For balance, state needs county focus
The voters of upstate should be very concerned with the results of the governor’s election. The election resulted in essentially Mayor Cuomo being elected, as his base support is exclusively from the five boroughs of New York City.
I encourage upstate residents to review the 2018 county election map – it’s appalling. The statewide county election map shows that our dear governor won only six counties north of Rockland County. Statewide, he won only 14 counties (22 percent) of the state’s 62 counties. Heck, he didn’t get the endorsement of NYSUT. This is representation? This is someone who will be a governor for upstate residents?
This is proof that residents of upstate have no voice in our state government.
What’s the result of a huge, concentrated single-party voter base such as what exists in New York City? Short-term it’s imbalanced, out-of-touch and unaccountable representation for upstate. It’s resulted in widespread corruption from long-term representation from a single party dominating the governor’s seat, the Assembly and now the Senate. I mean really, who believes the governor was not knowledgeable of Mr. Percoco’s dealings? The long-term result, and we’re experiencing this already, is decaying infrastructure, a steady spread of blight resulting in population loss, and higher taxes borne by fewer taxpayers available to pay them. The answer? We need a county-based electoral college approach that accounts for voters from each county. Such an approach is vital if we are to sustain a true democratic republic as our form of government.
Engagement needed for Sch’dy’s future
When we put forth the question: “What’s your idea for improving our community?” the citizens of Schenectady responded by submitting 48 entries to the Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge.
The ideas ran the gamut: public art, addressing litter problems, creating gardens in school yards, improving the look and safety of neighborhoods, showing off Schenectady’s unique heritage, and more. The wonderful news is how much people care and have stepped forward to make their city a better place to live.
Now, the difficult part begins.
Having narrowed the field of entries to 23, a panel of community volunteers will help make the final decision as to the five-10 projects that will be the first to receive funding.
All entries need to be responsive to the same criteria: Is there support for the project in the neighborhood? Will the project engage community members? What will be the impact? Is it sustainable? Will the project require approval of the city, and if so, is it likely to receive approval? Can it leverage other resources? Winning entries will be announced in January.
We honestly didn’t know what to expect when we launched the Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge. But everything we’ve seen confirms this was an important resource to offer the people and neighborhoods of Schenectady. It’s one that needs to be there in the future. Engaging our people in the revitalization of their own community has tremendous potential for impact.
The writer is executive director of the Schenectady Foundation.
Glad to see election workers recognition
I would like to thank The Gazette for its editorial Thursday entitled “Many make elections possible.”
In this era of robo-calls and other automatic intrusions on one’s time, it is easy to forget (I know I do) how much personal, legitimate effort is involved in political campaigns. That needs to be treated respectfully.
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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion