Letters, Week of Sept. 19, 2013

What a beautiful sight

To The Editor:
Last week I rode my bike down to the World Trade Center site at night. There, high in the heavens, were hundreds of moths, white and sparkling, little winged creatures, silently soaring and circling, going round and round in the beams of light.

They were like the spirits of the dead, still blessing us as we gazed upward at them.

It was incredibly beautiful to see.
Ruth Kuzub

Schwartz is just a sore winner

To The Editor:
Re “Quinn doesn’t win: Voters want a change of direction” (news article, Sept. 12):

I understand Arthur Schwartz’s anger over the lack of support from myself and others in his challenge to Jonathan Geballe for district leader. Regrettably, the concept of being gracious in victory eludes him. Considering Arthur had previously been the longest-serving district leader since Tammany boss Carmine De Sapio, a less-than-800-vote margin of victory over Mr. Geballe, who had only an eight-month tenure as district leader, should temper his bluster. Whether it actually will do so, still remains to be seen.
Deborah Glick
Glick is assemblymember, 66th District

Ageism is as ugly as racism

To The Editor:
Re “Quinn doesn’t win: Voters want a change of direction” (news article, Sept. 12):

Ageism is like racism and sexism. It is stereotyping based on a category — such as race or gender or, in the case of Arthur Schwartz, my new co-leader, as quoted in The Villager, that I should retire, based on age. Schwartz’s comment reflects the stereotype, not the person at whom he is directing it. He does not know that I am active and energetic every day as district leader, community board member, author and professor, or that I swim almost every morning, or that I anticipate working for a better world for decades, as my parents — both cogent in their 90s — did.

I do not plan to be district leader all those decades. I welcome another woman of any age who has my values and energy, and who is ready to engage in the joyous, frustrating and unpaid work of Democratic district leader in the 66th Assembly District, Part A. But I know from experience that it is a mistake to stereotype. I expect that Arthur will learn that, too.
 Keen Berger
Berger is Democratic district leader, 66th Assembly District, Part A

Classless — or brutally honest?

To The Editor:
Re “Quinn doesn’t win; Voters want a change of direction” (news article, Sept. 12):

Is Arthur Schwartz being classless, or is he making a brutally honest (and informed and overdue) comment on the current political landscape in the Village

I think Schwartz has a legitimate ax to grind, albeit with a twist. Here’s what no one is willing to say out loud: The outgoing cabal engineered state Senator Brad Hoylman’s ascendancy, starting with that Schwartz moment when the latter was deposed as district leader in 2005. And then, within this last two years — a resignation and a quick election, timed perfectly for getting their preferred candidate into, not just the City Council, but into the state Senate.

What was different about this than Quinn legislatively eliminating term limits? It was opportunist, there is no argument. It simply happened too fast for the voters of this area to have real say and a healthy debate.

On the positive side, we all feel we have a young, top-flight senator, an asset and a gentleman. But let’s face it, for the voter, it’s sheer luck that Hoylman is the dedicated public servant he is.

I think the Village just took a deep breath and loosened the grip of much more than just the mayoral vice. Schwartz asked where do we go from here, locally speaking? For me, that means this community should start planning for the future of our Assembly district, with a progressive and active primary challenger to Deborah Glick, someone with her progressive cred, but with a far more imaginative and “early action,” proactive bent when it comes to fighting the largest battles. We need a visionary, since the fights to come will be even harder: a new hospital, Pier 40, Trinity’s rezoning and the redevelopment it will bring, New York University, school space, tidal surges and adequate preparation, aging straight and gay Villagers. We are not out ahead of these dangers.
Patrick Shields

Brewer will make us proud

To The Editor:
Gale Brewer is a unique politician. As a volunteer, I have seen first-hand how she connects with people with her caring and sincere disposition. Gale is the real deal and will make seniors, disabled and working families proud to call her borough president.

She initiated and helped pass the paid sick leave law. I have seen Gale on nyc.gov TV and how hard she works for all New Yorkers.

Gale campaigned often in Stuy Town. She has pledged to fight hard for Stuy Town and rent regulation to keep this community affordable.

Stuy Town is lucky to have such a seasoned, down-to-earth candidate. She is 40 years in government, 12 years in the City Council, and as borough president will make all New Yorkers proud.
Marietta A. Hawkes

Politics at its worst

To The Editor:
Re “Johnson trounces Kurland in race to succeed Quinn” (news article, Sept. 12):

Eh. Yetta called Corey evil over and over and over again. That’s not the type of person we need at the table. And what do we need her assistance on? Really what? She divided people on St. Vincent’s. That was her only issue. I don’t wish her any ill will but I’d really like her to exit politics. She is the worst kind of politician.
Julie Bender

The future looks interesting

To The Editor:
Re “Quinn doesn’t win; Voters want a change of direction” (news article, Sept. 12):

I’m very sorry that Margaret Chin won, because she favors the big developers. Her win seems inconsistent with the overall direction the voters were taking, it seems to me. I also voted for Yetta Kurland because she fought so hard for St. Vincent’s Hospital, and still fights for a new hospital to take its place.

Well, the future will be very interesting, and although it will be hard for any of the politicians to live up to their liberal promises because of the movers and shakers in this town, I think we should get some good new changes. Glick has been good about some things and not so good on others; she’s not as liberal as she can appear to be in general.

Activists backed Chin

To The Editor:
Re “Chin beats Rajkumar, taking nearly 60 percent of the vote” (news article, Sept. 12):

Councilmember Chin had the backing of many longtime political activists and community organizers for a reason. We think she is our best shot at fighting for affordable housing. Ms. Rajkumar could back that fight.
K Webster

Let’s hope she improves

To The Editor:
Re “Chin beats Rajkumar, taking 60 percent of the vote” (news article, Sept. 12):

This article and video clip prove the adage that history is told from the perspective of the victors, even in a media outlet like The Villager, which wholeheartedly endorsed Jenifer Rajkumar for City Council in District 1. Some of us look at the figures a little differently. For instance, by splitting the 17-point lead in half and wondering what might have been if 8.5 percent who went one way would have gone the other.

I hope Sheldon Silver’s implying that Jenifer Rajkumar is not someone who can be worked with was at least not intended to be hurtful. Margaret Chin’s final remark as seen on the video, on the other hand, seems to be a deliberate slash at a recently defeated challenger.

I have worked closely with Jenifer since she was elected district leader almost two years ago. My experience is that she listens to the community, and she participates in community-based actions such as our efforts to free Petrosino Square’s art installation space of a Citi Bike kiosk that could easily be moved a few feet into the roadbed. I am proud that Jenifer and I and a hundred other protesters against the N.Y.U. 2031 expansion plan were thrown out of City Hall together on July 25, 2012.

While constituents around Petrosino Square certainly appreciate Margaret Chin’s defense of our art-installation space from an attempted food cart and actual Citi Bike takeover, my repeated pleas to the councilmember’s office since mid-July to help us with a horticultural disaster have received absolutely no reply, no more so than pleas beginning earlier this year for help with recurring vandalism and crime in this small park that is nevertheless a significant public amenity in a district that ranks 58th out of 59 in New York City for open green space per capita.

Let’s hope, now that Margaret Chin has been re-elected, that she will turn her attention to the needs of her constituents in Little Italy, Soho and the Village. Hopefully, she will become someone we can work with.
Georgette Fleischer

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