Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘Brooklyn Centre’ Category

Ward 14 Town Hall Meeting

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending the first town hall meeting hosted by Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, her assistant, Maranyeliz Miranda, and her volunteers.  It was an enjoyable, informative meeting. I hope,as Ms. Santana said,it will  be the first of many.

This town hall  was a community forum with many city officials as well as non-profit advocates discussing housing issues and solutions with the audience.  This first forum’s participants included:

Special Guest: MetroHealth

Chief of Staff. Jane Platten.  Walter Jones, Senior Vice President in charge of campus transformation accompanied her.

Cleveland Build and Housing:

Ayonna Donald, Interim director Cleveland Director B & H.

Housing Partnership Network, FKA Cleveland Housing Network

Kate Monter Durban, Assistant Director

Neighborhood Housing Services

Mahria Harris, Director of Homeowner Services

Christina Keegan, Land Trust Program Manager

Cleveland Housing Court

Heather Meljkovic, Magistrate

Peter Hotchkiss, Housing Court Specialist

Community Development Organizations.

Metro West Development Organization

Keisha Gonzalez, Managing Director

Tremont West Development Corporation

Cory Riordan, Executive Director

Pastor Gordon Martin, Prince of Peace Outreach presided as facilitator and fielded the written questions from the audience. Since the topic was housing, he informed us  that all the other questions would be handled on-line since people had failed to add contact info to the questions. 

As always, there were a few in the audience who refused to believe that the rules applied to them and they shouted their questions from the floor. When Pastor Martin was unable to get them to understand that the written questions served two purposes-the question topic would be housing and that all others would be handled in writing on- line,  the councilwoman and he handled the impromptu questions quickly and efficiently so that the discussion on housing issues could continue.

There was a lot of useful information exchanged. The housing court personnel handled eviction questions as well as what the procedure is if you end up in court. 

“Who is the code enforcer?” was handled by Metro West’s managing director, Keisha Gonzalez and Ms. Arnold of Building and  Housing  who has  over 20 years experience both in the field and in management.

Ms. Gonzalez shared that Metro West conducts four Code Enforcement Area (CEA) studies a year. When an area  is chosen  for closer scrutiny a house to house outside inspection is conducted. These inspections are to identify potential Building and Housing violations before they become a problem for the homeowner when code enforcement kicks in.

If you receive a letter, call Metro West. There are resources that can help home owners. any people accomplished home repairs which alleviates anxiety and enhances their own quality of life as well as their neighbors’.

Ms. Arnold made everyone understand Metro West, Tremont West or any other CDC does NOT have enforcement authority.

Many questions centered around affordable housing and what programs are available to residents as well as the deposition of the YMCA building on Pearl. An added plus was Jane Platten from MetroHospitals who addressed the new transformation plan for the hospital and how those plans do not call for the displacement of current residents near the hospital. Ms. Platten was glad to be able to dispel the rumors at a public forum.

Rebecca Kempton and I recorded the meeting on Facebook live. It is available in two sections. If you are interested please take the time to watch it. There are two sections I and II. Click on  Gloria Ferris. Scroll down.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who participated in last night’s meeting, but most of all, to thank Councilwoman Santana for using the calls to her office as her basis for the Town Hall topic.

I look forward to the next one.

If You Have a Question about What and How to Recycle in Cleveland?

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One Simple Act Cast Sheet explains what is and what isn’t acceptable.

 

http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/OneSimpleAct

 

Reading the cover page tells you no need to bag your recyclables, just use the blue container.

Click on How to recycle correctly and there are the do’s and don’ts.

A few months ago we were told “no plastic bags” and  many neighbors including my husband thought that meant not to “bag” the recyclables in plastic.  I told them “no” plastic bags are not acceptable. We still need to take them to the grocery store. Now many grocery stores will not accept them.  We are trying to shift our thinking to toting organic and reusable bags back and forth to the market.  When we shop a the West Side Market, this is not a problem since we having bringing our own bags for 30+ years.

For some reason, we constantly walk out without them when going to Heinen’s.  Now, we are being overrun by the many options of “what to buy” when we forget. I am hoping that soon, very soon we can remember them. The other option is to keep them in the car, but then the car will be overrun with “totes.

