Artists Give N.Y. Mayor a Bad Rap on Teacher Pay
Over 100,000 New York City teachers and students attended a rally today at which Hip-Hop Summit organizer Russell Simmons, and numerous top names in the hip-hop recording industry, joined with United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Randi Weingarten to protest NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's treatment of the city's teachers and schools. Mr. Simmons and other speakers urged Mayor Bloomberg to stop holding out on a teachers contract in his attempt to gain complete power over NYC's schools from the City Council (see WIT for May 13, 2002), condemned the possibility of drastic budget cuts to the City's already under funded schools, and made it clear that "We're here to stand up for schools, teachers and kids." Among the celebrities who spoke out at the demonstration, urging students to fight for their right to an adequately funded school system and teaching staff and the future opportunities that a decent education open up, were L.L. Cool J, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Chuck D., Reverend Run, Erykah Badu, Big Tigger and Wyclef Jean.