Teens: This presidential election made us pay attention to politics

Interviews and photos by Maya Rader

This week, Town & Village asked teens in the neighborhood if this presidential election has made them care about politics more or less. All the individuals we interviewed said it definitely piqued their interest.

mar2-maya-annia-gimanAnnie Giman
“I think the election overall made me care a lot more. Going to a public school in New York, I’ve been exposed to a lot more situations than the average kid has. I’ve had kids coming up to me after the election saying they were scared for themselves and their families getting deported. In 2012, I was only 11 so I didn’t really care as much, so to kind of be aware, especially with the caliber of this election, has really been interesting, and it’s kind of driven me to not only care but to get more involved and to really try to make a difference, since I can’t actually vote.”

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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

I wore red, white and blue on Jan. 20

Re: Letter, “Why I’ll be wearing black on January 20,” T&V, Jan. 19

The eight years under Obama’s imperialistic rule has taken its toll on the majority of the country.

The majority kept quiet because we were told to voice our dissatisfaction with his regime will only show that we were racist against the first African-American president.

Eight years of witnessing an unvetted man take our country in a direction not familiar with our American values. Year after year he ran the country helped by Hillary as a co-president using her position as secretary of state to fattened her global foundation with donations from countries that obviously needed favors from her when she at her turn becomes president.

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Opinion: The apprentice president

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

What can you say about a guy who breaks all the precedents, smashes conventions and blazes a totally new path? Well, you could say that person is an innovator and a risk taker. But in the presidency? And with a man with absolutely no government experience? Thus far, Donald Trump has refused to
hold any press conferences, release any of his tax returns, or be held accountable for his vast business entanglements.  And given his international business relationships, an understanding of where conflicts of interest exist is essential.

The President of the United States is supposed to be free from any external influence that might taint his decision making.

But Trump says NO to releasing information about his outside businesses or his taxes, something that no President has refused in 40 years. Trump further breaks with tradition by declaring that he will not disengage from his sprawling private real estate empire by divesting or placing them in some form of a blind trust. Instead he says that his closest family members can run them with no impact on his presidential decisions.

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Opinion: Let Trump be Trump?

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Usually by the end of November there is nothing more to comment upon following the election of a new president. The winner is going about the process of transitioning from campaigning to governing by selecting a cabinet and key advisors. The loser is out of the spotlight. But then again, there was nothing usual about this past campaign or election. So as the calendar changes to December, the drama swirling around President-elect Donald Trump seems to just go on and on. If we thought this soap opera of a year would settle into something more resembling a dependable documentary, well not so fast. In the 1980s the rallying cry of his supporters was “Let Reagan be Reagan.” Is this what we want from a Donald Trump presidency?

The candidate Trump who specialized in tweeting out information of dubious fact or reliability is still at it. During the campaign he said things like: most white people who were murdered were killed by blacks. This claim was patently false but never retracted. Trump continued to propagate the myth that President Obama was not a bona fide American until the final weeks of the campaign and then stunningly said his opponent, Hillary Clinton, actually started the whole fib back in 2008. Another whopper was his suggestion that his chief rival for the Republican nomination, Ted Cruz, had family ties connected to the assassination of President Kennedy. What?!

Among other curious statements, now Mr. Trump is asserting that he won the election in a “landslide” and even denies the fact that he actually lost the popular vote by over two million according to the latest tabulations. His reasoning is that millions of fraudulent votes were cast for his opponent. Of course in keeping with his campaign style, no evidence is provided to support such an allegation. He then lashes out at reporters, as he did throughout the campaign, who have the temerity to contradict his unsupported claims.

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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 1

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Why I’m grateful this holiday season

I thought it would be appropriate, given the time of year, to express some gratitude and optimism during these discordant times. The Stuy Town/Peter Cooper community has been through a lot and now our country, too, is facing some tough times.

As I take inventory of areas for thanks, I choose to look locally and at our great and diverse community.  We have to be ever mindful that our ST/PCV community is actually a small and complex city, with unforeseen challenges.

