March 29, 2013


OH: Cincinnati Parking Privatization Must Go to Vote. A Cincinnati plan to privatize parking to close a municipal budget gap must be put to a public referendum, an Ohio state court judge ruled, blocking the initiative. The proposal calls for the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority to take charge of street spaces for 30 years and those off street for 50 years, with the ability to subcontract their management. In exchange, the authority would pay Cincinnati $92 million now and an estimated $3 million annually for 30 years. Six Cincinnati residents sued, challenging a city council decision earlier this month to confer “emergency” status on the enabling ordinance, which the lawmakers said exempted it from being put to a public vote.  Bloomberg

NC: North Carolina Considers ALEC Model Bill to Privatize Schools. Now that North Carolina is completely in the control of Republicans, the state is moving forward with ALEC model legislation intended to remove public oversight from charter schools. This is the next step toward full privatization of the public school system in North Carolina, with a goal to move toward this model nationwide. Crooks and Liars

ME: Editorial: Inflating schools’ woes eases path to privatization. Gov. Paul LePage’s education reform conference in Augusta last week made one thing clear: The governor is less interested in improving public schools than in replacing them. They would still be public in the sense that they would be financed with the public’s money, but the education would be delivered outside what most people consider public school systems.  Morning Sentinel

CA: Orange County Experiments With Privatizing Ambulance Service. For the first time, private paramedics were deployed last week in Orange County to transfer patients between health facilities, a move that instantly generated ideological controversy and questions about quality….The Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, the union that represents firefighters for the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) in 23 jurisdictions, filed a letter that day with the county demanding the new paramedic service be halted. The letter argued its creation violated county and state policies and law. VoiceofOC

IL: Chicago’s Unfair School Closings Will Gut Remaining Supports for Kids. This is about privatizing of one of the last few public assets in America: public education. Advocates of privatization have grabbed up just about every public institution imaginable: electric and telephone utilities, parks, housing, even our highways. Now we are witnessing an overt effort by players like the Walton Family Foundation — the wealthy heirs of Walmart’s founder — to hand over public schools to the private sector. Huffington Post