To the editor:
State Sen. Jeffrey Klein’s failure to show up to the town hall sponsored by Northwest Bronx Indivisible and the League of Women Voters last Sunday was more than just a disappointment to the 110 voters who came to hear the candidates in the Democratic primary for state senate — it was a failure of leadership.
Our country is under a cyber attack — an attack on the machinery of our democracy. This is an attack that requires a response not only on the national level, but on the state level as well, because it is the states that are responsible for our voting systems. We need courageous leaders on both the state and national levels to defend us against this attack.
Sadly, by failing to participate in the town hall, Sen. Klein has shown he does not have the courage we need in our leaders today. The excuse given in the written statements from his office — that he was busy campaigning for another candidate in a different district — was transparently false. It is clear that he simply was afraid to face an audience he expected to be unfriendly.
The organizers of the events went out of their way to make sure it would be fair to Sen. Klein. They engaged a highly respected professional moderator, Gary Axelbank, who has filled this role at other events in which Sen. Klein has participated. Audience members were required to write their questions on index cards so the questioning could be closely controlled. Signs were prohibited.
Still, Sen. Klein was unwilling to meet his constituents.
If Sen. Klein is afraid to confront challenging questions from the voters of his district, how will he have the courage to confront those who are attacking us?
Sen. Klein denied us the opportunity to hear his answers to our questions. But by being a no-show, he has answered the most important question of all: No, he is not fit to be our state senator.