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Letters to the Editor for Monday, June 24

Letters to the Editor for Monday, June 24

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AOC, climate change case deserve respect

In response to Ray Weidman’s June 12 letter, “Don’t believe Dems’ climate change scam,” climate change has been occurring for “thousands” of years. However, to call it a “scam” by Democrats is an ignorant conspiracy theory not backed by fact.
Climate change is substantiated by scientific data, although its impact is debatable amongst the experts in the field.
Mr. Weidman’s insult of “AOC” is unfounded, also. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a remarkable individual who has numerous accomplishments. She should not be identified as just “a bartender.”
According to her biography, in high school, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez came in second in the microbiology research project at MIT. In honor of her efforts, MIT named a small asteroid after her.
In both high school and college, she received honors, fellowships and positions of distinction.
During college, she was also an intern for Sen.  Kennedy working with immigration/foreign affairs issues.
She graduated cum laude from Boston University majoring in international relations and economics.
After college, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez held many professional positions. She started a publishing company. In addition, she worked 18-hour shifts as a bartender/waitress to save the family home from foreclosure after her father died.
There are more reasons why Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was elected to the position she now holds. She, along with the topic of climate change, deserve respect.
We should not “catch the Trump plague” of name calling, degradation and conspiracies before the facts.
Karen A. Zimmers
Niskayuna



Nisky must address political attacks

I moved to Niskayuna with my family in 2001 and have fallen in love with our beloved community. Unfortunately, the political attacks during the last two local school board elections have made me sick.
In 2015, some bad actors launched a vicious attack on three school board candidates, through an anonymous website and mailer. In 2019, a very similar anonymous mailer attacked another school board candidate. And most recently, we learned about fraudulent, political Facebook advertisements.
I’m not disputing the outcomes of any election. But I’m very concerned about these events.
Anonymous political attacks are dishonest and wrong. They undermine healthy political discourse and violate the intent of the New York State Fair Campaign Law. They are toxic to our community and our faith in fair and transparent elections.
Our town is under attack by what is probably a very small group of dishonest and cowardly bad actors. I ask our elected local officials to consider the following:
1. Revise the Town of Niskayuna Code of Ethics to make it clear that these types of anonymous and vile political attacks are not acceptable. And empower the Niskayuna Ethics Panel to investigate and enforced this rule;
2. Pass a new town law to make anonymous political attacks in all local elections (including school board elections) illegal and punishable by the criminal code;
3. File a claim with local law enforcement to investigate the fraudulent, political Facebook advertisements.
Jon Lemelin
Niskayuna

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