Vouchers give poor families choices
By Althea Garrison / Guest Columnist
Friday, January 30, 2004
Wealthy families can send their children to the best of private schools, religious schools or academy schools while
poor whites and black children don't have that option. If a public school is underperforming, these poor children's families
should also have some choices and options to send their children to an alternate school that can produce results, and that
alone should be the parent's decision.
If school vouchers were made available to these poor families in Massachusetts, they could take their children out of an
underperforming school and put them into a school that was up to par so their children could receive a sound, high-quality
If Massachusetts had a school voucher program, poor working-class white and black parents could use vouchers to have some
school choice, like many wealthy families have.
There are many positive effects of having a school voucher program that offers school choice that are far-reaching upon
parents and children, especially those parents who seek choice. Parents become more involved with their children's education
and school, and children tend to learn faster, according to school reform news.
However, because of bureaucrats and the bureaucratic structure of public schools, they don't want non-wealthy families
to have access to choices because they look upon any kind of improvement in education as a threat to public schools, which
is not the case. That is why there is so much opposition to Julia Sigalovsky's charter school proposal for the advanced math
and science academy (A rigorous way to teach: Russian-born educator angers some with charter school plan, by Suzanne Sataline,
Boston Globe, Jan. 13) when these parents and educators should welcome this potential alternative to traditional learning.
Since there is so much resistance in Massachusetts to the concept of a school voucher program, Massachusetts officials
should do like others have done, such as Denver and Milwaukee; that is, to create a new program under education and call it
Opportunity Grant Program and make this program available to poor and middle-class families who are seeking choices for their
children so they may receive a high-quality education in a public school, a charter school, a private school or a religious
Public educators should open up their minds and souls to all forms of creative education, creative learning and strategic
thinking, otherwise, they themselves will lose their competitive thinking and become obsolete.
Althea Garrison is a former state representative.
Outsourcing American workers' jobs destroys economy
Althea Garrison Friday, February 6, 2004
Outsourcing has and is destroying America's economy and should be outlawed. Too many Americans are losing their
good-paying jobs to the Third World economies because many unscrupulous corporations are too greedy and want more profits
at the expense of damaging America's economy.
There's only one way that America's economy will improve; that is to pass legislation that will put an end to outsourcing
of America's jobs overseas, especially technology jobs and manufacturing jobs. As was reported recently in various newspapers,
high-tech executives were outsourcing Americans jobs to consulting firms overseas which pay lower wages, these greedy executives
are seeking more profits so they can manipulate their companies more.
Congress should pass legislation that bans outsourcing. Are these elected officials more concerned for the economy in Third
World countries or for the citizenry that are Americans? Since these corporations started outsourcing of American jobs, many
hi-tech and manufacturing jobs have left the United States for a Third World country, and American jobs have vanished to overseas.
Our elected officials should make it impossible to outsource Americans jobs and tougher for corporations to set up off-shore
businesses to avoid paying taxes in America because both of these two entities hurt America's economy.
America's economy is sagging. Americans are losing their good-paying jobs to outsourcing overseas, and it's time for our
legislators to outright ban outsourcing of America's good-paying jobs for cheaper labor overseas for the good of America's
economy and its citizenry.
Furthermore, when I read and see how some corrupt corporate officials such as former chairman and chief executive Dennis
Kozlowski abused his authority at Tyco International Ltd., I say it's time to get tough on white collar corporate criminals
who pay themselves outrageous salaries in comparison to their employees' salaries and use the system to benefit their own
interest because this hurts America's economy.
As one article stated that I read, the corporate thief Dennis Kozlowski used a program that was designed to help its employees,
but Kozlowski manipulated this loan program and used it to buy his wife a $5 million diamond ring, and now he should be forced
to pay for this egregious white-collar crime. Because of so much manipulation and crooked business deals going on with many
of these corporations, they have damaged America's economy very badly and caused it to be almost in shambles, with high paying
high-tech and manufacturing jobs going overseas.
