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Joyce Craig Says ‘Mayor Gatsas Is Failing Our Students’

Mayor Ted Gatsas (Image By Marc Nozell)

Today, the Union Leader reported through the anonymous whistleblowing of public school teachers that Manchester public schools don’t have enough math textbooks or workbooks for students. The story revealed that Manchester hasn’t had an elementary math curriculum in the city for three years, and teachers are defaulting to old, out-of-date textbooks. Teachers are being forced to reach into their own pockets to pay for school materials. As Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Gatsas has direct oversight of the school district and is not addressing critical issues in our schools that directly impact student success.

From the Mark Hayward at the Union Leader:

When Manchester schools started earlier this month, it marked the third year without a common, district-wide program for teaching mathematics in elementary schools, a situation that is drawing criticism from school officials, teachers and parents.
Critics, some who asked to speak anonymously for fear of reprisal from fellow teachers, say children in the city’s 14 elementary schools don’t get the same textbook or workbook — or even any book — that provides the tangible, step-by-step continuity that is helpful to mathematics instruction.

Without a district-wide curriculum, teachers cobble together lessons from various sources, meaning no conformity for lesson plans and teaching material in the district.

…Teachers use math workbooks left over from previous years, the teacher wrote.

They also download material from websites such as teacherspayteachers at their own expense (one 3rd-grade workbook bundle goes for $72). Lesson plans cost less for individual topics. For example, a lesson plan about sums costs $7. The district provides some materials.

…At another elementary school, a veteran teacher said teachers collaborate, but it comes down to whatever a teacher decides is best for her class. The teacher did not want her school or name published, fearing repercussions. Manchester students come from such diverse backgrounds, she said, that she’s not sure one curriculum would work for all.

“I wish we did have some kind of a book or program we all could use,” she said, “but on the other hand, I don’t know what it would be.”

She uses the teacherspayteachers website for some lessons. Her school, she said, has an active parent-teacher group that provides stipends that cover the lesson. Other schools don’t.

“There are a lot of teachers buying a lot of things,” she said. She said teachers also use their own printers at home to print out the lessons.

A teacher of more than 20 years, she relies on her experience.

“You’re pulling pieces of what you used to use, a game, a book,” she said. “For a new teacher, I don’t know what they’re doing.”

After the article published, Manchester Mayoral candidate, Joyce Craig issued this statement:

“As Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Gatsas is failing our students with his mismanagement of resources and lack of oversight of the school district. Textbooks and curriculums are a basic necessity for a quality education. Mayor Gatsas lets problems go unaddressed and shows he is not focused on leading discussions to improve student achievement.

My 13-year-old daughter is learning algebra, but she doesn’t even have an algebra textbook. There are hundreds of kids with the same problem. We can and must do better, and we can’t let Mayor Gatsas continue to shortchange our children’s education. We need fresh leadership that takes a proactive approach to solving our city’s problems and our families can’t afford more of Mayor Gatsas’ inaction.

My vision of Manchester is one where students and teachers have the resources they need to learn and succeed. As mayor, I will set goals and review results with the school board and community on a regular basis to ensure we are focused on improving student achievement.”

Joyce Craig will face off against Manchester’s current Mayor, Ted Gatsas, in the citywide elections on Nov. 7th.

Joyce Craig Campaign Announces Organizing Team

Democrats now have seven staffers leading grassroots efforts in Manchester

MANCHESTER – Today, the Joyce Craig for Manchester campaign announced the hiring of three organizers. Blake Tyler, Steve Muzzey, and Cayla Eck will lead the Craig campaign’s outreach to voters in every ward of Manchester.

“I’m proud of the work our campaign has done to talk to voters early and have conversations about the direction we want for Manchester”, said Joyce Craig. “Residents are telling us it’s time for a change at City Hall and we’re working hard to earn every vote.”

“We are investing in our organizing team early to empower local volunteers and activists to engage with their neighbors about the importance of this race and Joyce’s vision for Manchester”, said campaign manager, Craig Brown. “Joyce Craig has the energy to address our challenges and move Manchester forward and we’re not taking any vote for granted.”

Blake Tyler is a Manchester native and graduate of Central High School. He was previously an organizer in the Nashua area for the New Hampshire Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2016.

