GENRE: Non Fiction/Political/Social
PUBLISHER: Black Book Plus – To be released for publication 2012
FORMATS: Paper bck and all digital formats
Published by Black Books Plus (Seaburn Publishing & Distribution Group)
Available at Amazon.com – and your local bookstores
Dr Steven Porter was born in New York City in 1943 and throughout his life has continued to develop four streams of activity: education, political involvement, writing, and music. He earned BS, MA, PhD, and PD degrees in fine arts and educational administration at leading university centers in the New York metropolitan area and enjoyed a career in teaching and educational administration which lasted from 1967 to 2002.
Dr. Porter began his involvement in politics in the 1960s working for reform Democratic candidates in New York City. His early campaign experiences were for New York City Council manic races in the borough of Queens. Later, as a Graduate Fellow at Queens College of the City University of New York, he worked for New York Senator Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. His assignment was to organize the Queens College campus for Senator Kennedy in preparation for the 1968 New York primary. The Senator was assassinated before the primary was held. Between 1975 and 1980, Dr. Porter wrote a weekly column for the Northport Journal on Long Island which commented upon the events of the day particularly as they affected America’s political, economic, and educational climate. When he moved to Binghamton to start the Rod Serling School of Fine Arts, Dr. Porter was asked to help Dr. Kathleen Gaffney, the Broome County Commissioner of Public Health, in her 1988 campaign for the New York State Senate. In 1990, the Democratic Party asked Dr. Porter to run for that office. The district (NY SD-51) is a conservative Republican one, and the Democrats needed a voice which articulated the principles of the party, especially those involving more egalitarian economic action and laws which reversed the mistreatment of women. When he moved to Pennsylvania, the Democrats again approached him to run for the United States Congress which he did in both 2004 and 2006. His various campaigns brought him into close contact with many of the top Democrats of the nation including Congressmen Maurice Hinchey, John Murtha, and Dennis Kucinich; Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Bill Bradley; and Governors Mario Cuomo and Ed Rendell.
Dr. Porter’s teaching career began in 1967 when he was appointed to the faculty of the Mannes College which is the Music Conservatory of the New University for Social Research in New York City. There he taught both Music Theory and The Philosophy of Education. Following the awarding of his PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center and his PD degree from the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University, Dr. Porter began to do ability grouping research through grants from the New York State Senate and the Carnegie Foundation. His work in this area led to a proposal from the Binghamton City School District in 1984 to found a school of fine arts which was subsequently named for writer Rod Serling who had grown up in Binghamton. Dr. Porter managed the Rod Serling School for eighteen years until his appointment to Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA as the head of the division of Musical Theatre. He retired from active teaching in 2002 after a 35-year career. His work in fine arts education and educational administration garnered both national and international attention. Occasionally, he still appears as a guest lecturer, most recently at the Pedagogical College of Borovichi in Russia.
In the late 1980s, Dr. Porter accompanied Binghamton Mayor Juanita Crabb to Russia with members of his touring choir and jazz combo as part of a diplomatic exchange of the Sister Cities Program. The trip was filmed by CBS-TV Binghamton affiliate WBNG, and the resultant documentary won the New York State Broadcaster’s Award for the Best Documentary of 1989. It was this exposure which led the Democrats of the area to ask him to run for the state senate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Porter began writing and composing in 1970 and since then has published over 150 works for the concert and theatrical stage as well as twenty books ranging in topics from education to theatre and from fiction to political science and philosophy. His choral works continue to be performed many times each year around the world. Among his books are WISDOM’S PASSING: the decline of American public education, a comprehensive review of the faltering U.S. schools systems, PRESERVING AMERICA: ten things we must change to survive; and AMERICA’S DYING DEMOCRACY, a political treatise on the current corruption of the U.S. political system.
Today, Dr. Porter continues to be active in local politics and continues to write and compose. He is married to Rita, his wife of 36 years, and together they have devoted much of their marriage to the rescue and rehabilitation of abused and abandoned dogs.
“THE AMERICAN COVENANT”
SYNOPSIS: Mankind pauses at the gates of the twenty-first century awash in some of the most controversial issues of his tenure on earth, issues like abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, cloning, stem cell research, homosexual rights, the distribution of wealth, gun control, immigration concerns, the use of justifiable force in a nuclear age, policies relating to drugs and alcohol, prostitution, ecological morality—the list is seemingly endless.
For a closed or captive society, establishing the standards by which such issues are handled is not difficult. The prelate or prince simply says, “I am the law. I define right and wrong, moral and immoral, legal and illegal.” In a democracy, however—especially a pluralistic democracy like America—the “I” has become a “we,” and questions of ethics and morality must pass through some kind of social consensus if the laws enacted with respect to them have any chance of functioning successfully. Additionally, the standards set and laws enacted must square with the tenets of the United States Constitution if they are to properly express the American covenant between government and citizen.
Currently, America has no coherent moral standard against which the issues of the society can be applied. The nation is torn between religious and secular pronouncements, few of which are accepted by the totality of the nation. And the laws which have been enacted to enforce the “morality” of the country are at best inconsistent and at worst prejudicial to the point of unconstitutionality. The results in many situations are disobedience, anger, and social violence.
“THE AMERICAN COVENANT” discusses the conditions by which democratic moral standards need to be derived and then presents such a standard for consideration. The standard is then applied to a myriad of contemporary issues to illustrate how the dangers of America’s moral amorphousness might be ameliorated within the philosophical strictures of the Constitution. The work is written in easily understood language rather than the often arcane verbiage of academic philosophy. It is not simply a text of social theory, but a means by which many of the problems of our society can more successfully be understood and addressed by today’s leaders whose philosophical and constitutional grounding seems shallow, and by today’s citizens whose mis-education has allowed them to embrace ignorance as a virtue.
On Sept. 12, I will be taping a candidate interview and personal statement in Pittsburgh for WXPI, the Cox Network TV channel for the Pittsburgh area. The statement will be about 5 minutes; the interview about 15 minutes with WXPI reporters. WPXI and Cox are to be congratulated for extending this opportunity to all those running for Congress in their listening area.
INSTORE BOOK SIGNING LOCATONS
I will be conducting a book signing for my new work, The American Covenant, at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Vestal, NY on Oct. 15th at 7 PM. If you are in the area, please stop by. We’d love to see you there and have your support.
September 18, 2012
I will be doing the Vestal Barnes and Noble event on Oct. 15 at 7 PM
Yesterday we filmed several utube spots for the book and campaign.
I am this minute working on my first podcast for the book website.
Utubes and podcasts will be online soon.