A sad truth about the state of mainstream America is how ignorant people are of politics. It seems like many base their opinions solely on what they hear from the evening news and local papers. Since a vast majority of news stories appear to portray politicians as crooked, it’s no wonder why so many citizens fall prey to believing that all politicians engage in criminal behavior. The news industry is a for-profit business that thrives by focusing on stories on the negative aspects of society to feed America’s lust for stories of wrongdoing. Due to the unique power and influence that politicians hold while in office, they provide constant fodder for news stories about how they abuse that power. This portrayal of all politicians as people who engage in illicit behavior has permeated into the American psyche. I have personally seen these sentiments repeated countless times while reading people’s comments about their local leaders in social media groups with the repeated phrase, “All politicians are crooks”.
As a community activist who has worked with a number of political leaders, I can honestly say that the above is untrue. I personally know on a first-name basis two state senators, three city council leaders, and four assembly members. I have spoken and interacted with them and have spent time working with them on community projects and events. Of the nine leaders I know, only one has done something that would be considered illegal behavior. The rest are decent individuals who have a good track record of working in the South Brooklyn and Staten Island communities. I can attest to the fact that many of them care about making their communities better places to live through their leadership.
While my personal experiences working with these nine leaders may be a microcosm of greater American society, these experiences alone refute the common generalization that all politicians are crooked.
If you are still unsure of my statement, I challenge anyone reading this to get out there and start volunteering with their local leaders to find out more about them while improving their community. You will soon see with your own eyes and ears what kind of people they really are. I have and I was pleasantly surprised.
Leaders I Know:
State Senators – Marty Golden, Andrew Gounardes
City Council Leaders – Mark Treyger, Justin Brannan, Ari Kagan
Assemblymembers – Mathylde Frontus, Michael Cusick, William Colton, Pam Harris
Candidates I know:
Michael DeVito, Steven Patzer, Amber Adler, Whitney Hu, Erik Frankel, John Luisi, Angela Kravtchenko