Steve Muzzey is a Concord native and graduate of UNH. He last worked as an organizer for Kevin Cavanaugh’s successful State Senate special election campaign and managed Tom Sherman’s campaign for State Senate in 2016.

Cayla Eck is from Keene and is a graduate of Tulane University. She’s previously worked in the special education department at Keene Middle School and was an organizing fellow on the New Hampshire Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2016.

Blake and Steve started with the campaign in early August and Cayla will join the team on September 2nd. The organizers work full-time and hold volunteer phone banks and canvasses every day of the week.

Joyce Craig was born and raised in Manchester and is a graduate of Memorial High School and the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Business Administration. Joyce knows first-hand the challenges that Manchester residents face and that our city cannot reach its full potential without new leadership in City Hall. In 2015, Joyce Craig fell short to Mayor Ted Gatsas by just 64 votes in her first city-wide election.

 

Joyce Craig Garners Endorsement Of Manchester Firefighter Unions

Manchester, NH – Today in front of Manchester Fire’s Station 8, the Queen City’s two firefighter unions weighed into the contentious race for Mayor with their endorsement of former Alderman Joyce Craig.

“Manchester is in desperate need of a new vision for our city and its fire department. Over Mayor Gatsas’ tenure, staffing at the department has been reduced while the city has experienced a continuous increase in call volume and hazardous situations. As a 31 year veteran of the department, I am increasingly alarmed by the dangers and long term effects our firefighters face as they perform their mission to protect life and property. Simply stated we need a change and it must originate from the top,” said James Michael, President of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820. 

“Our members pride themselves on their effective and efficient answering of every call, to every home and every business in need. We see firsthand the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in running our city, most recently through Mayor Ted Gatsas’ tall tale of saving Station 9 in his underfunded budget. As a lifelong resident of our city, I can say that smoke and mirrors does not result in a clear vision for our community. It is time that a change come to City Hall, and today we announce that Joyce is our choice as the next Mayor of Manchester,” said Jeff Duval, President of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 856.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association. Our firefighters risk their lives to respond to an increasing amount of emergency calls and hazardous situations with outstanding professionalism and dedication. I also want to thank our firefighters for their leadership and service implementing the Safe Station program. They have opened their doors to more than 2,000 people seeking help for substance use disorder. I look forward to working with our public safety officials to address our challenges and move Manchester forward,” said Joyce Craig, Candidate for Mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig is running against the current Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas.  This election rematch is shaping up to be a very tight race.

The firefighters have not held anything back when talking about the failed leadership of Mayor Gatsas.  In his campaign announcement, Gatsas proclaimed he “saved a fire station from closing,” The firefighters quickly tamped that out in their statement.

“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the Mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures,” said the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement.

“Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough,” the firefighters added.


Be sure to follow the NH Labor News for more updates on the Manchester Mayoral Race.

Gatsas Files For 5th Term As Mayor Of Manchester, Joyce Craig And Firefighters Respond

Today, Mayor Ted Gatsas filed his paperwork to run for a fifth term as Mayor of Manchester.  The Manchester Mayoral race is shaping up to be a rematch between Joyce Craig and Ted Gatsas.  Craig lost the last election by only a few votes.

“Over the last eight years Manchester has stumbled from crisis to crisis and Mayor Ted Gatsas keeps claiming he doesn’t know when there are problems in the city,” said Joyce Craig.

“In just the last two weeks, Mayor Gatsas claimed he didn’t understand the “severity” of a violent crime in a school, claimed he didn’t know that the City Solicitor’s office was failing to prosecute domestic violence cases, and he didn’t realize his budget would result in the closure of fire stations. Mayor Gatsas is responsible for effectively managing the city and claiming he doesn’t know what is going on is not an acceptable excuse.”

“I’m ready to have an honest conversation about the challenges our city is facing and get to the hard work of making Manchester a better place for all families. Manchester has endless opportunities, but is being held back by a Mayor who doesn’t understand and doesn’t address problems until they are crises,” Craig concluded.

In his statement, Mayor Gatsas claimed he “saved a fire station from closing,” however local Firefighters disagree.

“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the Mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures,” said the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement.

“Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough,” the firefighters added.

