Council also needs diversity of thought
After reading the story of the Jan. 13 Schenectady City Council meeting, I have some concerns.
The majority of the 2020 council seem to like using the word “diverse” to describe the current panel’s makeup. But it appears in their minds that word only constitutes color of skin and gender. And if that were the only components of this word, I would tend to agree. But it’s far from that. Unfortunately, they seem to overlook another of many components of the word diverse, and one would include “of a different mind.”
Some members openly admitted the main reason a very qualified and deserving member of the council, Marion Porterfield, was denied the council presidency was her support of a non-endorsed member of her party to run for a county office in November — a sad excuse for denial indeed. During this questionable reasoning, some council members also choose to shut down a member of the public. During the privilege of the floor, that person was offering objections to the council presidency appointment by stating public facts, not hearsay or rumor. Calling it a personal attack by a council member is a stretch at best, which is another sad and scary state of council affairs.
I implore the majority of this city council to open up its minds and ears to real diversity, and not let this first city council meeting of the decade become the model for future meetings by blurring the lines of openness, transparency and diversity. It’s simply wrong.
Objection to Green Light reflects bias
The Jan. 15 Gazette editorial (“Green Light hinders law enforcement”) objecting to restrictions on data sharing in the Green Light driver’s license law reveals a disturbing belief degrading much of the current debate about immigration in this country.
Whether or not one agrees with it, it is now the law of New York state that the records of undocumented immigrants applying for driver’s licenses are not available for search by law enforcement officers except under clearly stated conditions.
Why would The Gazette editors object to requiring law enforcement agencies to certify agreement to comply with those conditions? The only plausible reason is that the editors, disagreeing with the law in the first place, don’t believe that it should be obeyed.
That belief is based on the very ugly assumption that immigrants in a range of categories, not just those who are undocumented, do not deserve equal protection under the law because they are somehow other, alien.
This is the unjust belief that justifies, in the view of some, the separation by federal officials of migrant children from parents, in violation of U.S. law.
This is the belief that motivates our federal government to require people to wait in Mexico while they appeal for asylum in the United States, in blatant violation of international law. This belief is not only unlawful; it is also immoral in its tendency to dehumanize. It is sad to see The Gazette editors buying into it.
The writer is co-coordinator of the Saratoga Immigration Coalition.
Look at who’s really looking out for us
A letter my fellow squawkers: “How did that fox get in our henhouse,” squabbled all us chickens?
Even before he entered, we were protesting his presence. Doesn’t he know this is our house and he is an interloper?
He started by inferring to the farmers that we have to start producing as we promised when we know better.
He exposed the faulty trade arrangement with our neighbors that the ‘Great Rooster’ gave us and replaced it with one that our neighbors (and I understand quite a few of you feather-brained colleagues) agree is better. How dare he. Admittedly, it has stopped our neighbors from trying to steal our eggs, but I’m sure somehow, someway, he’s going to benefit by it.
However, we must also admit he has given us more comfort and food for our workers. But I bet it won’t last. Let’s face it, he’s just not one of us and he must go. Makes no difference if we legally, illegally or forcefully remove him, for the end justifies the means (as long as we win.)”
Dr. Arthur Salvatore
Council also needs diversity of thought