Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, July 11


Altering BLM mural would be hostile act

On behalf of Schenectady Clergy Against Hate [SCAH], we write to voice our concerns over a petition to remove the words “Black Lives Matter” from outside City Hall and/or add to it a phrase like “Make America Great Again” alongside it.
Such a move is a hostile act, rooted in partisan politics.
Recall the need that promoted city officials to have the words stenciled on the street; systemic bias that exists in our country which fosters growing polarization in our society.
Such words remind us to be acutely aware of injustices that discriminate against Black people and indeed all people of color.
The sentiment placed at City Hall reminds people who govern and administer policies in our community and the rest of us to be attuned to the imbalance of power which exists in our society.
The slogan is beyond an organization and, unlike the one proposed, does not belong to a political party. It is a plea for equanimity — in a place where many voices are not heard, and many experiences not validated. We, as clergy, urge that the words remain in place so that people remember the disparity that exists in this country.
Remember the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s charge: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Keep the words there until true equality is achieved.
Rabbi Matt Cutler
Rabbi Congregation Gates of Heaven
Rev. Amaury Tañón-Santos
Executive Director, Schenectady Community Ministries
Rev. Lynn Carman Bodden
Interim minister at First Reformed Church of Schenectady

Don’t try to sneak laws past the public

I could not agree more with your editorial (“A sneaky way to pass vital laws”) in the July 6 edition of The Daily Gazette.
The Gazette is on point, and I echo your concerns.
The editorial provides a clear picture of what occurred during the recent extraordinary session of the state Legislature and why this type of legislating is no way to govern.
The Capital Region Chamber has long believed the public has a right to be served by a government that is accountable, responsive and transparent. Process matters.
All too often, significant policy decisions are made by a select few, during negotiations behind closed doors. This allows for little to no public review and input.
Over 1,000 bills were passed during this year’s regular legislative session. The Chamber weighed in on several, as we do each year.
This was not the case during the extraordinary session. If the Chamber did want to take positions on the bills, how could we?
No time was provided to read, analyze and form an opinion. No time was provided for the public to contact their elected representatives. Regardless of your opinion on any piece of legislation, dialogue matters. Process matters.
The best laws are crafted with public input. Without this important step, only a few are served. The rest of us must deal with the consequences.
Hopefully, your readers will contact officials and tell them to slow down and seek input from the public before they make new laws. Sneaky just doesn’t work.
Mark N. Eagan, CCE
The writer is president and CEO of the Capital Region Chamber.


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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