The system is broke, and no, we can’t fix it. That’s my opinion—however, on the evening of Thursday, October 16th, just a chink of light penetrated the darkness. I ran into the progressive candidate for State Assembly, Alex Meadows, and his Field Director, Moumita Ahmed (formerly Zephyr Teachout’s Deputy Field Director). Alex handed me a flier and introduced himself. Right away, his direct, open approach got my attention, that and a kind of fearlessness, like the boy in the fairy-tale who simply cuts through the Gordian knot.
I’ve watched the Democratic Machine in action and seen it up close. There is something so humiliating about those dog and pony shows where, for instance, Rudin’s attorney, a junior one no doubt, gets up in front of our community and tries to sell us a suburban cross-walk in place of our sumptuous rose garden— with the full complicity (in absentia) of Quinn and Glick. The corporate take- over of the West Village, which has included losing our hospital and now, directly north of us, the encroachment of our air rights, among many other sad developments, has caused me to despair. It’s all about “the smart money,” and the “smart money” is on the incumbent, Deborah Glick, winning again thanks to our collective inertia.
But wait! This time your vote really, really does count! We can do it, over- throw the Machine without manning the barricades—we just have to go to the polls! Alex Meadows is willing to take on the corporate interests, and he has the confidence of someone who believes he was born to do just that. As Alex, Moumita and I were standing and talking under a tree on 12th Street the other night, I found myself wanting to know more about him. What motivated him to run for office? His strength and intelligence shone through as he spoke. His answer convinced me that he is a true progressive, and that we need to get behind him. Allow me to share it with you:
Alex told me he grew up in Florida in an abusive family. For many years, his mother and later his siblings and he would call the police, and the police would come and say there was nothing they could do, because domestic violence was a family matter—beyond their purview. Then, one day, that all changed. The police came and arrested the violent family member (father I think), and took him away. It turned out that one politician had fought to get the law changed— which in turn changed Alex’s young life. That’s when he realized that politicians and good laws could make a difference.
As far I’m concerned, this is what it’s all about, what it’s always been about. Coming from a progressive background where two generations fought successfully to change the sys- tem, I remember how it used to work. You would have a hard time convincing me that our national government could become responsive, but as far as our dear Village is concerned, I believe we have found a champion.
Good lord, how can you not vote? Get out there!!!!