Editorial: Hip Hip Hooray for Howard Beach & Ozone Park

It might seem unlikely that anyone could be happier about Hakeem Jefferies victory over Charles Barron than Hakeem himself, but were there a true measure of such sentiment it may very well be that the writer of this very selection would be a clear winner in that contest.

To begin with Howard Beach and Ozone Park, you need to be commended––regardless of what the outcome of the election was.

Months ago we warned you right here on this very page about the dangers we would face as a community were Charles Barron to become our Congressional representative.

In the weeks that followed and leading up to this election, several other media outlets strongly encouraged you to support Hakeem Jefferies and you did.

Overwhelmingly Howard Beach and Ozone Park listened and took action to protect themselves and their neighbors from the travesty that would have been, with a different outcome in this contest. Thankfully, the voice of reason and wisdom has won out in this election and hopefully we are on our way to better days.

But let’s just look for a minute at how dangerous and risky elections like this really are here in New York City.

First of all, in a time and place where voter turnout, or more likely, the lack of it, is such an influential factor in determining the winner of consequential political contests, surely it makes sense to abolish the whole notion of not being able to vote outside your party in a primary.
And let’s face it, an unstated political truth of campaigns is that you can win an election by discouraging people from voting almost as easily as you can by convincing people to get out to the polls and vote for you.

Clearly we need to push for legislation that will bring about change to the parameters surrounding your vote. We have to try and close off the loopholes that prevent us from exercising the right to vote to it’s fullest.

Why is it in other states, they actually make it easy for you to vote while here we are so bogged down with regulation that nothing that appeals to the potential voter to actually participate.

We realize we’re always tooting the same “You’d better get out and vote horn,” and now to add to that, we’re gonna ask you to start talking to your elected officials about what we can do to bring about modifications to the restrictions on voting.

If we learned nothing else from the race in the 8th Congressional District and others like it, we should at the very least have a clear picture about how valuable every single vote is and why everyone who is legally permitted to vote should be allowed to vote for everyone legally permitted to run.

In the meantime if you live in the newly formed 8th Congressional District, everytime you think you’re having a bad day simply close your eyes and say to your self three times quietly, “Charles Barron is not my Congressman.”


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