City Council Candidate Adler makes education an issue
By Ariama C. Long
City Council Candidate and community organizer Amber Adler is ready to take on education and the COVID-19 crisis in her district.
Adler is running next year for term-limited City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch’s 48th council district seat covering Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Midwood and Homecrest.
She is often seen taking her two young boys, ages 8 and 6, on the campaign trail. With back-to-school to worry about she’s been focusing on keeping not only her kids safe, but the community at large safe.
Adler said that she started a Facebook group early on during the health to pool information for parents, and then expanded into a resource for the community.
“My professional experience met at a crossroads with what was going on with my mom life and my community life, and it sort of manifested into this thought of why aren’t we being more proactive with our datasets?” said Adler.
Her children are currently participating in in-person learning, despite multiple delays in general school reopenings. She said they have closed a classroom, and one or two schools have closed temporarily as a precaution. Adler said schools should be tracking more preventative measures to keep kids safer.
As of September 27, 237,971 total cases have been identified in the city, and according to the 7-day rolling average percent of tests that came back positive citywide, the percentage still remains low. However, there has been concerning upticks in six neighborhoods across the boroughs, namely Borough Park, Williamsburg, Midwood, Flatbush, Kew Gardens and Far Rockaway. Mayor De Blasio caught a lot of heat last week for ordering the police to enforce public health guidelines in several Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, where residents aren’t often seen wearing masks, as a result.
Trackers indicate in Kings County, there have been 5,071 deaths since the onset of the virus. By age group, there’ve been 17 total confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in people under the age of 19.
Her other main education initiatives are universal access to childcare, the expansion of 3-K and the creation of additional Pre-K sites.
“Plans that have been put out tend to teeter-totter, and they don’t stick because someone changes something or they had a big gap in them to begin with. So as far as childcare, what I care very much about is being able to make sure all parents, all families, have access to affordable child care. I also believe in early education for kids that are 3, 4 having access to pre-K is vital because that ‘s where equity comes from,” said Adler.
Adler has had leadership roles at nonprofits that have helped children with autism to secure vital services and resources, both of her children having Individualized Education Program (IEPs) or specialized education.
“I see the difference in my kids now that they’re back in school,” said Adler, speaking to the emotional and social wellness of her kids. “It’s very important that we figure out a way to have the schools open in the best possible safe and productive manner that we can because kids need education from books, but they’re social and emotional capacity when they’re at school.”
Adler said the fight against antisemitism, hate and bigotry is a fixture in her campaign, and believes firmly that interfaith dialogue and cultural unity will bring people together.
Adler’s son, Shmuel, and his friend, Ray, even went viral in a photograph at a memorial for George Floyd that was captured by photographer Anna Rathkopf. She said she was among the first Orthodox Jewish community leaders to stand united with the Black community, and the popularity of the photo helped more people get involved.
Adler said that universal issues, like childcare and quality of life, are common denominators that cross racial and religious divides.