 

Again,  here it is in black and white.  Plastic bags &  wrap, plastic toys outdoor furniture and PVC piping a re on the “don’t list.

Written by Gloria Ferris

June 14th, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Posted in 44109,Environment

Tagged with , ,

The Whys and Wherefores of “I Will Buy Your Insulin Test Strips”

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For months,maybe years, my husband Tim and I have been seeing signs plastered on utility poles that say “I will buy your Insulin Test Strips” around the neighborhood with a proliferation of them around the MetroHealth Campus.

Today, I finally thought to ask my Facebook friends to help me out with the reason why. Thanks to those friends and others I now know a bit more of the story behind the signs. It appears there is a black market for insulin test strips. Some diabetics may need to test 5 to 10 times a day to help them control the disease. It would be my supposition that some one needing to test that frequently may be what is called a “brittle” diabetic but may be not. According to my sources, it is not uncommon for these test strips to bring $1.00 a piece on the black market.

So, who sells these test strips on the black market? Apparently, many people do-relatives of people who have died, criminals who steal them from friends, neighbors and relatives who need them, and others who should use the test strips themselves but find the reselling of them too lucrative to pass up. Imagine my surprise to find out that this black market item is as lucrative as prescription  pain medications.

There is a bit of misinformation out there that I believe needs to be cleared up-“Medicare and Medicaid patients can get all they can use for free”.  I have a friend on Medicaid whose doctor requested that she get the number of test strips needed to enable her to test twice a day. Medicaid denied the request allowing her one a day. Now, Medicaid usually follows the lead of Medicare guidelines so although I do not KNOW what medicare allows or does not allow, I do know that not every Medicaid patient gets whatever amount they need and if I were a betting person I would probably bet that Medicare probably has strict guidelines as well.

I understand that Medical Mutual is a company that will ship strips, glucose tabs, and other testing stuff quarterly if you sign up for one of their programs and you dot the i’s and cross the t’s just so. I am sure other insurance companies have similar plans, but many of them, as some of my sources say, are very expensive.  There is also the option of going to the company involved directly. Pharmaceutical Company Foundations will often supply prescriptions and supplies to people who do not qualify for other help in getting the medications they need.

 

But back to the issue at hand, the unsuitability of these signs on utility poles in my neighborhood.  Kate Dupuis, an employee of the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office has declared war against the unsightliness of these signs as well as “Free Roofs”,”We Buy Houses Cash”, “Poor Credit, No Credit We Have Cars”.  Take a photo of the sign, its location, the utility pole number if possible, and email it to Kate at kdupuis@dscdo.org.  She is compiling a list to bring to the City so that action can be taken against the parties responsible.  There is a fine for each sign posted. If we can multiplying the number to make the fine significant, action can and will be taken.

Somehow, a black market for test strips seems so wrong given the recent event of a 36 year old man dying because he was unable to buy insulin when needed because his prescription expired.  http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/health/2015/02/11/emergency-insulin/23276399/  We live in a messed-up world, and it is up to us to change it.

Overused, but no less true .    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

–Margaret Mead

Written by Gloria Ferris

February 16th, 2015 at 8:41 pm

PUBLIC MEETING: Aragon Ballroom

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PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE

ZONING APPEAL

Aragon Ballroom

3179 West 25th Street

Thursday, January 22nd at 6:00 pm

At Lincoln West High School 3202 West 30th Street

Park and enter from the NORTH parking lot

The owner of Aragon Ballroom (Ali Faraj) would like to renovate the historic building as an event/conference center. The use will be allowed if it doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhood.

 

I would suggest anyone living near the West 25th corridor, whether it is close to the Aragon Ballroom or not, should attend this IMPORTANT meeting. Since this will be the FIRST MAJOR renovation along a street where MANY upgrades and changes are planned, we need to do this right and the COMMUNITY should be included.

Among other things to be considered is a PARKING variance. Rumor has it that already an agreement with Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the owners has already been struck. My question why isn’t the vacant lot on West 25th Street very close to the venue considered for parking? When the corridor booms a well placed parking lot should be in the mix, correct? The area surrounding the ARAGON is VERY residential and how will on street parking be handled?

