Tag Archive: Speech

Franklin Twp update: No, Ms. Stanley, it’s not your opinion. You’re just wrong

If you’ve been following the controversy over Franklin Township (Somerset) Board of Education President Ed Potosnak’s graduation speech last month, (Franklin Reporter here; Blue Jersey here, here, here; NJ.com here), you know that last night was the first board meeting after board member Patricia Stanley sent a letter to Ed, an openly gay man, and the rest of the board calling for his resignation because he dared to spend approximately 1:30 out of a seven and a half minute speech talking about how the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage-handed down that same day-affected his life.  

Erik Ransom’s speech last night: “I hope you’ll join us there, Ms. Stanley.”

Of all the warm and enlightened public comments I heard at last night’s Franklin Township School Board meeting, my favorite was from actor and playwright Erik Ransom. He was kind enough to send me his speech. The words are his. – Rosi

My name is Erik Ransom. I graduated from Franklin High School in 2000 and I am a gay man. Based on your comments, Ms. Stanley, I infer that you might deem that information too ‘intimate’ for public proclamation, but I strongly disagree. And so, I come here in protest of your bizarre, petty, anachronistic crusade against Mr. Potosnak, and to tell you a bit of the story that brought me here.


TONIGHT: Will there be splashback on the school board member trying to force out a gay colleague?

If the idea of a school board member trying to force the resignation of  her board president over a pro-equality speech seems ugly to you, then you want to know the board’s next public meeting is tonight:

Franklin Twp School Board meeting 7:30pm – Open to the public

Franklin High School – 500 Elizabeth Avenue, Somerset NJ

Cafeteria (Entrance is at back of HS)

Should be interesting. Several board members, plus students and parents, have spoken up for Board President Ed Potosnak. Far as I know, board member Pat Stanley is alone on the board in calling for his resignation. Stanley protests she’s “not anti-gay” but upset that Potosnak ‘hijacked” graduation and turned it into a political event.

I’ll be interested to hear what Stanley has to say. But I smell a bigot, digging herself in deeper, her discomfort with gay people showing despite words. Potosnak’s getting married in a few days. Stanley’s the only one who refused to sign a congratulations card organized by the board, and share a little cake. And she accused Potosnak of talking about his wedding to graduates (uh, he didn’t) and revealing “intimate” details (“intimate” – wow, nope). There were two applause breaks in Potosnak’s brief discussion of the Obergefell decision.

Who else will be there tonight? Garden State Equality, an essential player in the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights protecting school students of all kinds. Here we have a situation where students were witnesses to a situation they can consider may qualify as a kind of bullying.  In his speech, Potosnak said he hoped his students would go out and make the world “more just, more fair, safer and more equal”. For some of them, the first test may be tonight.  

Chris Christie & the Middle Class: Lies up in New Hampshire, truth on the street in Jersey

Right now, Gov. Christie, the street in front of the NJ Statehouse is filled with the middle class you’re up in New Hampshire lying to. But of course, like a lot of important stuff, you’re missing it.

Today, Christie gives a “major” economic speech in his do-or-die state, where he’s in 11th place. Christie, the total flop on economic issues.

Organized labor’s role in creating the middle class that politicians of both parties like to talk about is very well known. But beyond the rest of us thanking Labor for our weekends (thank you, Labor), the obligations here in this state go beyond that. Our state workers have paid into their pensions as agreed; New Jersey has not reliably done so. And now we have an ambitious governor – trying to get a bigger job without cleaning up the mess he’s made here – whose lawyers argue in court that the agreement he made is now – presto! change-o! – unconstitutional. But just now that he’s actually required to fulfill it. Pretzel logic.

We’re following hashtag #FundNJPension. Sea of red right now at the Statehouse. Count these folks as a lot of the middle class Christie has already lied to, protesting his failure to do the right thing by them, even after being so ordered by the court. As they say, they never missed their payments.

#FundNJPension rally Trenton Statehouse May 12, 2015

Christie’s actual economic record? marshwren (who also comments here) sums it up succinctly (in a comment to NJ.com)  – To the jump page!

TONIGHT at Rutgers: #BlackLivesMatter & the Power of Social Media

#BlackLivesMatter event, Rutgers UniversityI wanted to flag an interesting-looking event at Rutgers tonight for you, after reader Dan Kurz flagged it for me. Click poster to enlarge.

In the few dozen hours since the Hillary Clinton announcement, I’ve noticed a gulf opening up between some white feminists and Democrats, and people of color or those fighting economic injustice. That’s the context in which I see this event and the visit to New Jersey by Patrisse Cullors, one of three women who took leadership first on Black Twitter then everywhere; focusing messaging, looping in total strangers to info-sharing and public demonstration of outrage, using 3 little words and a hashtag: #BlackLivesMatter.

I think what they did is extraordinary. And one of the things I’m looking for in Hillary Clinton (or anyone else who wants my vote) is to see if and how this people’s movement focused them on issues of racial justice.

When: TONIGHT 8pm (doors open 7:30pm)

What: ‪Digital Leadership Keynote: #‎BlackLivesMatter‬ & Power of Social Media

Where: Rutgers-NB, College Ave Student Center, Multi-Purpose Room

Who: Lecture, Discussion with Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and movement.

Event is: Part of Rutgers Digital Leadership Week.