I am grateful that we have finally achieved some real stability in Blackstone as our still-newish owner and for their important choice to have key staff living among us, sharing our quality of life.  I am grateful for management’s clear voice and steady hand thus far. Grateful for their choice to keep long-serving staff like Bill M. and Fred K., who keep us safe and to Kathleen K. and Tom F. who keep us warm and our homes and buildings functional. For Rick H. and the new members of his team who are making real efforts to care for our community.

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HS students: Trump is scary, Clinton was less corrupt


The Clinton School (photo by Maya Rader)


They may not be able to vote, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have political opinions.

Town & Village intern Maya Rader interviewed fellow students at The Clinton School for Writers and Artists in Union Square about the presidential election, and the teenage perspective was far from indifferent. Like most New Yorkers, those interviewed seemed stunned by Trump’s victory and most were concerned.

Fifteen-year-old Bernardo Malatesta shared the view of most people interviewed when he said he prefers Secretary Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.
“Even though she’s corrupt at times, her moral values are a lot better than Trump.” He then added, smiling, “but Bernie will always be in my heart.”

Ava Rosenbaum, 14, remarked that although she dislikes Trump as a person, she isn’t as worried about him as a president. “I’m more afraid of Pence and Trump supporters.”

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New Yorkers protest election results at Union Square

Protesters made their way to midtown, starting from Union Square. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Protesters made their way to midtown, starting from Union Square. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Steady rain didn’t keep protesters out of Union Square Park last Wednesday evening, with the results of the presidential election drawing crowds of New Yorkers opposed to President-elect Donald Trump. Many gathered in the north plaza of the park held signs that both protested the outcome of the election and called for unity, and protesters started various chants throughout while on their way to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue just south of Central Park.

The crowds of people walked from Union Square towards Madison Square Park and up Fifth Avenue, at one point being diverted to Broadway by police but remaining peaceful. Gothamist reported that there were 65 arrests as a result of the protests, with most receiving desk appearance tickets for charges like disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstruction.

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Clinton voters are seeking solace at this Flatiron store

Fishs Eddy owner Julie Gaines stands by a wall dedicated to Hillary Clinton that’s covered in hundreds of write-in “votes” from customers. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Fishs Eddy owner Julie Gaines stands by a wall dedicated to Hillary Clinton that’s covered in hundreds of write-in “votes” from customers. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In the days following Donald Trump’s stunning upset, some New Yorkers who voted for Hillary Clinton found themselves instinctively heading to a certain storefront in Flatiron. A place they went in search of comfort, with other likeminded individuals with whom they could commiserate. And they did so while raising mugs — empty ones — with Clinton’s own mug on the side.

That place is, after all, not a pub but a home goods shop, Fishs Eddy, which, in the months leading up to last week’s election, had resembled a playful shrine to the woman expected to become the next president.

By October, the store was stacked high with the Clinton mugs. Other mugs bore her husband’s portrait with the caption “First First Man 2016.” Donald Trump made an appearance too on the side of an espresso cup along with the caption “HUUUUGE!” (He also appeared on a drink tray with the caption “You’re welcome” and a top selling “I’m HUUUUGE” set of condoms.) Other options for mugs included Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and cups bearing portraits of numerous Republicans like Marc Rubio and Chris Christie. President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was printed out on trays, a hot item since the beginning of the “birther” movement.

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Subway therapy walls pop up on 14th St.

A wall of Post-it notes at the Union Square subway station followed a wall of Post-its put up at the14th Street station between  Sixth and Seventh Avenues. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

A wall of Post-it notes at the Union Square subway station followed a wall of Post-its put up at the14th Street station between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

New Yorkers looking for an outlet to express their feelings need look no further than a local subway station.

Brooklyn-based artist Matthew “Levee” Chavez has been stationed in the underground tunnel along 14th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues almost every day since the election, armed with Post-its and pens for commuters passing through.

Union Square station has also become home to a wall covered in the sticky notes, but Chavez said that he wasn’t directly involved in starting that.