Yesterday, a group of women from Manchester wrote an open letter to Mayor Gatsas highlighting his failed leadership surrounding the rape of a girl at West High School.

“As women of varied ages and backgrounds who are mothers, sisters, daughters and residents of Manchester, we are writing to express our shock over your clear misunderstanding of the severity of any incident of sexual assault and why we expect better from the Mayor of our city,” the women wrote.

The people of Manchester deserve better than two more years of Gatsas’s failed leadership.

Manchester Mayoral Candidate Joyce Craig Launches ‘12 Wards in 12 Days’

Manchester, NH – Today, Joyce Craig, candidate for Mayor of Manchester, announced the launch of her ‘12 Wards in 12 Days’ tour to kick off her grassroots campaign. Joyce will meet voters in their neighborhoods, listen to their concerns, and share her ideas on how to make Manchester a better and safer place to work and live.

From Thursday, June 22 to Tuesday, July 3, Joyce Craig will participate in events and campaign activities in each of the 12 wards.

“I’m excited to work hard for every vote”, said Craig. “I want to reach people where they are; in every ward, to discuss real solutions to Manchester’s challenges. I want voters to know that I’ll work tirelessly to make Manchester a better place to live and work. Manchester has so much potential, but unless we address our struggling schools, the opioid crisis, and our deteriorating infrastructure, we’re not going to be able to move this city forward.”

The Craig campaign will launch ’12 Wards in 12 Days’ with a house party in Ward 6 on Thursday June 22 at 6pm. On Friday, Joyce will make stops in Ward 11 and will make stops and canvass in Wards 5 and 8 over the weekend. For more information or to RSVP please email craig@joycecraig.org.

The campaign will advise public events ahead of each day.

Ted Gatsas To Seek Fifth Term As Mayor Of Manchester, Democratic Challenger Joyce Craig Responds

Manchester, NH – Today, in response to the announcement that Ted Gatsas will seek a fifth term for mayor, Joyce Craig, candidate for Mayor of Manchester, released the following statement.

“Manchester has great potential, but we need new leadership in the Mayor’s office to make real progress for our city”, said Joyce Craig.

“For eight years, Mayor Gatsas has let our city stumble from crisis to crisis. Drugs and violent crime continue to harm our city, millions of dollars of critical funding for schools has been mismanaged or lost, and city hall lacks a plan to grow an economy that works for all Manchester families.

Manchester needs a new Mayor with the vision, experience, and energy to address our challenges and provide a positive direction for our city. As an Alderman, I led bipartisan efforts to lower the tax rate while putting more police officers on the streets, improving our roads, and investing in our schools. As Mayor, I will make smarter decisions with taxpayer funds and work to make Manchester an outstanding place to raise a family, own a business and live a safe and prosperous life”, said Craig.

The Craig for Mayor Campaign also announced that later this month Joyce will kick off her “12 Wards in 12 Days” listening tour across the city. Joyce will participate in events in all 12 city wards in 12 days to hear from residents and business owners about their concerns and ideas, and to share her vision for Manchester’s future.

Joyce Craig Announces Campaign for Mayor of Manchester

MANCHESTER – Citing a need for new leadership in City Hall to address the many challenges facing Manchester, Joyce Craig today announced her campaign for Mayor of Manchester. 

“I’m running for Mayor because I love Manchester, and I know that we can and must do better to make our city a place where people want to live, work and raise their children,” said Joyce. “For eight years, under Mayor Gatsas, we’ve seen our city stumble from crisis to crisis.  We need a new Mayor with vision and energy. As an Alderman, I led bipartisan efforts to lower the tax rate while putting more police officers on the streets, improving our roads and investing in our schools. As Mayor, I will make smarter decisions with your hard earned money and work to bring pride and optimism back to the City of Manchester. Our city has great potential, but to get there we need new leadership, and that change must begin in the Mayor’s office.”

Born and raised in Manchester, Joyce is a former school board member and alderman, property owner and parent of children attending Manchester public schools who has seen first-hand the challenges our citizens face every day.  Joyce knows that Manchester cannot reach its full potential without the leadership in City Hall to address the many issues facing the city – including drugs and crime, the quality of our schools, our roads and infrastructure, and the need for a long term plan to promote economic development and job creation. 