If the seminars and business activities do not meet expectations, what type of “entertainment” will the venue book? What type of liquor permits will be requested? A lot of questions need to be asked and answered. Solutions need to be found for the community’s concerns.

An historic preservation of a building is only ONE of things to be considered here and should not be used as a smoke screen for the very real impact on the surrounding community.

Please consider taking the time out of your very busy lives to attend.

 

Written by Gloria Ferris

January 21st, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Second District Commander Sulzer Steps Down WHY???

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To Mayor Jackson, Safety Director McGrath,  Flask and Chief of Police Williams:

If your intent was to make the citizens of the Second Police District feel unsafe you achieved your goal.

Last night, I went to bed uneasy knowing that now when the drug dealing on both sides of my home becomes intolerable I no longer have Commander Sulzer to email to let him know about the increased activity both day and night. I am sure that replacement Tom Stancho is a fine and capable person, but you see it takes years to gain the trust of a community. We had a Commander who had the trust and confidence of his community built on years and years of serving us well. You don’t simply interchange that kind of person with another cog in the wheel.

Knowing that Commander Sulzer would use the information that I forwarded to him from myself and others so that we would again have a quieter, more peaceful existence was a constant reminder that we were safer and more secure with him at the helm.  He used the information we gave him to deploy his officers effectively and efficiently

This morning, I woke up before dawn realizing that I wasn’t as safe as I was yesterday because Commander Sulzer no longer leads our team of police officers who protect and serve my community.

You have taken from us a man who was a true leader.  He knew that being a policeman was much, much more than commanding his troops. He knew that enlisting the help of the community to be his eyes and ears was essential to our well-being as a community. He knew that working together was how we would all be safe and secure.  He made sure by being visible in the community and being part of our social fabric that we would continue our daily lives with a surer step- a little bit more confident that our decision to make Cleveland our community of choice was a good one because hw was a member of the team..

Yesterday, I had hope in achieving our community’s  goals because we had a very sturdy rudder to guide us through some, at times, pretty heavy seas. Today, my councilman Brian Cummins along with other leaders in my community are demanding some answers on why such a devastating decision was made that will harm our community. And, I no longer have the optimism and confidence I once had.

Unfortunately, in my heart I believe I know the answer to this devastating turn of events-politics. I have heard that the decision to demote a commander lies with the police chief.  I have no reason to believe that this decision was made any differently.  We will be given a rash of statistics and reasons as to why this demotion and disgrace of the best police commander I have ever known was a needed outcome of events in our community.  But, I say to you that Commander Sulzer is the best commander to ever serve in the City of Cleveland because former Second District  Commander Greg Baeppler ,who has always been my comparison when sizing up our police force, told me so.  I have always believed that Commander Baeppler speaks the truth, and through the years, I have learned for myself that his statement is true.

I am saddened to think that this decision was probably made for a much more personal reason than “the good of the community” although I am sure that crime statistics will be the official reason. Looking at statistics can be misleading and are  not a good way to evaluate the strength of a police force and its commander. Recently, I have seen reports of crime being “up” in the second district. Subtle hints in the media to show that we are not as “safe and secure” as we perceived,   targeted specifically for us to doubt ourselves.  Has anyone ever reasoned why this may be?  Could it be that more people report crimes because they are confident that something will be done, that their complaints are taken seriously, that the new way to deploy officers is to strategically place them in areas with more reports of incidents of crime works but only because people report crime?  Did the very rules devised to make us “safe” cause the one thing that will make us “unsafe”?    

Reasoned decision making and good judgment are traits that any good leader should have but are especially crucial for a police chief or those who choose that leader.  On the surface, the decision to force Commander Sulzer to resign and accept a demotion appears not to be seasoned, reasoned or based on sound judgment, so why was it made? Tell us.

The Second District community deserves answers and not only should one of our elected representatives ask, but all of our councilmembers should be asking this question in unison.  If it is one thing I know about my friends and neighbors, we will write letters, we will make phone calls, we will stage protests until we get the answers we deserve regarding the untimely and ill- conceived demotion of Commander Keith Sulzer. We will demand answers.

