Voters need more info for primaries
More public information needs to be made available to the residents of Schenectady as we quickly approach the Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 23.
Gone are the days when the Schenectady Democratic establishment will cruise to victory on Election Day without a Democratic primary challenge.
We have seen evidence of this in recent years in hotly contested races for city council, mayor and the county legislature.
With that in mind, we have a contested state Senate seat up for grabs this primary season.
In February, Thearse McCalmon announced her candidacy for the 49th district to challenge Republican Jim Tedisco. Well known for her near Democratic primary victory against Mayor Gary McCarthy, she kicked off her race with name recognition and credibility. Then, in May 2020, the Schenectady County Democrats endorsed Donovan McRae, who moved to the Capital Region in 2018.
Why, you might ask, would the county Democrats not endorse McCalmon, who purchased her first home in Hamilton Hill in 2003, is an educator and mother? I will not speculate here, but I will encourage all the registered Democrats in Schenectady and beyond to seek out information and articles on this race. Maybe The Gazette will write one, too?
Cartoon appealed to stereotypes
I am currently reading a book called “Dog Whistle Politics,” by Ian Haney López, which describes how politicians (mostly Republicans, but some Democrats as well) have used coded racial appeals to stir racist fear in white people in order to get elected. The editorial cartoon which appeared in the June 9 edition of The Gazette does not even bother with a coded racist appeal. Its depiction of a black man (wearing a hoodie of course) robbing a white woman is so obvious and blatant in its racism that no decoding is necessary. It also tries to tap into the oldest of racist fears: that black men will attack white women.
The cartoon is implying that it is only people of color who are in favor of defunding police departments (not true as there are many white people who are in favor of this as well) and that a benefit of this defunding would be that black people would be free to commit crimes against white people without fear of reprisal from the police. I understand that The Gazette wants to be fair and equal in printing editorial cartoons from both liberal and conservative perspectives. However, in addition to misrepresenting what defunding the police means, this particular editorial cartoon crossed the line of decency with its clear and abhorrent racist appeal.
Grateful for work of retiring educator
I wanted to send a great thank you to a retiring teacher from Schalmont High School. Her name is Michelle Freeman and she has taught science classes in the high school for many years. As a past school board member, I have the utmost respect for this great teacher. For the 10 years I served on the school board, we always had a top 10% reception honoring the top 10% of each graduating class every year.
These students would invite a teacher or person of choice that had mentored them or helped them during their school career and would honor them at this reception. I can honestly say that Michelle Freeman was chosen by students every year.
It was always refreshing to see the relationships she created with her students which last a lifetime. Also, I would like to give a special thanks to all the teachers who are adapting to teaching remotely during these trying times. Education is so important I can’t give enough thanks to our teachers.