Proposal One (Vote NO) – a Proposition: CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, AND GREEN JOBS Environmental Bond Act of 2022
The purpose of this proposal is to authorize the creation of state debt and the sale of state bonds in the amount of up to four billion two hundred million dollars ($4,200,000,000) for certain capital projects for the purpose of making environmental improvements that preserve, enhance, and restore New York’s natural resources and reduce the impact of climate change. Clean Air and Water are already protected by NY State law. Passage of this measure would unduly burden our children and future generations with a staggering debt of $4.2 billion without specificity of projects. It neglects to include any mention of transparency or accountability. It is more unchecked bloated runaway government spending with little oversight.

Proposal Two (Vote NO) – a Proposition: Statement of Values for City Government
This measure (initiated by the de Blasio Administration) would create a mission statement of sorts for New York’s government by adding a preamble to the city charter that includes a statement of “values and vision,” the ballot proposal says, that aims to create a “just and equitable city for all.” “The first step towards accountability and healing is telling the truth,” the commission wrote. This measure would codify opportunity for imposing changes such as eliminating merit based admissions based on subjective interpretations of “equity” and subject NYC and its taxpayers to liability for selected, unlimited, subjective reparations for “grave injustices”, “segregated schools”, etc.

Proposal Three (Vote NO) – a Proposition: Racial Equity Plans and Office
This measure (initiated by the de Blasio Administration) would bring three new requirements to the city charter: mandating that all city agencies create “racial equity plans”every two years, establishing a new Office of Racial Equity to coordinate racial equity planning across city government and creating a Commission on Racial Equity. That commission would identify and propose priorities for racial equity planning, and review the racial equity plans for each city agency. This expands and legalizes the ability for every city agency to discriminate against and circumvent every New Yorker’s  right to be treated equally in the name of “equity” and possibly implement systematic unfairness funded by taxpayers. This will divert funds to create more unnecessary bureaucracy rather than applying them to areas where it is needed.

Proposal Four (Vote NO) – a Proposition: True Cost of Living
This measure (initiated by the de Blasio Administration) would mandate that the city government use a new method to calculate the “true cost of living” in the city without taking into account public, private or informal assistance a person or household may receive. The RJC advocated for this change, it said, because it concluded that current poverty measures are not accurate for New York City’s  needs or policy decisions. This attempt to redistribute funds based on a subjective “equity” ideology does not take into consideration equality for the taxpayers funding this. The total amount a recipient could potentially receive may exceed the amount made from actually working.