I will not go so far as to suggest that this decision should be reversed because heaven knows that takes a true leader who knows it is better to reverse a decision than to ride it down to the end.  Of course, when decisions are made by a “lame duck” administration it isn’t that administration that lives with them but the community that will be left to pick up the pieces.

Council leaders should certainly question why the Police Chief made this decision and demand concrete evidence to show why it was made. It is time for council to show true leadership and not allow a lame duck administration to continue to make decisions that will affect our lives long after it is gone.

Friends living in the 2nd District or anyone else who lives in Cleveland and cares about our relationship with our police force should call and express our thoughts about Commander Sulzer to the following people and numbers: Police Chief Calvin Williams 216-623-5005; Safety Director Michael McGrath 216-3716; and the Mayor’s Office 216-664-3990.

How strange that a few short months ago I worried that Commander Sulzer would be promoted to police chief and we would lose this fine man to the greater good. Never did I dream that we would lose him for  reasons that are so very wrong.

 

Musings of an Old Hippie

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Today, in a conversation Tim reminded me of this poem from my college days when he quoted “go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence” 

I still have a tattered copy in my desk drawer that I pulled out periodically and read when college life was overwhelming. I am wondering today why I ever stopped.  And yes, I still believe “it’s a beautiful world”.

desiderata – by max ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

Written by Gloria Ferris

November 8th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Brooklyn Centre,poetry

Tagged with

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

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Here is a bit longer commentary by Larry Cornett, posted to Facebook late this afternoon, Friday, September 27th.

Larry Cornett

At last report US EPA plans to cap Reed Park and remove most of the trees. Reasons given at the public meeting on August 26, 2013 and subsequent conversations included:
* It would cost money to save them.
* If a tree blows down, exposing the roots, subsurface contamination would also be exposed
* The roots of trees only extend 8” below the surface, and putting two feet of fill above the roots of the trees to cap the soil would deprive them of oxygen and eventually kill them
* Only a few people at public meetings focused on saving the trees
* Many of the trees are old
* Some trees are sick or dead
* Some species of trees are undesirable
* Some of the trees are not structurally sound and could fall on children

Most of the above rationales could be applied to trees throughout the city, etc. As a result it looked like the government was going beyond what is reasonable to try to justify the removal of most trees from the park to try to make their removal as part of the proposed remedial action more acceptable. That approach backfired.

A previous brownfields study in the park showed concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) above those acceptable for direct human contact in the fill material sampled to depths of 2’ or 4’ in most of the park. Three to six inches of grassy topsoil has been covering most of the surface of the park and subsurface fill material for about 50 years or more. Portions of the park are also covered with concrete or sand (in the baseball diamond). The topsoil was never separately sampled and analyzed to determine if it presents a significant risk from direct contact. Fungus and other microorganisms in grassy topsoil are known to destroy PAHs at a rate of 0.2% to 17% per month. Microorganisms associated with tree roots can also destroy PAHs. For details, see

http://www.academia.edu/2908115/Comparison_of_Trees_and_Grasses_for_Rhizoremediation_of_Petroleum_Hydrocarbons

.

Given the amount of time that has passed and natural removal mechanisms, it is reasonable to assume that the current surface topsoil (0-3” to 0-6”) have PAH levels at equilibrium with contaminant transport mechanisms from subsurface soil due to natural bioremediation. Until the topsoil, etc. are sampled and analyzed, no significant risk from direct contact with the soil at the surface of the park has been proven. Under the circumstances, sampling the top 3” of topsoil is needed to determine if direct contact poses a threat to public health, as alleged.

