Op-Ed: The Election 2016: The fight we had and the battles to come

nov24-garodnick-with-family

Council Member Dan Garodnick, his wife Zoe Segal-Reichlin, and their sons Asher and Devin on the campaign trail

 

By City Council Member Dan Garodnick

Like most New Yorkers, I was extremely disappointed in the outcome of the presidential election. Hillary Clinton won nearly 80 percent of the vote in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, and the nationwide popular vote by more than 2 million votes.  Despite this result, she won’t be occupying the Oval Office in January.  

I am further disturbed and outraged by the uptick in hate crimes and bias incidents that have been taking place across the United States and in our own backyard. A swastika was recently carved into a door in the apartment building our own State Senator, Brad Hoylman. Hate crimes against Muslims in New York City have doubled from 2015 to 2016. A terrifying, homophobic death threat was sent to an openly gay colleague of mine, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens. This is shameful, unacceptable, and not the city I know.

It’s also not the country I saw as I campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

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Letters to the editor, Nov. 24

Bernie bashing is unsubstantiated

Re: Letter, “Hillary pilloried for not being perfect,” T&V, Nov. 10

I’ll never understand why people with strong opinions are not strong enough to sign their names to their letters.

For example, a “Name Withheld” writer confidently states: “I am proud to vote for Hillary Clinton who is intelligent, competent and completely qualified,” but is not proud enough of her views to sign her name. She states that Bernie Sanders “ran on a platform of grandiose ideas that he did not have a hope of getting through Congress.”

How does she know this? Did Bernie tell her, “Hey, Name Withheld, I know these ideas of mine don’t have a prayer for success, but when you run for public office, you gotta say something?” And did she tell Bernie he is “not qualified to head the Executive Office,” to which he replied, “Who is?” Although being a mayor or governor might offer some experience, I doubt that anything prepares one for being the president of the USA. What were Obama’s qualifications? Or W’s? Or (are you sitting down down?) Trump’s?

After trashing Bernie, Name Withheld defends Hillary by writing that voters “struggle to see a woman in office. They find reasons to attack her over not very much. Misogyny, unfortunately, is still alive and well.” But maybe it’s not Hillary’s gender that voters find troubling, but rather the appearance of years of dishonesty and corruption.

I can’t speak for others who find Hill and Bill so untrustworthy there’s not enough space in T&V to list their reasons, but I did vote for a woman. Her name rhymes with Hill. She heads The Green Party and because I want a third party, independent of the two giants in America, I voted for Jill Stein. Stein’s platform was almost identical to Bernie’s.

And maybe she lost like Bernie because she didn’t have a hope for success either.  But I do. We have the knowledge and the ability to clean up all the mess we have created in our society. We just need the will.

John Cappelletti, ST

Editor’s note: At Town & Village, we agree that signed letters have more credibility than anonymous ones. However, in this case, it was the editor’s mistake to sign the author’s letter as “Name withheld,” when in fact, she hadn’t made a request to remain anonymous. The author of the letter is Harriet Gottfried, a retired librarian living in Stuyvesant Town. We regret the error.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 10

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Local candidates kept things classy

To the Editor,

Many thanks to our neighbor and former State Democratic Assemblyman Steve Sanders for reminding us that members of our community have independently crossed lines in the past to vote for and support a number of Republicans like Senator Roy Goodman, Congressman Bill Green and Councilman Eristoff. They were able to work with other bi-partisan legislators to get things done and avoid the national voting gridlock we’ve experienced these last four years.

Credit is well deserved for Frank Scala, a Republican who is a member of our Community Board 6 and the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association Board and active on the 13th Precinct Community Council.

Frank believes in the two party system and will defend his viewpoint but not engage in prolonged gridlock. Even the editorial staff of Town & Village doesn’t disparage either candidate, but can suggest to the reader “Does years of being elected reflect voters’ approval of performance or is it preferable to have term limits such as those persons we elect to the City Council?”

