News12: "NY voters to decide on constitutional convention"
NY voters to decide on constitutional convention (News12)
One of the most important questions on the ballot this year will be about the constitutional convention, but many voters have no idea what the proposition is.
The proposition would give New York voters the right to start the process of rewriting the state constitution. It’s an opportunity that only comes around every 20 years.
Constitutional scholar and Pace Law School professor Bennett Gershman says this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that gives voters a permanent say in how their government works.
“There’s so much about the budget that needs to be reformed, taxation needs to be reformed, education can be improved,” he says.
If the proposition passes, it would begin a two-year process of picking the people who would help overhaul the existing structure of state government.
Democratic state Sen. David Carlucci believes it's a risk not worth taking.
“A convention is too drastic - that opens it all up. It’s like taking out a sledgehammer instead of using a scalpel. Our democracy is very fragile,” he says.
If it's approved, the actual vote to change the Constitution wouldn't take place until 2019. If it’s voted down, voters won’t have another chance until 2037.
The constitutional convention question is one of three on the statewide ballot. The others include authorizing judges to strip the pensions of corrupt officials and creating a 250-acre land bank.
Watch the video.
The New York Times: "An Upscale Hamlet Weighs Whether to Be a Village (or Not to Be)"
An Upscale Hamlet Weighs Whether to Be a Village (or Not to Be) (The New York Times)
...Some experts in local government say that if any community could form a new village and not suffer sticker shock, it was Edgemont. The working-class village of Mastic Beach on Long Island struggled with spiraling taxes after it incorporated. But Edgemont, with nearly half the population, expects to reap some $15 million in property taxes a year as an incorporated village — compared with Mastic Beach’s $925,000 in tax revenue in 2015.
“They will have the best financial shot,” said Andy Crosby, an assistant professor of public administration at Pace University. “If you have a very large base for your property taxes, you don’t need the tax rate to be very high to achieve what you want.”
Read the full article.
The New York Times: "The Lessons of Cyrus Vance’s Campaign Contributions"
The Lessons of Cyrus Vance’s Campaign Contributions (The New York Times)
This OP-ED is written by Elizabeth Holtzman and David Yassky. Elizabeth Holtzman is a former congresswoman, Brooklyn district attorney and New York City comptroller. David Yassky, a former New York City councilman, is the dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.
The controversy swirling around the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr. for taking large campaign contributions from two defense lawyers after his office declined to prosecute their clients points to the urgent need for major reform. We need public financing of district attorney races. The good news is that New York City already has a highly regarded campaign finance system and it would be easy to include the five city district attorneys in it.
The public is entitled to both the appearance and reality of honest justice in criminal cases. But given the legality of large contributions to district attorneys and the frequency of contributions from criminal defense lawyers, the appearance of influence is inescapable. Indeed, the present system may create opportunities for actual improper influence.
Although Mr. Vance has steadfastly maintained that he acted in an entirely proper way in dismissing the cases and was not influenced by the contributions or the likelihood of receiving them, much of the public will not believe him. That kind of cynicism erodes confidence in prosecutors and ultimately can seriously impair the functioning of the criminal justice system.
When the public doesn’t trust a prosecutor, juries become skeptical of evidence and are more apt to acquit defendants who genuinely threaten public safety. More fundamentally, the criminal justice system is built on the premise of public confidence in prosecutors’ impartiality. Criminal laws are often drafted quite broadly, and we rely on a prosecutor’s judgment to screen out cases where conduct is technically in violation of the statute, but prosecution would be unfair. The appearance of undue influence by defense lawyers will undermine the legitimacy of this prosecutorial discretion.
Currently, district attorney elections are governed by New York State’s notoriously lax campaign finance laws. In Manhattan, for example, an individual may contribute up to $50,000 to a district attorney candidate — and even that generous limit has a loophole allowing additional contributions through corporations the individual donor owns or controls.
By contrast, elections for New York City offices, including for mayor and City Council, are subject to much stricter limits. Contributions to mayoral candidates are limited to $4,950 for an election cycle, which includes the primary and general elections. Corporate contributions are prohibited. Crucially, the first $175 of any individual’s contribution is matched six to one, meaning that a $175 contribution is actually worth $1,225 to the candidate. This magnifies the effect of small contributions enormously — and encourages candidates to seek them. The matching-funds program has worked well for nearly 20 years and has won high marks for helping to avoid the problem Mr. Vance is encountering.
Read the full article.
The New York Times: "When Internships Don’t Pay, Some Colleges Will"
When Internships Don’t Pay, Some Colleges Will (The New York Times)
Elizabeth Pooran teaching tech last year at the Senior Planet Exploration Center, where she held an internship subsidized by Pace University. Credit: Drew Levin
Pace was featured in the Education Life section of "The New York Times." From The Times:
"...Pace University posted more than 4,000 internships last year, about 40 percent of them unpaid, and provides grants for many internships in the nonprofit sector.
