Opinion: Crime and punishment

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

In the past two weeks the former speaker of the New York State Assembly was sentenced to prison for 12 years for corruption and misuse of his government position. And the former Senate Majority Leader was handed a five-year sentence for similar crimes. These two convictions, and lengthy prison terms in a federal penitentiary follows a decade of state and city public officials having been found guilty of various felonies mostly having to do with self-enrichment at the public’s expense.

These cases have further soured the public on government and politics. They have ushered in a generation of cynicism about the honest administration of our government institutions.

The first responsibility of our current office holders in Albany and City Hall is to stanch the damage and restore public trust. This will not be easy, but it is necessary. Without the confidence of the electorate, democracy is badly undermined. Without trust in the basic honesty of elected officials the implied compact between voters and those they elect disintegrates and a representative form of government ceases to exist.

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Stuy Town man out of Council race, running for mayor instead

Joshua Thompson on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Joshua Thompson on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Joshua Thompson, the Stuyvesant Town resident who’d been running for the City Council seat currently occupied by a term-limited Dan Garodnick, is no longer on the ballot — because he’s running for mayor.

The 30-year-old candidate’s name appeared last week on a list of candidates on the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s website. Asked about the switch in direction, Thompson said via email that there would be a campaign launch event on May 24.

Town & Village profiled the candidate, then the only person running for Council in the 4th District in February. Thompson has previously worked for the Booker administration in Newark, New Jersey, where he grew up, and also recently held a job as director of education for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Currently, he serves as executive director of external relations for the nonprofit New Leaders, which promotes leadership in education.

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