We all assume that given the makeup of our constituency — i.e., largely Democratic — that we must therefore accept a failed teacher and general incompetent as our local city council representative.
For what has Eric Dinowitz to offer but his name, the scion of our local Assemblyman? What qualifies this person to represent the residents in our neighborhood? And what does he stand for in terms of helping our neighborhood address all of its myriad issues and concerns?
If we looked carefully at the campaign literature handed out by Eric’s “team,” it showed him fist-bumping a child while wearing a mask. Yes? And? What exactly does that mean?
No, Eric, we don’t want your version of “I stand for fairness and peace and justice and families, blah, blah, blah.” That is pure meaningless drivel. It is the expression of true mediocrity, one whose unspoken goal is obviously personal gain, not public service.
What are you doing — not just spouting platitudes — about:
• The lack of shopping in this neighborhood? Grocery stores other than two really awful versions of Key Food?
• The perennial abuse of commercial tenants by Friedland Properties, and the resulting poor quality of services resulting from this abuse?
• The departure of banking and a supermarket from population-rich Knolls Crescent?
• The absolute disgusting waste of local land in the present physical makeup of the Skyview Shopping Center?
• The acceptable redevelopment of the Johnson Avenue Key Food parking lot — a perennial waste of land resources?
• The defense of good union jobs at the Key Food in Skyview?
Stop just thanking the essential workers — why aren’t you proposing and pushing for affordable housing so that these essential workers can afford to live in our community and better serve our older residents in their own homes?
Home attendants are but one example of the growing need being unsatisfyingly met: Those people currently doing the job require a wholly unacceptable three bus trips to come to work. The diversity they’d bring would help stabilize the neighborhood, and actually help grow it.
And what about abuses emanating from the many bad apples in the 50th Precinct? The many bad apples whose animosity is front and center — their “us versus them” attitude plainly visible in how they respond to our community?
And don’t forget about protecting historical — but not necessarily legally protected — sites like Villa Rosa Bonheur.
You have not addressed any of these community-impacting concerns. Sure, your physical office on West 231st Street — Andrew Cohen’s old one — might answer a question about lack of a garbage pickup, or a hazardous wire hanging on a block, because all politics are local.
Mazel tov. Even an analog clock is correct twice a day.
However, the bigger picture is also local, and someone with leadership skills would understand this. They would have the vision and gumption to, well, lead. But when one’s head is only concerned with assuming one’s entitled place in the local pantheon of hacks, the bigger picture goes unseen.
Eric’s lack of insight into the bigger issues is fundamentally the result of entitlement: Selected by the old boys network of the Benjamin Franklin (non)-Reform Democratic Club — nothing short of a holdover from 19th century Tammany Hall politics here in the 21st century.
Good God, folks! We can’t do better than this?
To wit, how many poll workers got their “jobs” through their affiliation with the club? How many incompetents have this machine placed on the local elections board — which recently managed to screw up the first-time ranked-choice voting in our city? What other insulting and tax-wasting screw-ups are you responsible for that we don’t know about?
The two examples help demonstrate the glaring shortfalls of short-term thinking by those using the office. The very same office which is supposed to look after the community, but instead to use it as Andrew Cohen had — to only further their own personal political gains.
Eric’s motto may as well be: Keep things as they are, they work for us — past that, who cares? Those who aren’t part of the “us,” Eric, that’s who cares. Those who see the bigger and better things for the neighborhood other than the status quo. Not moving forward is moving backward.
The old corporate rule that mediocrity rises to the top is apt for these folks in the good old boys network. Eric Dinowitz, self-entitled inheritor of a political dynasty here in Riverdale, will eventually learn what Oliver Koppell learned — that there comes a point when voters say “enough is enough.”
To do that, fellow neighbors of our great neighborhood, we need to organize behind one candidate. Canvas and do a Bernie Sanders/Indivisible-style campaign to rid our neighborhood of such mediocrity. It is ultimately up to us. Even if we do a write-in campaign in November.
Who is going to step up and help lead us out of the morass of mediocrity? Who is ready to put community and neighborhood above personal ambition?
We can settle for 21st century Tammany Hall with our very own Trump-style Republicans here in Riverdale, masquerading as “caring Democrats.” Or we can send them packing.
The good old boys network is unraveling elsewhere in our great city. It needs to be unraveled here in the Bronx. The “Non-Reform Club” is running out of gas — let’s put the last nails in their nasty little non-inclusive coffin, and start building a better Riverdale for all of us.
Eric Dinowitz is most assuredly not the way forward.