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Opinion: Down the rabbit hole

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

It all seems so upside down. At the end of the day everybody got it wrong. Not since Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey for the Presidency in 1948 did so many people botch it. The pundits were wrong, the pollsters were wrong, FBI Director James Comey was wrong, I was wrong, and even Donald Trump was wrong.

Virtually every poll had Hillary Clinton winning the presidency with a close but comfortable margin. The experts and pundits who opined that Trump could never survive the insults and reckless accusations he tossed about the campaign were very mistaken. James Comey who ten days before the election reopened the FBI email investigation proved to be in error.  And finally when Donald Trump himself complained for months on end that the system was “rigged” against him, to his delight that accusation was proven false. In fact, by last count, Mrs. Clinton maintained a lead in the popular vote, while decisively losing in the Electoral College. One can only shudder at what Mr. Trump would have said had those results been reversed.

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Local voters come out for Clinton as Trump takes the White House

On Tuesday, a polling place at 360 First Avenue had a line spilling down the block. Many voters who spoke with T&V said they were supporting Hillary Clinton and local Democratic elected officials easily won reelection. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

On Tuesday, a polling place at 360 First Avenue had a line spilling down the block. Many voters who spoke with T&V said they were supporting Hillary Clinton and local Democratic elected officials easily won reelection. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Voter turnout was high at polling places throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in this historic presidential election, with some residents saying that crowds seemed to surpass even those from 2008. Although some sites throughout the city reported broken scanners, voters at the ST/PCV polling places T&V visited on Tuesday morning said that the worst problems they faced were long lines, and many said that it wasn’t a burden to wait.

“I feel like it’s my moral duty to vote,” said Peter Cooper Village resident Max Hague, noting that he cast his vote for Hillary Clinton. “I voted because I don’t want to live in a fascist country.”

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Opinion: Death and taxes

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

There is a famous saying that the only things which are inevitable is death and taxes. Last week Donald Trump proved that adage false!

The New York Times has reported that according to documents filed in New York State and Connecticut back in the 1990s, Donald Trump suffered business loses of almost $1 billion in 1995 and paid no federal taxes that year and probably none for the succeeding 18 years. Yes… Mr. Trump despite having assets of over $10 billion (according to statements made by Trump himself) probably paid zero in federal taxes since the days when Bill Clinton was president and Derek Jeter was a rookie. That is a very long time.

Trump’s defense was that he did not have to pay because he was able to amortize his losses over a nearly a two-decade period, so he chose not to contribute anything to the national treasury. Moreover he asserts that it was his “duty” as the CEO of Trump industries to pay Uncle Sam as little as he could get away with. In this case zilch. So clearly his first responsibility was to enrich himself and his company by any means available to him. Is that unpatriotic or self-indulgent to the extreme? The voters will have the last word on that.

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Letters to the editor, Oct. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Our country’s invisible problem

Three common clichés come to mind in regard to this election season: 1. The emperor has no clothes. 2. The elephant in the room. 3. You can’t see the forest from the trees. Why? Because the number one campaign issue for every presidential and congressional race should be our national debt! It’s somewhat of an invisible problem, so perhaps that’s why it doesn’t get more attention. Or, maybe it doesn’t rate because most politicians incorrectly associate it only with cutting programs and services – which is never popular with their voters.

Let’s consider just some of the ramifications of our 19 trillion dollar national debt:

A. In order to fund the national debt, the U.S. needs to print money or borrow from other countries. If we continue to print money, that devalues our existing dollars, resulting in inflation. If we continue to borrow from other countries such as China and Japan, our credit risk will eventually rise; this will require us to pay even higher interest rates until the inevitable day comes when we can’t.

B. Taxes will have to increase to service the national debt.

C. Government services – such as the maintenance of bridges and roads and other infrastructure – will have to be curtailed or eliminated as the national debt grows and becomes a greater percentage of the overall budget. Worse yet, should we need to defend ourselves against a foreign enemy, or recover from a natural disaster such as a major earthquake, we might not be able to afford to do so.

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