Joyce and her husband, Attorney Michael Craig, have three children, William, Sarah and Kathryn. Joyce is a graduate of Manchester public schools and earned her degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. Joyce worked as a marketing director in Boston for 15 years where she developed strategic plans and managed multimillion dollar budgets. She is now a self-employed property manager. Joyce is also an avid runner, who has completed 13 marathons and is currently training for her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon. 

Joyce Craig: Gatsas Cares More About Debate Rules than Manchester’s Future

MANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig issued the following statement on yesterday’s mayoral debate.

“Yesterday, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce hosted a Mayoral debate where Ted Gatsas and I had the opportunity to address business and community leaders about the many issues facing Manchester – from the out of control heroin problem to our failing schools,” said Craig.

“Instead of talking about his record as Mayor or the issues important to our community, Mayor Gatsas accused me of violating debate rules by writing on a pad of paper provided by the Chamber to each candidate for use during the debate. After six years as Mayor, it is clear that Ted Gatsas has no interest in talking about his failed record or his lack of vision for Manchester’s future.

“During his tenure as Mayor, class sizes remain high, we lost over $9 million in tuition revenue after he lost the sending towns of Auburn, Hooksett, and Candia, and young families continue to leave Manchester for safer communities with better schools.

“As Mayor, Ted Gatsas has stood by while heroin abuse and drug-fueled crimes, like prostitution and burglary, have continued to plague our city. Last month, Manchester experienced the highest number of heroin overdoses to date. Despite this alarming trend, Mayor Gatsas failed to convince members of his own party to fund a drug court in Manchester and he refuses to join his Chief of Police and Public Health Director in supporting Medicaid Expansion to provide more options for treatment and recovery.

“For too long, Mayor Ted Gatsas’s misplaced priorities and failed leadership have held our city back. I am running for Mayor because as a former School Board Member, Alderman, marketing executive and mother, I have a record of bringing people together to solve problems, and that is exactly the kind of leadership that Manchester needs.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig Announces Public Safety Endorsements

Joyce Craig MayorMANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig announced that the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820, and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 856, have endorsed her campaign for mayor of Manchester.

“Alderman Craig will confront the challenges that face our community with compassion and purpose,” said Jim Michael, President MAFS Local 3820.

 “After 6 years of failed leadership from Mayor Gatsas, we look forward to working with Alderman Craig as mayor and know she shares our passion of making our community the safest city possible,” added Jeff Duval, President, MPFFA Local 856.

“I am honored to have the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association,” said Craig.  “I commend our public safety officials for all they do and we must support them in their efforts to keep our city safe.  Emergency calls and crime have increased during the Mayor’s tenure, yet in the past he has taken actions that would have cut our critical public safety forces.  This must stop, and as mayor I look forward to working collaboratively with our public safety officials to ensure we are confronting our challenges and making Manchester a safe and welcoming city for all our families and residents.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig Statement on Vote for Teachers Contract

MANCHESTER – This morning, Alderman Joyce Craig released the following statement on her vote for the teachers contract last night.

“Last night, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen again passed the fiscally responsible, bipartisan teachers contract and was again forced to override the Mayor’s misguided veto,” said Craig.  “I voted for this contract, again, because it contains significant healthcare concessions and has creative provisions to improve education in our schools.  Our school year begins today and this contract is good for parents, teachers, students, and taxpayers.  

“Mayor Gatsas attempted to rationalize his second veto by questioning the professional financial assessments of both our city finance director and school district finance director who validated this contract. 

“Our public education is vital to Manchester’s future in so many ways and great schools will spur development and investment.  We have 15,000 students in the Manchester public school system, and we need to ensure they have the resources and support they need to succeed.  During the Mayor’s six-year tenure, the number of teachers in our school district has decreased and many of our classrooms remain too large for our students to receive an adequate education.

“We need to change course and we need a mayor who will protect tax dollars and act in the best interests of our students, parents, and taxpayers. It is easy to vote no, but a true leader must come up with a solution, a compromise, to move our city forward.  This contract was a unique opportunity for our city to save money on rising healthcare costs, and I am proud to vote for it in the best interests of our city.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester. 

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