To the editor:
(re: “Dinowitz sworn in, but challengers ready,” April 22)
I congratulate Eric Dinowitz for being elected to the city council, but as a fellow public school teacher, I question many of the choices that he and his father made in getting him into public office.
We all know the March special election happened because Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz made sure now-former councilman Andrew Cohen was nominated for a judgeship last fall. Cohen could have just easily been nominated one year later, which would have ensured our community had uninterrupted representation at city hall.
Instead, the older Dinowitz put the interests of his family ahead of the interests of the whole community, and we were left with no council member for more than four months — during a pandemic.
Eric Dinowitz knew last summer — if not much earlier — that a special election to replace Andrew Cohen would be happening in 2021. At that point, he could have taken a leave of absence from his teaching career before the academic year began. Instead, he chose to stay on, knowing full well that he would be leaving his special education students mid-year, during one of the most stressful periods in these children’s lives.
These past 14 months have been difficult for all of us, but even more so for our kindergarten through 12th grade students who have experienced major disruptions in their learning. And it is especially difficult for special education students who need more continuous and consistent support from their teachers.
When I heard Eric Dinowitz resigned mid-school year so he can pursue public office, I was furious. This speaks volumes to the character of Mr. Dinowitz.
As an educator, I cannot support Eric Dinowitz because he has shown complete disregard for his students after such a rough school year. The last thing these students needed was a mid-year replacement. He should have stepped down last June, which would have allowed the school to hire a full-time special education teacher.
Unfortunately, that would have meant Mr. Dinowitz would have had to put the well-being of his students over his political ambitions. Clearly, Eric’s needs and ambition must come first! This whole election was about putting the Dinowitz family over the people.
When Democrats go to the polls in June, let’s not forget the decisions our local elected officials made in order to advance their careers of their family members. It’s cliché, but true — sometimes actions speak much louder than words.