Preparing for needed change


To the editor:

Riverdale, and the 11th City Council District, are in need of change.

The cynically timed retirement of Councilman Andrew Cohen resulted in the elevation of Eric Dinowitz to Mr. Cohen’s seat.

The son of Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz had been, for years, a minor player in the team that included — and supported — then-Sen. Jeff Klein, and thus has helped block, for years, necessary change in Albany.

Readers of The Riverdale Press will recall the seamy story of the Independent Democratic Conference — officials elected as Democrats, but functioning as Republicans.

The election two years ago of Alessandra Biaggi resulted in positive change in Albany, and a weakening of the old guard. A high elected official told me during the Biaggi campaign that while he was not happy with Sen. Klein, he is “our guy.” This person was saying that is how politics work in the Bronx.

That sentiment explains why our neighborhood — and our democracy — needs a change. Assemblyman Dinowitz has been helpful during the pandemic, but to see young Mr. Dinowitz achieve a full term on city council would be to sustain the old, crony politics.

A hard look at their websites show two strong candidates. Abigail Martin has strong experience in working with children, and has detailed ideas about policy. She would be a plus.

Mino Lora is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic whose family had lost everything in a hurricane. She came to New York, graduated from Manhattanville College, and founded the People’s Theatre Project — now in its second decade.

Her public work shows the rare mix of idealism and toughness we need in our politicians. Read more on her website. She has impressive endorsements on the local, state and national levels.

Mino Lora is part of a larger movement for open and responsive politics, and would come to office with the sort of allies that allow a new member of the city council to be successful.

Bronx primaries are known as fertile ground for incumbents, terrariums for the plants already inside. Electing Mino Lora would continue the revitalization that began when our community turned out, in huge numbers, to work for — and elect — Alessandra Biaggi.

Kip Zegers

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Kip Zegers,