“We’re not trying to proselytize with these students, but we’d like their eyes to be open to the second and third sectors in our economy,” said Rebecca Tekula, executive director of Pace’s Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
Pace’s Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship pairs students with nonprofits in and around New York City, like Greyston Bakery, Housing Works and the Legal Aid Society. Elizabeth Pooran interned last year at Senior Planet Exploration Center in Chelsea, a community space designed to teach technology, including digital photography and the internet, to older adults to encourage them to lead independent, connected lives. And Latino U College Access, a fledgling nonprofit that works with first-generation college students, has used Pace interns for three of its five years. “I always say that my organization was built with the support and by the hands of Pace University interns,” said Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, the founder.
Students in the Wilson internship program receive $16 an hour, or $4,480 for eight weeks. Some 120 students have participated since 2009, with grants totaling about $500,000."
Read the full article.
International Business Times: "Pace is Ranked the Best Private University in the Nation for Upward Economic Mobility of Students"
Pace is Ranked the Best Private University in the Nation for Upward Economic Mobility of Students (International Business Times)
Pace University was ranked number one among private, non-profit, four-year institutions nationwide in a list published last week by the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Colleges with the Highest Student-Mobility Rates, 2014.”
The list is based on data from the Equality of Opportunity Project’s study, “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility” (Chetty, Friedman, Saez, Turner, and Yagan, 2017). The study compared the median parent household income for students at colleges and universities across the country with the earnings these same students achieved after graduation.
“This list reaffirms Pace’s commitment to successful outcomes for our students and that education is the path forward,” said Pace’s President Marvin Krislov.
New York is a national leader in this arena. Six of the top 10 private four-year institutions for economic mobility are located in New York State, while seven CUNY campuses are ranked in the top 10 four-year public colleges.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings for Americans with less than a high school degree amounts to $25,636 while the unemployment rate for the same population is 8 percent, the highest of any of the educational categories. Workers with a high school diploma achieve a median income of $35,256 per year while experiencing an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. Americans with a bachelor’s degree earn significantly higher with median annual income of $59,124 per year and face a much lower unemployment rate at 2.8 percent. Median annual earnings continue to rise with advanced and professional degrees. In 2012, New York residents with a bachelor's or post-graduate degree earned a median annual income of approximately $70,700, which ranks among the highest in the nation. (New York Building Congress, 2014).
Read the full article.
SF Gate: "Governor Cuomo Signs Elephant Protection Act"
Governor Cuomo Signs Elephant Protection Act (SF Gate)
Forcing elephants to perform in circuses and other entertainment venues has been relegated to a bygone era under legislation originated by students of Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences Environmental Clinic and signed into law Thursday by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The Elephant Protection Act, sponsored by state Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, makes New York State the first in the nation to implement an outright ban on the use of elephants in entertainment. Pace students first brought the idea for the bill to the legislature in 2016 and spent the next two legislative sessions lobbying for its passage.
“It is time society put an end to this barbaric relic of another age,” said Michelle Land, clinical professor of environmental law and policy at Pace. “Wild elephant populations are in dire straits globally. By recognizing its duty to end entertainment acts that perpetuate misinformation and false values about the species, New York State is setting an example today that we believe other states will follow”
The student clinicians, who actively lobbied in Albany and collected 1,100 student signatures in support of the bill, wrote to the governor, “The contention of circuses, trainers and managers that performing elephants are ‘educational’ is demonstrably false -- one has only to attend a performance to understand. Silly tricks such as headstands, balancing on stools, and parading in foolish costumes undermine a child’s appreciation and understanding of wildlife.”
The training of elephants to perform tricks for audiences has come under fire for years, even forcing some big name circuses out of business. New York State law now recognizes that ordinary animal welfare laws cannot protect elephants from an industry whose practices are inherently cruel. At present, as many as nine circuses bring elephants through New York State annually.
“We are so pleased that this important legislation came out of the work of the students and faculty of the Pace Environmental Policy Clinic," said Pace President Marvin Krislov. “Dealing with real world issues and making a community impact is what a Pace education is all about.”
Senator Terrence Murphy said, "Thanks to the advocacy of the students, staff and faculty of the Pace University Environmental Policy Clinic, New York State has now passed significant legislation that will protect elephants from cruel and inhumane treatment. Once again, New York State is proving to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves."
“Elephants have been exploited and abused in entertainment acts for too long,” Paulin said. “Confinement, torture and unhealthy living conditions have led to early death for these intelligent, gentle animals. Today, New York has become the leader in ending this horrible practice. Elephants will no longer be subjected to cruel treatment for our amusement.”
Read the full article.