Yesterday, I spoke with Partners Environmental—the contractor that did the Phase II investigation of Reed Park (upon which US EPA has been basing its planning for remediation of Reed Park). He told me that at meetings with the City of Cleveland, the health department, attorneys, etc. Partners Environmental, informed them that Reed Park presented no immediate danger to public health. (This is in sharp contrast to what the City has been telling US EPA based on the Phase II study results) However the Phase II investigation did show a need to remove and rebury or treat contaminated subsurface fill material if excavated, where and when the City does any construction in most of the park. Partners Environmental proposed to the City of Cleveland that it provide a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and to help with specifications and bidding for the development of the park. They were not selected. Partners Environmental still has the key staff who were responsible for the Phase II investigation, and their experience could help EPA and their contractors avoid re-inventing the wheel in the development of an appropriate remedial action plan for the Park if hired to help in this work.

Under the circumstances, it would be appropriate to consider the configuration, past use, and plans for Reed Park and nearby areas:
• Divide it into appropriate operable units (including separate units for the baseball diamond, clusters of trees and major single trees in the park, areas where the City is planning construction within the park, homes on W 15 St, etc.)
• Take and analyze composite surface (0-3:or 0-4” from the surface) soil samples within appropriate operable units within the park and in nearby neighborhoods (subsurface sampling in nearby neighborhoods would also be appropriate)
• Determine where surface soil contamination levels are acceptable for residential land use in the park and release those areas for renewed public access and recreational land use
• Use EPA emergency response funding to remediate in those operable units where there is a significant hazard if the land use remains as is
• Remediate contaminated subsurface soil only
o Where surface soil contamination presents a significant risk to public health and the subsurface soil is significantly contaminated
o When and where excavation takes place in contaminated soil
For more details, see:

http://freindsofwcreedfield.ning.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/218610251634716/permalink/218663454962729/

Sincerely,
Claude Lawrence Cornett, Jr.
http://cornettenv.org/resume.htm

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 27th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

(1) Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

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Here is some ancillary material Larry Cornett posted to this coming Saturday’s Facebook event. I present it here so that it will be available on the internet for a long, long time. I think the reasoning here is incredible. Whenever federal money shows up, common sense, individual rights, and intrinsic values fly out the window.

Larry Cornett

US EPA currently plans to cap Reed Park and remove most of the trees. Reasons given for removing the trees include:
* It would cost money to save them
* Only a few people at public meetings focused on saving the trees.
* The roots of trees only extend 8” below the surface and putting two feet of fill above the roots of the trees to cap the soil would deprive them of oxygen and eventually kill them
* Many of the trees are old…
* Some trees are sick or dead
* Some species of trees are undesirable
* Some of the trees are not structurally sound and could fall on children
* If a tree blows down, exposing the roots, subsurface contamination would also be exposed
We need to have activists, ecologists, arborists, and others accompany the forester and EPA in the park on Saturday.
A previous brownfields study in the park showed concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) above those acceptable for direct contact in the fill material sampled to depths of 2’ or 4’ in most of the park. Three to six inches of grassy topsoil has been covering most of the surface of the park and subsurface fill material for about 50 years or more. Portions of the park are also covered with concrete or sand (in the baseball diamond).
The topsoil was never separately analyzed to determine if it presents a significant risk from direct contact. Fungus and other microorganisms in grassy topsoil have been found to destroy PAHs at a rate of 0.2% to 17% per month. Microorganisms associated with tree roots can also destroy PAHs. For details, see

http://www.academia.edu/2908115/Comparison_of_Trees_and_Grasses_for_Rhizoremediation_of_Petroleum_Hydrocarbonsn.

Until the topsoil, etc. are sampled and analyzed, NO SIGNIFICANT RISK FROM DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE SOIL AT THE SURFACE OF THE PARK HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED, although there would be a need to rebury or treat contaminated fill material that would be excavated where and when the City does any construction in most of the park.
For more details, see:
http://freindsofwcreedfield.ning.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/218610251634716/permalink/218663454962729/See More

Comparison of Trees and Grasses for Rhizoremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons

www.academia.edu

“Rhizoremediation of petroleum contaminants is a phytoremediation process that depends on interactions among plants, microbes, and soils. Trees and grasses are commonly used for phytoremediation, with trees typically being chosen for remediation

(1) Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

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On Facebook, Larry Cornett has publicized an event that deserves the participation of everyone who believes in the preservation of our commonly held assets, such as mature trees.

