Althea Garrison for State Representative 2006

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Althea Garrison's Agenda

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 education.

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 school.

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

By 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 capitalism.

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 practices.

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 their employees.

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.

Althea Garrison


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 skating rinks.

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.

Althea Garrison


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.

Althea Garrison

Letter: Boston small homeowners deserve resident tax relief

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

To the editor:

It appears that small property tax owners are going to be hit with huge property tax increases unless lawmakers act on a proposal before them that would shift more of the tax burden on commercial property. I urge lawmakers to focus on shifting more of the tax burden to commercial businesses. Many small homeowners are struggling, and unless lawmakers act on the resident tax relief, many small homeowners are going to face major property tax increases in their 2004 property tax bills.

High property tax and the ability to pay these taxes have led to the destabilization of many old neighborhoods. Property valuation in Boston and many other surrounding residential areas are inflated, and poorer small homeowners can't continue to afford to pay these high rising property taxes, and they need some relief. Commercial property and high tech businesses are in a much better financial position to pay more in property taxes than many of these small homeowners who are struggling to make ends meet. If property taxes continue to rise on small homeowners, many of them aren't going to be able to pay these rising property taxes, and this will continue to destabilize many neighborhoods, as has been done in the past.

Althea Garrison