To the Editor:
In the fifteen years I have lived in Croton, I have assiduously avoided local political involvement. Now I am running for office here in the Village, and I am full into the local political “scene.” I did not fully know what I was walking into, and this letter may be the most important one I write.
Words have power, and to me, those involved in politics are supposed to be “leaders.” We must model ways to express ourselves, both verbally and in writing. We must show people how to respectfully disagree.
In the last few years there has been public expression, in the name of politics, that has caused hurt and distrust between people in this village. Because I am a first-time candidate, I know the history, but I did not personally live through it and was not personally affected by it. Therefore, it’s easier for me to say: Our opponents are not our enemies, but our neighbors. Whatever we have to say, the most important thing is the way in which we express it.
I have been a criminal defense attorney for 35 years. If I can find respectful ways to defend murder cases and speak to juries and judges, then I figure we can find ways to discuss taking care of this village.
Nonetheless, we also have a duty to tell the truth to the voters. We can disagree without being disagreeable, but we must be able to clearly articulate and discuss our differences on the issues. And truth must be spoken. I ask for more thought, more waiting before responding, less reacting and more leading. This is the only way our Village can have the level of discourse that it deserves.