“This win is particularly sweet. The WFP has been with Jumaane since the very beginning. Even before he ran for office, Jumaane was an advocate for those in need. Now he can champion a people's agenda of criminal justice reform, police accountability, fair and affordable housing, women's choice, and equality for all from one of New York City's biggest platforms. He's the Public Advocate New Yorkers need and deserve. This is another big victory for the progressive movement that swept away the corporate Democrats in the IDC and ousted Republicans from the State Senate. Tonight is proof positive that progressives in this state have never been stronger. We won't stop until we've built a New York that works for the many, not the few."
The New York Working Families Party is a people-powered political party that recruits, trains, and elects the next generation of progressive leaders, many anti-Semitic, pro BDS, most supporters and friends of noted anti-Israel activists like Linda Sarsour.
Republican Candidate, Councilman Eric Ulrich, showed a tremendous gain for Republicans by finishing in second place. Quite a feat, considering he was in a race with 16 other candidates. He ran on a campaign called common sense. Ulrich did several things that few Republican candidates of recent years were not successful at. He won parts of the Upper East Side Of Manhattan. He won the boroughs of Queens and Staten Island. This is a direct result of the economic success of the Trump administration, and as a protest to the growing progressive agenda failing in local and state politics in New York. For Jews, it was a response to the daily attacks on yeshivas, shuls and Jews young and old attacked on the streets for being Jewish.
Ulrich, as councilman, has a record of working with our community, our leaders and crossing the aisle to work with people like Councilman Kalman Yeager. He won the endorsements of almost every major Jewish publication, multiple Rabbis and organization leaders and was featured on COLive during a visit to the Ohel. Democrats like Dov Hikind endorsed him. He ran on the issues of school choice, standing with Israel and opposing BDS. Ulrich was a anti-Trumper in 2016, yet many “Trumpers” supported him. A moderate, Ulrich won the endorsements of all five borough presidents, the state chairs of both the Republican and Conservative parties, and many unions leaders and their members
Did we the Jews come out and support him? In small pockets, like in Kew Garden Hills. But, overall, no.
Brooklyn, Washington Heights, other parts of Queens and other pockets of Jewish communities voted for the Democratic candidates. Ulrich has been one of the most outspoken critics of the growing anti-Semitism and as Councilman is helping with supporting all necessary measures to prevent further acts of hate.
Why, you may ask? Voters were told by Rabbis involved in schools under scrutiny for below standard curriculums and poor graduation rates not to support him, and chose other candidates with questionable records of anti-Semitism. The education issue is dividing our young and old, our more modern Orthodox and our Machmir. Other voters are told to accept and like dependency on the government for food stamps and medicine that is being promised and offered by elected officials on the local, state and federal levels. Look how many Jews support Bernie Sanders because of this!
This is a big problem for our community. Jews still vote in the traditional patterns of fifty years ago. Many are ill informed about who is running, what their voting records are, and how to actually work together to have a voice and gain power. Did we really do the Jews of Europe any good by believing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt blindly when we now know how he could have saved so many European Jews from the gas chambers?
We had better wake up. Rabbis don’t have the influence they once had. Our young millennial generation doesn’t have the independence they once had. They have a shidduch crisis, divorce and childcare issues and financial dependency on families like never before. Our votes are less important. Many don’t have the skills for social interactions with people outside of their community or the skills to write a resume and interview for a job. Many of our young think that exchanging Instagram posts are the only news and facts they need.
Every other minority group has learned these skills from us and are better informed to gain clout in the business and political worlds. What are we doing to ourselves? The Rebbe taught us to be educated and engaged —and to learn our Torah AND practice our Halakha.
Jews are giving less time, donations and votes. Politicians know this. It will probably happen sooner than later that this “secret” becomes mainstream news headlines.
We, as a whole, don’t know the issues, the players and how our tax dollars are being used, despite the ability to research and learn the facts. We must also consider ourselves ONE, and not divided; religious versus no religious or learner versus earner. Not all religious Jews are Republicans, not all Reform and Conservative Jews are Democrats.
We had better learn who are our friends and who are our enemies —and soon!
One good result of Tuesday’s special election is that the public won’t accept racism, including connections to anti-Semitism and hate for Israel from the alt-right fringe groups growing in Queens and Manhattan, the way they accept nationally from the alt-left. Republicans and Conservatives have rejected the racist overtones and questionable leadership of a few wannabe politicians who use social media to espouse threats, personal attacks and lies.
Their candidate of choice raised no money, received no endorsements from respected public figures and he came in with under 1% of the vote. This is what happens when you choose to support the Lyndon LaRouche PAC, The Schiller Institute and align yourself with Neo-Nazis and hate groups.
The results of the New York Public Advocate Special Election are being watched closely in Washington as Trump 2020 is gathering information to move forward and at least a dozen Democratic presidential candidates are actively seeking support.
How much longer will President Trump and his administration support Israel if we show no appreciation and Jews vote Democratic?
The statement “I can be a registered Democrat in New York and vote for Trump” doesn’t work. Too many local politicians end up in Washington or Jews just don’t go out and vote. Worse yet, they get confused on who stands where on which issue.
Many changes are coming politically. Is the Jewish vote going to become irrelevant?
Ulrich tweeted “To be humble in victory and gracious in defeat displays a strength of character and a level of integrity. Congrats again to our next Public Advocate @JumaaneWilliams” the day after the election.
Jews need to be humble in their attitudes and gracious in working among themselves, with others who aren’t Jewish, learn who wants to represent them, get the facts on the issues on all sides, and like I have said about President Trump, “ Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
Just think, we have nine months to pick a new public advocate.
Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org