Many corporations outsource and have off-shore corporations to avoid paying American workers a decent salary and to avoid
paying taxes to America's economy.
Some of these corporations' philosophy is to take from the neediest and give to the greediest. It's time to re-examine
I am a firm believer of free markets; however, many of these free marketers abuse the economy, abuse their employees and
abuse good-will of American citizenry. These corporations should have good morals and ethical values, not immoral and unethical
It's time to pass legislation that bans outsourcing of America's good-paying jobs and stop corporations from setting up
businesses off-shore to avoid taxes because this hurts America's economy and hurts the citizenry and denies them the opportunity
to jobs. In addition, let's hold corporations that are corrupt accountable to the American public and force them to respect
Letter: Against making illegal immigrants legal citizens
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Contrary to what Boston Globe's editorial writers write, ("Overdue for Immigrants," Dec. 18), clear and plain,
if any elected official running for public office supports giving illegal immigrants legal status, they can count on me voting
against them in the next election cycle and working to defeat them in their next election endeavor.
I, as a black-born American, will vote against anyone who doesn't support traditional American values and respect for American
values and respect for our culture, language and borders. If any immigrant is here in America illegally, they should be deported
because they are breaking the law. I have no problems with immigrants coming to the U.S.A. legally, who work to support themselves
and their families, but the American taxpayer should not be forced to support these illegals with their hard-earned tax dollars.
Our first priority should be to protect America and its citizenry, especially the taxpayers who support the system with
their tax dollars and to protect America's economic security. So I say to the editorial of the Boston Globe, when you embrace
illegal immigrants, you are embracing them for breaking the immigration laws.
Businesses who rely on illegal immigrants to work in their businesses undermine America's economy and hold American workers
hostages because these businesses exploit cheap labor of illegal immigrants while hurting the American worker by paying cheap
wages to these illegal immigrants, without giving them health and welfare benefits.
It's time to penalize these businesses for exploiting these immigrants and hurting the American worker, while collecting
huge corporate salaries and other perks. This is called corporate welfare at its worst and saying the hell with the American
worker and American economic security.
Letter: Don't privatize
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Privatization is not the solution to good skating rinks. In a recent article in the Herald (Dec. 1), it was detailed
that the state was getting ready to privatize 20 ice skating rinks in and around Boston. This is going to drive up costs for
urban youth, and many of them aren't going to be able to continue their practice of skating exercise. Skating is an excellent
form of recreation and exercise for our youth.
The exercise of skating helps them to keep weight off and interact with other youth. I think the Executive Office of Environmental
Affairs should think again before giving carte blanche to privatizing MDC skating rinks. The former MDC, now the Department
of Conservation and Recreation, should not support the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs in this endeavor to privatize
According to the article in the Herald, the MDC rinks charge $160 for 50 minutes of skating time compared to about $225
for private rinks. This added cost will hurt urban youth, not the affluent areas, who can afford these costs. What the Executive
Office of Environmental Affairs should be focusing their energy on is eliminating bureaucrats and bureaucracy and overseeing
the maintenance and upkeep of these rinks, not privatizing them, because many of our youth won't be able to afford these rinks
under privatization. I am afraid that many of our youth will not be given an opportunity to continue their exercise of skating,
which helps to keep the weight off of our youth.
Letter: Althea Garrison thanks the voters
Thursday, November 13, 2003
I would like to thank the more than 10,000 voters who voted for my candidacy for an At-Large Boston City Council
seat. While we fell short of our goal of winning, we ran a campaign on issues that affected all working taxpaying American
families and others.
I will continue to monitor those issues and speak out on them. No matter how long it takes, the fight goes on and the dream
is alive. Not politics as usual but a new vision. Once more I thank you for your most precious vote. I am extremely grateful
to you. I seek your input, please call or write to the following address: Althea Garrison, P.O. Box 191395, Boston MA, 02119.
Telephone 617-973-2402, or 617-407-7661.