“I feel responsible for the project and all the other ones that have popped up but I think people thought the original one was at Union Square and just went with it, bringing their own Post-its and pens,” he said.

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Opinion: Honorable mentions

By former Assemblyman Steven SandersSettings

For a year and a half politics have been dominated by the race for the White House, and for good reason. The stakes have never been higher and the candidates of the two major parties offer much different visions of America now and into the future. My views on this subject have been extensively discussed on this page. So anything more would just be repetition. I will just say this… I don’t think Trump could have beaten any Democrat other than Clinton, and I don’t think Clinton could have beaten any Republican other than Trump. There was more talk about Donald Trump’s serial misogyny and Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of sensitive emails, than the economy or international relations. And that is a very sad commentary on this campaign as it staggers to the end.

But there are other notable races and candidates that should not be overlooked in the avalanche of presidential ads and hype. These are the so called “down ballot” races.

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Soapbox: What’s a voter to do?

Town & Village is proud to present “The Soapbox,” a column featuring a different voice from the neighborhood in each one. All are welcome to submit columns on the topic of the author’s choice, preferably not longer than 650 words, to editor@townvillage.net.

By John Cappelletti

Last May in a letter to the editor I wondered why the Democrat establishment was backing the political dynasty by giving Hillary a 541-superdelegate head-start over Senator Sanders and putting the Democrat National Committee at her disposal and at his expense. The senator had a double digit lead over Trump whereas Hillary could only manage a tie with him.

Now a week before the election two of the most unlikeable, untrustworthy and unbelievable candidates of any U.S. presidential campaign ever, Hillary and Trump are still running neck and neck and many questions remain unanswered. Trump will not release his taxes and Hillary will not release her speeches to Wall Street. Is Trump the sexual predator Hillary’s husband was when she defended him against his accusers like Melania is defending Trump now? Will Weiner-gate hurt Hillary as voters wonder why emails pertinent to her FBI criminal investigation would end up on her top aide Huma Abedin’s husband’s computer? How did they get there? Furthermore, did her husband Anthony Weiner who’s been known to do stupid things for all to see online, read and/or divulge the contents of these emails? Who’s responsible for this poor judgment, Hillary, Huma or…? And what’s Trump hiding in his tax return or in his foundation? And what about the Clinton Foundation? Lots of cash from all kinds of sources goes into these two foundations. Are they laundries?

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Opinion: The choice in this year’s election

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Historically presidential election campaigns pick up steam around the first day of autumn in the final weeks before Election Day. However this year’s race for the White House has been anything but predictable. There was an abundance of smoke and fire all summer, not to mention mudslinging. It has already become ugly.

It is near impossible to anticipate what will happen during these final six weeks or the outcome on November 8, other than only Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can become the 45th President of the United States of America. In this crazy election cycle, with more twists and turns than a scary Stephen King novel, there is little to predict what will occur in the coming days, not after all the precedents and political traditions that have already been obliterated. This campaign is the most uncivil and abnormal that we have ever seen.

With all due respect to those who find both candidates unpalatable and plan to either sit out the voting or cast their ballot for a third party candidate, that is a cop out. It may make some feel better by not voting for either candidate, but it will not make the nation better. It ignores the reality of American politics and worse yet, it leaves it to others to decide America’s leadership future.No third party candidate has ever come close to winning the Presidency and that will surely not change this year.

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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

T&V letter could give sick people ideas

Dear Ms. Mollot,

In response to your July 21 issue letter to the editor regarding squirrels (“Bushy tailed beasts have taken over” by William Kelly), and with all due respect to freedom of speech, I can’t believe you printed this letter. I’m hoping he had nothing better to do and was just kidding, although it wasn’t such a funny letter if so.

To put such vicious actions into the minds of our children — and yes even adults — living in and enjoying our beautiful oasis is insane.

First of all there are strict rules on the books in New York City regarding animal cruelty — with serious fines and jail consequences.

But, additionally, can you visualize children, teens and adults walking around with bats and killing these living creatures on our property?

