Standing on the stairs of City Hall a few weeks back in the blistering midday sun, I witnessed an important reminder of why change is so elusive in this great state of ours. Former Mayor Ed Koch was promoting his “NY Uprising Movement,” an endeavor to create greater transparency, fair redistricting and better governance in the quagmire that is the state Legislature.
Yet shortly after the former mayor began chastising state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) for being one of the lead obstructionists in this fight, there were whispers coming from the front row to “defend Shelly.” It was Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) who finally delivered an awkward defense of the Assembly speaker — an act that drew boos from many in the crowd.
But why should such a bold, public act in defense of the establishment by an incumbent now touting reform surprise anyone? After all, as one New York political insider once told me unapologetically, “Politics is the ability to make those who hate you realize they love you in the last two weeks prior to the election.”
The lack of turnover during the recent Democratic primary seems to indicate that these efforts are paying off. The revolution has yet to materialize despite the fact that almost everyone I speak with during my own campaign against Weprin, regardless of their political leanings, ethnicity, profession or socio-economic status, all seem to come together under the mantra “throw the bums out!”
In the march up to the Nov. 2 general election, let’s not fall victim to the consultant-created ad campaigns launched to lure back disenchanted voters in the final weeks of the election cycle. Instead, let’s vote based on the size of our tax bills, increases in water rates, decreases in transit options and loss of employment opportunities. Only then will we ever achieve real change in Albany.
24th Assembly District