I'm calling for a press conference on Monday April 4, 2013 because many people in my community do not have any trust in our elected officials. The FBI's recent netting here in New York of a state senator, two assemblymen, a city councilman and two suburban village officials does not help the issue of clean politics. In fact, many believe that all the politicians are "pillos," crooks.
As I walked through our streets and talk to constituents many remind me of their distrust of politicians by asking me, why do I want to be a politician? Here I am trying to convince them to register if they are not registered and to vote for me if they are, and they are trying to convince me not to run.
That is the present state of affairs in our community and you really cannot blame them. Our elected officials have not been at the forefront of many of the issues that we have had to confront throughout our lives. On the contrary, community organizers and we activists have been the ones to initiate the issues and only after did some politicians get involved. Of course afterwards they could claim credit and state that they were involved. However, the reality is that they never were. They just attended one meeting if that much, or wrote a letter or made a phone call on the issue. That minimal investment earned them the right to clean their conscious and state that they were involved and helped.
These recent arrests and scandals taking over the front pages of our New York dailies do not help many of us who have faith and believe that we could do a lot to help our communities. Therefore, I have decided to reach out to as many of the new candidates who want to join me on the steps of City Hall and denounce corruption and tell our communities to not give up hope, on the contrary to use that energy to help elect a new breed of elected officials.
The South Bronx has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the city and perhaps the country. According to a report by the New York Campaign Finance Board issued in June 2012:
The 2009 mayoral election in New York City yielded the lowest turnout since 1969 with only 29 percent of the 4.1 million registered voters casting a ballot.
Our democracy has to rely on the younger generation. A generation who tends to be less enthusiastic about voting. We need to do anything and everything we can to get them out to vote. These recent scandals in New York do not help; therefore, I will do what I can. This press conference is a start.