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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke News Release November 23, 2010

Open Letter to Commissioner of Education David Steiner Opposing
Appointment of Cathleen Black as Chancellor of NYC Public Schools

For immediate release: November 23, 2010

For further information, contact:
Ray Rogers or Pat Clark, (718) 852-2808

Mr. David Steiner
New York State Commissioner of Education
89 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12234

Dear Mr. Steiner:

We hope that the fix is not in for Cathleen Black to get the waiver from New York State allowing her appointment as Chancellor of the New York City public school system as suggested by The New York Times's article on Saturday, November 20, 2010: "Panel on Pick for Schools Has Close Ties to Bloomberg."

There are two clear reasons why Ms. Black should not be chosen to be chancellor of the New York City public school system. First, she has NO educational experience to run public schools and, second, her role as a top policymaker for The Coca-Cola Co. which over the past 17 years has operated like a criminal syndicate with impunity. Her leadership role at Coca-Cola shows that she lacks the integrity and compassion to serve as Chancellor or a role model for young people.

Unfortunately, the November 22 article in the Daily News indicates that her appointment has been opposed because she is a woman. Celeste Katz wrote: "What she [Gloria Steinem] and others are worried about is how Black is being borderline mocked -- and whether it's because she's a woman."

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke has opposed Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's run for governor, Sam Nunn's run for vice president of the U.S., Peter Ueberroth when he ran for governor of California and Cathleen Black's appointment for Chancellor because as Coca-Cola executives and board members, they are responsible for the widespread labor, human rights, health and environmental abuses perpetrated by this company worldwide. We believe that there are many women educators well-qualified for this position who would serve as a positive role model for young people.

We have seen Big Business taking over our political system with lobbyists and huge financial contributions. Now we are watching Big Business trying to take control over the largest system of public schools in the United States serving more than one million students.

The Partnership for New York City sent you a letter on November 17, 2010 applauding Cathleen Black's "skills, experience and leadership ability..."

Signing this letter are many Big Business leaders representing corporations involved in gross mismanagement, unbridled greed and corruption, such as Jeff Kindler, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer; Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Jennifer Scully-Learner, VP of Goldman Sachs; Thomas Russo, Executive VP and General Council of American International Group; Raymond McDaniel, Jr.; Chairman and CEO of Moody's Investors, and Stan O'Neal, former Chairman & CEO of Merrill Lynch, among others.

Also signing the letter are several Coca-Cola executives and board members, including Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola board members Donald Keough, Chairman of Allen & Co. and former president of Coca-Cola, and James Robinson III, Co-founder and General Partner of RR Ventures, and businesses with financial ties to Coca-Cola, including Stanley Shuman, Managing Director, Allen & Co., and Carla Hendra of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

As chancellor, Ms. Black's job would be to educate and protect the more than one million students in the school system. If you go to, you will find all the documentation you should need to prove that the policies Ms. Black helped set for The Coca-Cola Company make her unfit to serve as a role model and to protect children. 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. Coke also benefits from hazardous child labor in the sugar cane fields of El Salvador as documented by Human Rights Watch and others.

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 Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, all parents and teachers demand that State and City political leaders do what's right for the City's children.


Ray Rogers
Corporate Campaign, Inc./Campaign to Stop Killer Coke

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The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke was created to end the widespread labor, human rights, health and environmental abuses perpetrated by the Coca-Cola company worldwide.