Op-Ed by David Storobin: Ms. Quinn, now you see why I support School Vouchers?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

20130716-205643.jpgThe following is an Op-Ed by former State Senator David Storobin in response to today’s incident, in which NYC’s first responders failed to show up to an emergency call while the Orthodox-run EMT volunteer Hatzolah service heroically responded within minutes.

“We, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, come from the future,” I told Dean Skelos, the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate the first time we had a private meeting. “We’ve been at the end of the road where the government keeps expanding to try to do good, only to collapse.”

America, of course, isn’t the Soviet Union. There are no hour-long lines here, except in every government agency from the DMV to all courts. There is no mass inefficiency in the United States, except when it took the City over half a year to remove sand after Hurricane Sandy next to my mom’s job, while the private businesses managed to re-build and re-open within weeks. And obviously there’s no corruption in this country, except when a company gets a ridiculous $30 million in FEMA money to build four bathrooms on Brighton Beach, while regular people and small businesses can’t get a cent.

The main difference between the two countries is the existence of free enterprise in one, and the lack of it in the other. The government is similarly inefficient, no matter what country you travel to because there is no incentive for people to produce and deliver efficiently, and there’s every incentive to maneuver taxpayers’ money to your friends’ bank accounts.

Today’s incident illustrated just how inefficient the government is, even when it comes to the most powerful politicians. At one of Christine Quinn’s campaign stops, an intern collapsed. A 911 call was made, but no responder arrived for 30 minutes. No help arrived even when Council Speaker Christine Quinn called NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly. Anyone whose eyes aren’t completely shut by ideology can see what an omen this is for government-run health care.

A private, volunteer Hatzolah service was finally called in. Despite a common misconception, Hatzolah does not check for proof of Judaism, and helps everyone who needs help. Four minutes later they were at the scene.

Of course, we need a government-sponsored ambulance service. But this was yet another case when a private agency proved its efficiency in the face of the government’s utter incompetence. This is why we need such private organizations. But it’s also why we need the private option in every sphere.

In the Senate, I sponsored and co-sponsored more bills dealing with education than anything else because I regard it as the most important issue, so let me draw a link to that first. The only reason I was able to leave poverty is education, but that I wound up in a good school was just luck. Just as health care shouldn’t be a matter of luck, neither should education. Just because school vouchers would reduce the power of the UFT union, does not mean that poor children should be forced into horrible, often dangerous schools.

Similarly, we need to stop torpedoing small businesses with ridiculous bureaucracy and fines that are meant to raise the City’s budget rather than prevent real violations. No, destroying business while growing the government will not make things better.

I’ve seen what the future will look like if the government expands, while free enterprise is regulated and fined until it’s destroyed. That future is bleak. But there’s another way – the American Way, the way of the Founding Fathers.

(David Storobin is the Republican and Conservative candidate for the 48th City Council District)


  1. Another politician trying to get votes by saying what people want to hear.
    There is no private school voucher system in this country that’s been upheld against legal challenges.
    Vouchers is a state issue and there’s nothing Quinn nor Storobin as a city Councileman can do about it.

  2. Quite a stretch from a failure in the EMS system to school vouchers. As many politicians do, Storobin panders to the community and in his race for State Senate tried to pass himself of as an observant Jew.

    As a lawyer who served 11 days in the State Senate he should realize that City Council has no role in setting policy on school vouchers, and there are constitutional issues as well.

  3. David Storobin is correct. Parents need to have options to send their children to the schools they choose- such as good Yeshivas instead of the public schools most of which are shaken down by unions. Spend money for the children and not for lazy union workers.

  4. There are two possibilities here:

    1) Storobin knows that the New York City Council has absolutely no power to create a school voucher program, and is therefore assuming that the voters in his district are ignoramuses and will vote for a candidate who will promise the sun, moon, and stars even though he can’t deliver anything.

    2) Storobin doesn’t know that to create a voucher system requires an amendment to the New York State Constitution, and that the New York City Council has absolutely no role to play in that, in which case he is asking voters to elect an ignoramus to the City Council.

    I don’t know which is worse.

  5. Remember if Chaim Deutsch gets past the Primary he will be facing David Strobin in the General Election. Chaim Deutsch understands the frum community more than David Strobin especially with the issue of getting funding for Yeshivos as Chaim Deutsch sent his children to Yeshiva & as far as I know Storobin never sent his kids to Yeshiva.

  6. CharlieHall, there is a 3rd possibility. That he knows it is a State issue, which he does, as he is the ONLY one to ever put in for the amendment to be abolished that stops school vouchers. He also knows that Albany is more or less controlled by NYC’s elected State representatives. Upstate wants the vouchers, NYC residents need to be introduced to it, and as a City Councilman, David will start the long for needed conversation of ripping out the UFT Union from a school system that fails it’s kids.

    As for ny100k, courts have UPHELD school vouchers from Cleveland to Milwaukee. in places where they were struck down, it was because of the wording of the law, not the essence of it.

  7. #1 is completely incorrect. There are voucher programs operating in several states and the U.S. Supreme Court (Zelman v. Simmons-Harris) and several state courts (most recently Indiana) have UPHELD voucher programs.

    Moreover, while a few voucher programs have been struck down (though again, most were upheld), scholarship tax credit programs have a perfect record in the U.S. Supreme Court and every state supreme court to address the issue. There are scholarship tax credit programs operating in 12 states.