Tag Archive: Susan Bass Levin

Massive Norcross Hypocrisy: Competition Is Good For Schools, But Bad For Me

Jersey Jazzman posted this at his own excellent site just before the weekend. Yesterday, Camden parents protested the undemocratic privatization of their schools as personified by George Norcross. I thought this post was in order – Rosi

Sometimes I wonder why my head doesn’t just explode:

With 300 people filling a shiny new auditorium for speeches and cheers, the ribbon-cutting held yesterday at the new KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy in Camden at times seemed as much a precursor of the city’s educational future as it was a celebration of the opening of a school.

The event marked the opening of the first new “renaissance school” built under the Urban Hope Act of 2012 that brought the hybrid charter schools to New Jersey and, specifically, Camden.

The speakers were familiar names in Camden circles: Mayor Dana Redd; U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, who authored the Urban Hope Act when he was a state senator; and Susan Bass Levin, president and CEO of Cooper Foundation.

Sitting in the front row was George Norcross III, chairman of Cooper University Health Care and the chief driver of the school’s rise from a vacant lot next to the hospital. [emphasis mine]

Because it’s now standard operating procedure in America to throw everything down the memory hole, a little history is in order:

The vacant lot that this KIPP school sits on today was supposed to be for a public district school. The state promised that it would build the school to serve all of the students in the Lanning Square area. And as the city school board waited for the state to fulfill its promises, it rebuffed an effort to bring KIPP into Camden, perhaps motivated by the fact that KIPP had already tried and failed in the city years before.  

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Open Thread Time! What do you want to talk about today, Blue Jersey?

Corzine names Levin Deputy Directory of NY/NJ Port Authority

This afternoon, Governor Corzine announced he is appointing former Cherry Hill Mayor and current Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs Susan Bass Levin as the next Deputy Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey replacing Jaime Fox.  From Corzine’s release…

“For years Susan has proven herself as an exceptional public servant and a tireless advocate for New Jersey,” Governor Jon S. Corzine said. “She is an ideal candidate for this position, and I have no doubt that she will vigorously represent the interests of our state at the Port Authority.”

PoliticsNJ.com speculated back in March that Levin would be taking the post and they also said at the time that outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny would replace her as DCA Commissioner.  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that is the next shoe to drop.

Appellate Court overturns state’s affordable housing plan

In what has to be considered a blow to the administration, an appellate court today invalidated the state’s regulations requiring towns to make housing available to low-income residents.  The court found the rules were based on unsupported and outdated facts.  From the Courier…

The decision means that nearly 300 municipalities’ affordable housing plans must be scrapped. The state will have six months to come up with a constitutional means to plan for affordable housing.

and some responses to the decision from the Star Ledger…

“What we have is a total fiasco,” said Peter J. O’Connor, executive director of the Fair Housing Center, among several groups that filed suit against the rules, which were adopted in December 2004.

Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin emphasized that the court upheld some of the state’s affordable housing policies.

“However, we are deeply concerned that some aspects of the Appellate Courts decision could have the effect of limiting the construction of affordable housing while market rate housing continues to be built,” she said. “It could also lead to increased density and unnecessary sprawl, a result that would be extremely detrimental to the people of New Jersey.”

Municipal officials decried the decision, which stopped state consideration of affordable housing plans by 262 municipalities.

“The decision puts on hold and undermines the current efforts of hundreds of municipalities to provide for affordable housing,” said Bill Dressel, New Jersey State League of Municipalities executive director.

Housing advocates also called on the governor to remove Commissioner Levin from her position.  I wonder what all those towns will do now?