Chartock needs to follow his own advice
In its bellicose tone, Alan Chartock’s recent column accusing “progressives” of causing division in the Democratic Party ironically demonstrated the very faults he was criticizing.
In a troubling attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, he refers to comments she made regarding the Israeli lobby as “…what many people are calling anti-Semitic tropes and not for the first time.”
Regrettably, he leaves unresolved the essential issue of whether Ms. Omar is simply guilty of a poorly worded comment that was subject to exploitation by her critics or whether she is actually an anti-Semite.
Mr. Chartock is too adroit an observer of the media to miss that this will simply contribute to the suspicion that Ms. Omar is, in fact, an anti-Semite and fuel the divisions he laments.
If Ms. Omar is an anti-Semite, she deserves the harshest condemnation. If, on the other hand, she is simply guilty of language that could be exploited, then it deserves a more measured response by him.
The distinction is not trivial.
If she is not an anti-Semite, then in the interest of unity and civility, he should caution her critics from making intemperate attacks, while urging her to show more care in crafting her public statements.
I would urge Mr. Chartock to follow his own dictums and more carefully craft his own language to set an example of how unity can be achieved.
Grateful for effort to improve Nisky park
As a longtime resident of Niskayuna, I want to express my sincere gratitude to town Councilwomen Lisa Weber and Denise Murphy McGraw for their efforts to bring about a plan to improve one of our community’s jewels, River Road Park.
According to news reports, Lisa Weber and Denise Murphy McGraw worked with Assemblyman Phil Steck, Niskayuna Softball, town department heads and residents to come up with a plan and funds to address much-needed improvements to drainage, parking, paths, and recreational activities in that park.
I applaud their leadership to make this project happen for our community.
Weber and McGraw are exactly the kind of collaborative leaders our community needs.
Include all $2.5B for water infrastructure
It’s easy to ignore the hundred-year-old water pipes running beneath our feet, out of sight, out of mind.
But these pipes are corroding, and they’re increasingly a threat to the safety of our drinking water.
When pipes burst, dangerous contaminants can enter the water that flows to your kitchen tap. Plus, water main breaks frequently damage streets and shutter businesses, harming the economic potential of our communities.
As plumbers and pipefitters, we’re in the business of making water flow, and we’re eager to get to work to fix our pipes and protect clean water. But we need the state government as a partner.
It can provide the grant funding that is critical to jump-start local infrastructure projects.
The state Senate and Assembly recently announced their budget proposals for the coming year.
Budgets reflect values and priorities, and the Senate led the way by stating loud and clear that water infrastructure can’t be a back-burner issue.
Its multi-year, $2.5 billion investment in clean water grants will best help our union members tackle New York’s enormous, $80 billion need.
But the $2.5 billion isn’t a sure thing. Budget negotiations are happening right now, and clean water funding might be cut before the final budget is signed and delivered on April 1.
I urge Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins help ensure the full $2.5 billion makes it across the finish line.
The writer is a business agent with Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 7.