Community leaders from the Bronx have called on other community boards and district 75 citywide councils to put in place a plan of action that should be used to have serious conversation with candidates running for mayor.
In an interview with Parkchester Times, Pamela Stewart-Martinez, a female district leader in the 87th Assembly District, said community leaders in the Bronx need to join forces and speak with one voice to the candidates running for mayor.
"The community boards, the district 75 citywide council, district 75 parent association and the citywide council on special education. A lot of our CECs (Council for Exceptional Children) all need to work together, to put a plan of action together and requests that the candidates who are running for mayor sit down and have a serious conversation about the issues that our students in District 75 and our special education students with IEPs (Individualized Educational Plan) are going through," Stewart-Martinez said.
She said at the moment, what was going on was not right because the needs of the people in her community were not being met.
"This is our opportunity to make sure that they listen to the needs of our families and implement a plan of action. So we should have that conversation with them but it is only going to happen if we all work together," Stewart-Martinez said.
"The high number of ACS (Administration for Children's Services) cases especially in this time of COVID-19, district 75 students are under served.
"They have equipment that is not working. It starts with us, we will reach out to the different communities within the city and set up a plan and propose it to the candidates. They need to answer how they are going to resolve these issues during remote learning and then thereafter. These are ongoing issues. It is a bigger plan and it starts with communities and parents, different education councils all working together."
And Monique Denise Fairrington, also a female district leader for the 87th district, said a lot of times, IEPs were not translated despite the fact that they needed to be in different languages.
"We need to put together all of our concerns on the table citywide. Special education students and their families are under served. All the special things for this population is not being put in place," Fairrington said.
"There are not enough teachers. We have a whole lot of different challenges, some of which we don't even know about. We really have to sit down and make a plan then get together the people that we need to get together. It's a bigger plan."