U.S. News & World Report:"Why Meal Timing Is Important for Better Diabetes Control"
Why Meal Timing Is Important for Better Diabetes Control (U.S. News & World Report)
...On the other hand, eating breakfast can actually help you maintain or lose weight. The best practice is to eat within a maximum of 1.5 hours after you wake up and have a breakfast that combines at least two of the food groups. If you’re trying to lose weight, just trim your portion size, recommends Christen Cupples Cooper, assistant professor and founding director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the College of Health Professions at Pace University in Pleasantville, New York.
Read the full article.
News LI: "Energy Assistance Programs at Risk in DC Budget Battles"
Energy Assistance Programs at Risk in DC Budget Battles (News LI)
With cold weather on the way, programs that help low-income New Yorkers keep warm are still in jeopardy in Washington.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services has begun distributing funds for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the 2018 fiscal year. But the Trump administration has said the program is no longer necessary and wants to eliminate it and other energy assistance programs from the budget.
According to Sheryl Musgrove, senior staff attorney with the Pace University Energy and Climate Center, LIHEAP is vital to the health and safety of the most vulnerable families.
“It served 1.2 million New York households in 2014,” Musgrave said. “And 94 percent of these households had either an elderly member, a disabled member or a young child.”
Funding for LIHEAP is included in the Continuing Resolution passed by the House and the Senate, which expires on December 8. That sets the framework for negotiating the final 2018 budget.
Also at risk is the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income families cut energy costs. Musgrove pointed out that in 2015 almost 13,000 low-income families in New York received more than $57 dollars through that program.
“Through weatherization improvements and home-efficiency upgrades, it’s estimated that the average household will save at least $283 per year on their energy bills,” she said.
Musgrove added that the efficiency upgrades also make homes healthier by removing asthma and allergy triggers, saving families money in avoided medical costs. And she noted that the energy-efficiency programs are cost effective, returning almost $4 for every $1 invested.
“They bring economic development to the state as well,” she said. “They bring jobs, they increase health and they bring money in, which provides a boost to our economy.”
In a single year, she said the Weatherization Assistance Program brought more than $192 million in economic benefits to New York.
Read the article.
The Journal News: "Video: Pace University plants tree for new president"
Video: Pace University plants tree for new president (The Journal News)
Pace University in Pleasantville held a tree planting ceremony Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 to celebrate the inauguration of the college's new President Marvin Krislov.Pace University/Submitted
Watch the news clip.
Westchester Magazine: "Making College Dreams a Reality for First-Generation Latino Students"
Making College Dreams a Reality for First-Generation Latino Students (Westchester Magazine)
...When it came to her own choice for college, Buontempo decided to stay close to her family in the Bronx. She attended Pace University in Pleasantville, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1984. After college, she was able to parlay her business background and bilingual skills into a career in Hispanic marketing. Working for Font & Vaamonde, a Hispanic subsidiary of Grey Advertising, Buontempo served as an account executive on such prestigious accounts as Procter & Gamble’s Downy fabric softener and Crisco Corn Oil.
In 1987, Buontempo (née Acevedo) married her high-school sweetheart, Anthony Buontempo. Also the first generation in his family to go to college, he’s now the chief operating officer for a Greenwich high-net-worth family, overseeing their finances and real estate portfolio. The couple had their first daughter, Cassandra, in 1993, followed by Alexa two years later.
Ever since her days at Pace, Buontempo’s hope was to come back and raise her family in Westchester. In 2001, they moved from New Jersey to Somers, and Buontempo found herself in a dreamlike situation, living with her husband and girls in a beautiful home with a pool. She soon began to feel guilty about how blessed she was and started to look for ways she could give back to the community.
“Shirley has always had a terrific heart, and that’s what attracted me to her ever since we were teenagers,” says Anthony. “She’s a beautiful person inside and out, and I’ve always admired her commitment to giving back to the community. As the kids have grown up, we’ve discussed as a family how important it is to do something to help someone else, to give back to help your neighbor or friends or anyone who needs it.”
Buontempo and her daughters started volunteering at a food pantry operated by the Katonah-based Community Center of Northern Westchester, which provides meals, clothing, and other support services to families and individuals in need. More than 75 percent of the center’s clients are Hispanic, so when they found out about Buontempo’s many skills — including the fact that she was bilingual — they asked her to come onboard. For the next four years, she served as their assistant director and focused on client intake.
“That was my first job in the nonprofit world, and it touched my heart and soul in ways I never imagined,” says Buontempo. “I felt that this is what I really want to do: I want to help families in our community have better lives.”
As she continued her new career path at organizations that gave back to the community, Buontempo strengthened her devotion to working for social good and became enthralled with the business of the nonprofit industry. Deciding to pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit management, she enrolled in Pace University’s public-administration program in 2009.
Read the full article.