Johnson backers were very vocal
To The Editor:
Re “Corey Johnson for City Council in District 3 primary” (editorial, Aug. 29):
I strongly disagree with your endorsement of Corey Johnson.
To say that his supporters and campaign team have not been negative toward Yetta Kurland is preposterous. A perfect example is the recent NYC Community Media-sponsored debate. Whenever it was Yetta’s time to answer a question, the audience supporters of Corey immediately burst out into boos and hisses, as well as some yelling out “hypocrite” and other unflattering terms. Although Yetta answered each question put forward, the Corey supporters in the audience yelled out, “Answer the question!” even when she did completely answer it.
On the other hand, Corey actually didn’t answer a few questions, which prompted the moderators on the panel to ask him to elaborate. This occurred at least twice.
Throughout the debate, Corey mentioned no fewer than four times that his father was a Pepsi truck driver. Again — unless he is working on a soft drink endorsement deal — what does that have to do with his running for City Council?
I implore voters to vote with facts on your minds, as opposed to character likability.
PAC mailer photo appeared posed
To The Editor:
Re “Opponents go postal over Chin’s real estate PAC mailings” (news article, Aug. 15):
You gotta love Margaret Chin. Somehow, this woman who wants us to believe that she is a tough, fearless fighter for her constituents turns into a spineless jellyfish unable to stand up to real estate and construction special-interest groups when they send out mailings extolling her (supposed) virtues. She repeatedly claims that she is “helpless” to stop said mailings, and that she had no hand in the creation or dissemination of them. Yet, funnily enough, the photo on the example shown in The Villager was obviously a highly posed portrait, not a candid snapshot. What happened, Margaret, did they steal photos off your Facebook page to put in their dispatches talking about how great you would be for their profit margins?
A good write-in candidate
To The Editor:
I am voting for Julie Menin for borough president and Eliot Spitzer for comptroller. As to unopposed candidates who failed my litmus test — look closely at the actions not the rhetoric of Glick and Hoylman, etc. — I am writing in the name Jane Jacobs.
Chin’s been in the trenches
To The Editor:
Re “A better choice for District 1: Jenifer Rajkumar” editorial, Aug. 29):
I am troubled by The Villager’s endorsement. While I’ve disagreed with a number of Councilmember Chin’s decisions — vocally at City Council meetings and to her directly — she works hard, listens to her constituents, and then hammers out the best deal possible.
And no, you don’t hammer out deals with a crowd — nothing would get done — witness our Congress. And yes, some of these deals are not ideal. In this current real-world political climate with the wealthy of this town (world) having full command over the resources of our city, with privatization of every government department looming and greed and profit motive going full tilt, you cannot pretend or lead people in the pretense that you will magically make it all better. It is unconscionable to promote such deception to the communities of this city — not now, not in this time. The real work of organizing never happens from political offices — that’s our work.
Chin is as close to an ally for working people as we are likely to get. And we won’t like every decision.
The problem with Rajkumar as a candidate is precisely this: She pretends she can get castles in the sky (no matter who the deceit might hurt) but hasn’t learned how to get her hands dirty digging the foundation. Graduating from an owning-class institution and being a lawyer isn’t the same thing as knowing how to roll up your sleeves and do the unglamorous, give-and-take job of a community worker. It isn’t writing a tidy brief with the “sides” very clear. It’s the messiness of mixing it up with people and staying standing. I do believe Chin has these qualities.
Sophie still inspires us
To The Editor:
Re “Sophie sports camp scholarships are a moving tribute” (Aug. 22)
What fond memories this evokes. And we also remember her efforts with the Manhattan South Chapter of Women’s American ORT and our boycotts of Grand Union supermarket and other community activism. She continues to inspire many of us to keep up the good fight.
Judith Chazen Walsh
To The Editor:
The outstanding Villager article by Lincoln Anderson, “Sophie sports camp scholarships are a moving tribute” (Aug. 22) accurately and poignantly portrays the positive difference Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth has already made in the lives of young people. This new initiative perpetuates Sophie Gerson’s great work for over half a century as a physical education teacher in New York City inner-city public middle schools, as a school board member and president, and as an education and civic leader and activist. There could be no greater tribute to Sophie Gerson than this new program.
Sophie would be the first to acknowledge that the Healthy Youth program and the moving June 9 tribute that kicked it off reflect a true coming together of all sectors of the community, with all backgrounds and viewpoints. New York University, and in particular its Office of Civic Engagement, generously provided not only the space for the tribute but indispensable, abundant logistical support for both the tribute and for starting the program, including round-trip bus transportation for the campers. A partnership with the Golden Horizon Partnership of Chinatown facilitated the basketball camp arrangements.
At the tribute, elected officials and political leaders from all of the Village’s and Downtown’s sometimes rival political clubs, and the citywide Stonewall Democratic Club, came together to offer testament to Sophie and support for Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth. Speakers offering support and moving words included Congressmembers Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney; former Borough President C. Virginia Fields and current B.P. Scott Stringer; T.L.C. Commissioner David Yassky representing Mayor Bloomberg; former school board colleagues Po-Ling Ng and Keen Berger; Councilmember Margaret Chin; V.I.D. President Tony Hoffmann; and Community Board 2 Chairperson David Gruber, in addition to dear friends and family. Also present were Councilmembers Letitia James and Jessica Lappin and C.B. 1 Chairperson Julie Menin, with Councilmember Gale Brewer sending regards and a contribution.
Generous culinary contributions at the tribute came from Sophie’s favorite restaurants and restaurateurs: the 2nd Ave. Deli; Bruno Bakery; Silver Spurs; Uncle Ted’s; Le Souk; and Etheo, reflecting Sophie’s ability to relate not only to all people of diverse backgrounds but also to diverse cuisines.
Rabbis Spiegel, Ginsberg and Glass, Father Gigante and Reverend Leech offered blessings and clerical support.
My mother intervened where she saw wrong, called the shots as they were, encouraged other activists, and fought hard for the community and many important, good causes to make this a better, more peaceful world. But, as an athlete and coach, she always fought by the rules and with good sportspersonship to all, including her opposition. Sophie decried the acrimony in politics and the strife in the world.
She wrote beautiful poetry, on nature (Sophie was an original environmentalist), the cosmos, and humanity, some of which was read magnificently at the tribute by Lee Briccetti of Poets House and Aedin Moloney of Fallen Angels. Her poems expressed her longing for a better, harmonious and happy world, as reflected in one of her short poems printed in the program:
The Earth by Sophie Gerson
I flew to the moon
And looked down at planet earth
And what did I see?
Such madness, such badness
So for what it was worth
I made a decree
That there only could be
Alan J. Gerson
E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.