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Do Not Vote for Bramson

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Do Not Vote for Bramson

November 02, 2015 - 16:18
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Out of Touch with New Rochelle

At a recent My Brother’s Keeper event at NRHS, Mayor Noam Bramson spoke about our “diverse community” as if to parlay to the crowd that this was a good thing and all is well in New Rochelle. He says this often publicly and it is often a statement that breezes through one ear and out the other. What does he mean by this “we live in a diverse community” – does it mean that we have black and white people here in New Rochelle? Yes. It means that. Does it mean that we are at peace and loving one another? No it does not mean that? Does it mean we have resolved our issues of insufficient affordable housing for our Latino or Black community? No it does not mean that? The term diversity has become so watered down that it can be anything from code for black people to a profit imperative.  

Diversity is how we talk about race when we can’t talk about race. It has become a stand-in when open discussion of race is too controversial or – let’s be frank – when white people find the topic of race uncomfortable. Diversity seems polite, positive, and hopeful.

So does the Mayor know anything about diversity or pluriversality in New Rochelle? Has he ever had a real job by which to gain experience and knowledge of working-class people? Does he know that most Union Taxi drivers are Peruvian? What does he now about the makeup of all of the landscapers in New Rochelle? Does he know that most “Bodega” owners in New Rochelle are not Latinos? How about the Dollar stores – who works there? Who owns them? The last two weekends we had major processions out of St Josephs and Blessed Sacrament – one stopping traffic on Main Street for hours – a thousand people in the procession with dozens of merchants supporting this event? Was the ceremonial Mayor there?

We have an interesting multi-colored retail corridor here with an obvious potential for being larger and more influential for creating a “new” New Rochelle. More sales tax for the city’s coffers. Where has Mayor Bramson been in this effort? Invisible (same word in English & Spanish).

 

Yes, the mayor has a mafia-like political machine with lots of money, but in this election for Mayor, vote for the other person or don’t vote at all.

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What I am about to say is my own and unaffiliated with anyones comments or articles, however smart (such as this one.) I just felt like something about diversity would be good for this even if it is a different kind fo diversity-socieoeconomic. As someone who has been writing about homelessness on and of in New Rochelle for a couple years I don’t think that the current admin. has been at all good for the city or the poor (yes I know they have a new program for housing 10 people for which I am honeslty glad, though it has issues, but it will not help the 90 people who will be left behind at Oasis or those who will take there place in the future)  I meant to write something in time for this election after coming out of my whole the people-who-own-the-shelter-are-really-connected- the mayor-is-on their local board and approves grants invoving them without rfps, there seems to be a serious lack of concern for this issue so I am going to take a stress break funk which is not something I should have had, but did.  I didn’t finish it quite in time so I will give this quick notes summary instead. During the past year the New Rochelle shelter was (finally and only after lots of pressure) investigated by the board of health which found rat droppings, and broken toilets, a lack of exterminator receipts and more received several warnings from the New Rochelle fire department mainly because in their words there was a failure to maintain an alarm system in working order for four years…and fire watch had to maintained in that tiny wooden building of 30 person capacity housing 100.

Some of the issues were fixed in part, temporarily under pressure from the BOH and possibly other agencies but it was never explained where the 30,000 in various maintenance allotments meant to fix the issues went, instead dss gave the shelter an extra 40,000 but it wasn’t enough for the director who cut out food for non day program clients due to “costs” and laundy despite still getting paid for both things. This isn’t even to broach the subject of Hope. Many of these things are not quite directly attributable to the city or the current admin. But it happened in New Rochelle during the last five years and some of the city violations and “warnings” that went never corrected are ridiculous. The fire warnings were never corrected despite being found last May until this spring when I foiled for them, all of a sudden the fire dept. came and did drills with them. I think there has been the feeling that because I did not write about this stuff the situation disappeared but it did not (though my energy almost did)  , and the things that  are better, (some of the conditions BOH forced oasis to fix) can fairly easily seesaw back and may already have done so (haven’t been around in a while so I don’t really know the current situation at the shelter beise the fact that there has been no breakfast and dinner for non program clients for a long time on weekdays)  I get this is belated but I just wanted to say something about this, even unfortunately last minute because no matter who wins (though I have clear preferences) it still has to be fixed . 

Also while I haven't been around for awhile I would like to think that during the past two years I have been a "harsh voice" at least in the way that the mayor describes harsh voices and will be again. 

PS daily patch voter guide for New Rochelle covers the Ossining and Yorktown elections but not New Rochelles. Lovely. http://patch.com/new-york/newrochelle/new-rochelle-patch-voters-guide-2015

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