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A New Letter Against Black

By Meghan Keneally
New York Observer
November 23, 2010
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Cathie Black

In an attempt to turn around one of the main arguments of supporters of Cathie Black's bid to become schools chancellor, an activist group opposed to The Coca-Cola Company says that Black's business experience should keep her from being the city's top educator.

The letter cited her role on the board of Coca-Cola over the last 17 years as a reason to deny her the position, saying that she "lacks the integrity and compassion to serve as Chancellor or a role model for young people," because the corporation was run "like a criminal syndicate with impunity."

"Cathleen Black and the company have profited greatly by aggressively marketing to children nutritionally worthless and damaging beverages that help fuel the obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes epidemics," said the letter, signed Ray Rogers, director of The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.

The group made it clear, however, that they were not attacking Black because she is a woman, but simply because she is not qualified and lacks the experience.

"We believe that there are many women educators well-qualified for this position who would serve as a positive role model for young people," the letter states.

The group noted that a number of executives from major corporations—including those from Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, and AIG--all publically endorsed Black's nomination on Wednesday when they signed a letter from The Partnership for New York City.

"This appointment should not be about money and politics and what Big Business wants, but what is best for the children of New York City's School System," the letter closed.

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