And while I’m at it, here is an intelligent article for your delectation and delight about the effect of trees on market values in a neighborhood: http://www.naturewithin.info/Policy/Hedonics_Citations.pdf

Please come join the tree dialogue in Brooklyn Centre this weekend. This is an issue that affects not only our neighborhood but all of our urban areas.

  • Saturday, September 28, 2013
  • 1:00pm until 4:00pm
  • W.C. Reed Park 1700 Denison Avenue
  • Please come! We need your help!
    US EPA coordinator James Justice has scheduled a walk through the park with ODNR Urban Forester Alan Siewert.
    1. Mr. Justice thinks because we didn’t focus on the trees at the Public Meeting therefore, they are not an issue….
    2. Mr. Siewert is a FORESTER not an arborist. He sees trees from a timber perspective not an environmental and ecological perspective.
    3. Mr. Siewert has identified 8 trees worthy of saving of the 61 trees in the park.
    WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need people there who have an environmental and ecological perspective as well as people who understand the value of urban trees to the beauty of a neighborhood. If you can, please come Saturday. If you can’t please give us arguments and reasons WHY existing trees and soil are good remediators for PAHS toxins and should NOT be removed from the park.

Walk with the Trees in W.C. Reed Park

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 25th, 2013 at 5:08 am

Proud of Ward 14 Voters for Supporting Their Candidates

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After an Election Day there is always a lot of “armchair” quarterbacking, and I have to say that in our ward it is no different.  Many are saying that 68% of voters voted against our sitting councilman.  I disagree.  The dedicated voters of Ward 14 chose the candidates they believe should make it to the general election.

We exercised our “right to vote” and now we have the two candidates who will face each other in November.  This is the American way.  There is a reason for the primary system.  I am proud of the candidates and the voters in the wards in our city where there were more than two candidates, and therefore, those voters had a “choice” to make. 

I strongly believe that the voters who cast a ballot on Tuesday or before did so not to vote AGAINST someone but FOR someone.  We need to remember why we have primaries and what they are meant to do.  They are meant to give us a choice of who we think will be the BEST candidate to represent us in a general election.

In this day and age of where we talk more about what we DON’T want rather than what we DO want, it is hard to focus on why primaries are a necessary and required part of our voting process. How else will we choose the two best candidates to represent us in the fall? In fact, I am appalled at the two major parties who choose an incumbent or one challenger while trying to discourage any other person from running because contested primaries are “costly”.  In my opinion, this control by the party system is killing our democracy.

It becomes ever harder to find young people who want to enter politics when all they see is the bickering and gridlock at the federal level in the august bodies of Congress. With partisan politics overshadowing the good work that happens daily, it is hard to get young people to vote let a lone run for office. At the state level, governance is hardly the profession young people would aspire to be part of  when the news stories continue to show that corporate and special interests are pulling the strings. At the local level, news media continue to choose those candidates they find newsworthy and the stories usually have a taint of “scandal” to them. Analysis pieces in the newspaper choose frontrunners early for what may be good reason, but how discouraging for voters to be told their vote means little if anything.  I wish journalists would stick with more  reporting and less analyzing.   

I said this a few weeks ago and I will say it again,  Ward 14 had four candidates who showed an eagerness to learn, an enthusiasm to run, and a passion to serve.  I only wish that more voters had turned out to choose.  The sad reality is if we do not “get out to the vote” and we do not exercise our right to vote then, some day we will look around and find we have lost that right.

I know in Ward 14 with candidates like Nelson Cintron, Jr., Brian Cummins, Janet Garcia, and Brian Kazy we will continue to move forward.  In this mix, we have two strong Latino voices as well as two other voices experienced in community organizing and development.  Together, these leaders can unite our community to be a force of transformation.

We have a community that wants leaders who move us forward and put the “old ways” behind us.  We have one thousand voters who made sure their voices were heard on Election Day.  Do we need more voters? Absolutely. Did we go out and vote against someone?.  Absolutely not. We went out and voted because we believed in our candidate. Many of us had a candidate who didn’t make it to the finals, but we should be proud of ourselves because we know what having “a right to vote” means.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 11th, 2013 at 1:21 pm