I’m sending a copy of Mr. Kelly’s letter to: the mayor, the ASPCA, Bideawee and the Humane Society of the USA in Washington, DC. I am sure that the 13th Precinct is already aware of this. In short, Mr. Kelly needs to be watched very carefully and taken very seriously!

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Behind the scenes of Clinton’s visit

Former President Bill Clinton strolls along the First Avenue Loop on his way to the community center on April 11. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Former President Bill Clinton strolls along the First Avenue Loop on his way to the community center on April 11. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month’s surprise visit from former President Bill Clinton to Stuyvesant Town, while kept a closely guarded secret at the time, was surprisingly easily thrown together.

Just ask Council Member Dan Garodnick, who sponsored the event on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and pitched the idea.

This week, Garodnick told Town & Village that he’d suggested to the campaign that “Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village would be a very exciting visit for either Hillary or one of her top surrogates.”

This was a reference to the former leader of the free world, with Garodnick also telling team Clinton that the community hadn’t had a president visit since then Senator John F. Kennedy. He’d campaigned for his presidential run in 1960 at a rally on First Avenue that was attended by thousands. In response, Garodnick said, “They saw the wisdom in that and thought that it would be a fun event to get the former president over there.”

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Opinion: Selling Trump’s whine

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Donald Trump is pretty good at selling stuff and now he is fresh from a victory in the New York State Primary last week and his sweep of five primaries this week which guarantees that he will go to the Republican convention with at least a plurality of delegates.

Whether it is real estate, his clothing line or his reality TV shows, Trump knows how to market his products. But I think he will have difficulty selling his Trump whine.

It seems that only recently has the Trump campaign for President cared enough to understand the rules of the nomination as set forth by the Republican National Committee years before Trump entered the race last June. Donald Trump spent most of his time tweeting his way through the early primary and caucus elections. He should have been reading up on the rules.

He is now loudly complaining that the game is rigged… against him. Trump believes that because he has (so far) won more delegates than any other candidate, that he should be given the nomination. The Trump campaign was okay with winning only a plurality of the vote in a state but receiving all the delegates in certain primaries. But when the tables were turned and Trump did not get as many delegates as his popular vote percentage, well he is now crying “Foul”, “thievery” and worse.

There is a realization setting in on the Trump campaign that in spite of polling ahead of his rivals he may not get the majority of delegates needed to win the nomination and that is driving the Donald into near apoplectic hysteria. The rules of the Republican nomination are the same for Trump as everyone else. They should have been understood by all the candidates going into the contests in each state.

And this is not unprecedented. Right here in New York City if you are running for a citywide office and seeking the nomination of your party it is not enough to get the most votes in the primary, a candidate must reach or exceed 40 percent in order to claim their party’s nomination for mayor, comptroller or public advocate. If not, the two highest voted candidates then face each other in a run-off. So the candidate with the most votes in the primary does not necessarily win the nomination.

These rules were put in place to protect against some candidate winning a plurality in a multi candidate field but nonetheless not enjoying the confidence or support of most people. So candidates must demonstrate broad appeal to win their party’s nomination. Such is also the case with the Republican nomination. Although Trump seems to have the rabid and unqualified support of about 35 percent of the Republican electorate he is just as strenuously opposed by at least that amount and probably more. In fact in recent polls more than half of Republican voters say that if Donald Trump were their party’s nominee that they could not vote for him in the general election. So that is why winning a lot of multi candidate primaries but falling short of the majority of delegates needed to secure the nomination does not guarantee that Trump will wind up as the Republican party candidate.

Should the delegate selection process be changed? That is a worthy argument. But the rules of engagement were known to all candidates a year ago. Trump’s complaint that the system is corrupt and rigged against him is a very hard sell. Moreover Trump’s claim that he should be the party’s nominee based on less than a majority of delegates won in primaries is dubious. This is American politics at the national level and not some reality TV show where the star gets to write the script. Donald Trump’s whine seems like sour grapes.