To the editor:
Can you hear me, Jeffrey Dinowitz? Because I sure couldn’t hear anything at September’s Bronx Democratic County Committee meeting.
It quickly became evident that you had wanted it that way. Thankfully, written word needs no microphone.
So real quick: My name is Cynthia. I’m 20 years old, and I’m a first-time county committee member. There were a lot of new faces at this meeting, and your impression was disheartening.
We came together as a county unit with the purpose of strengthening our Democratic Party, but your depressing attempts to strong-arm the more progressive members showed nothing but weakness.
Tell me, Mr. Dinowitz, why did you refuse to listen to the requests of constituent Samelys Lopez? Why did you selectively offer the use of the microphone to those you favored? In a ballroom so packed that even standing room became difficult, you lacked the courtesy to make the election accessible to those unfortunate enough to be out of earshot.
“Shouting doesn’t mean you get your way,” you yelled into the microphone. You ignored requests to democratize the process, and asked us to vote for a roll of names that we didn’t know.
It doesn’t matter how far left or central in our party one leans, most of us weren’t extended the privilege to know whom we were voting for. It was only hours later that, via someone’s social media video, that I even found out that Ms. Lopez was asking for the opportunity to let the candidates speak.
Confused committee members looked around with a sense of unfamiliarity and frustration. They couldn’t hear events transpiring, so they followed whoever they could hear. By only amplifying one narrative, it does an injustice to our democracy.
Disingenuous, dishonorable, disenfranchising, Dinowitz. Why are you thwarting attempts by our constituency to democratize the process of county committee? You hid behind the rulebook in terms of informing the “insurgent” members that any of their proposed rule amendments were to be made by the rules committee.
That’s not without reason nor merit, but you tried to cast them off when they made nominations for available positions as well. Committee members endlessly repeated that they could not hear those trying to speak before you even considered an attempt to remedy the situation.
You even managed to throw the rulebook at them and rebrand it as an agenda when someone expressed asking for an agenda that covered the events of the meeting. Let’s face it, there was no agenda, but you had one of your own.
We deserve better here in the Bronx, and we deserve fair and accessible elections. Hundreds of Bronxites took the time to come out and partake in our democracy, and were handed a fixed election instead. We’ve come too far and fought too hard for representation in our communities to have been stripped of this opportunity.
I’m not here to ask for your resignation from any office, county or state. I’m just asking you to do better.