Four Mayors

Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Noam Bramson, Mike Spano, and Tom Roach

I had lunch today with Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, and the new incoming Mayor-to-be of Mount Vernon, Shawyn Patterson-Howard. Our cities face similar challenges and opportunities, so it’s always useful to share notes, learn from each other’s experiences, and, of course, compare goofy selfie grins.

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Schumer in New Rochelle Calls For Robo-call Crackdown

Left to Right: Senator Chuck Schumer, Dierdra Clark, Diane Luftig, Roberta Dinerstein, and Mayor Noam Bramson

I was pleased to welcome Senator Chuck Schumer back to New Rochelle this afternoon. He visited the Hugh Doyle Senior Center to push for bipartisan legislation that would crack down on telephone scams and filter out unwanted automated calls. Here’s more information.

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New Rochelle Remembers

New Rochelle observes Memorial Day 2019

It was an honor this morning to observe Memorial Day in the company of New Rochelle’s veterans, First Responders, community leaders, and neighbors, as together we paid tribute to the men and women who have given their lives in service to our nation.

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Equality Act Approved by House

As a proud member of the Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination coalition, I applaud the House passage of the Equality Act, which will update federal law to protect all LGBTQ people from discrimination. Here’s more from the coalition:

The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government—to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The legislation also amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.  Additionally, the Equality Act would update the public spaces and services covered in current law to include retail stores, services such as banks and legal services, and transportation services. These important updates would strengthen existing protections for everyone.

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Protect Dreamers

Dreamers and TPS holders are our friends, neighbors and valued members of the New Rochelle community. Today, I am proud to join 500+ state and local leaders in urging Congress to pass permanent protections so that none of our neighbors will live in fear. Here’s more information.

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A Word About Pete Buttigieg

I met @PeteButtigieg last October at an inter-municipal conference in Detroit. I had heard gushing reviews about him previously, but assumed that the accolades were partially hype. I was wrong.

Seated around a large table with about forty other city leaders, including mayors of some of the largest cities in America, Buttigieg was the absolute stand-out. Every comment he made was thoughtful, relevant, responsive to the flow of the conversation, never contrived or prepackaged. He commanded the room with quiet confidence and without a hint of bluster or arrogance. I doubt anyone present had the slightest difficulty imagining him in the Oval Office.

Buttigieg’s resume is almost comically over-stuffed: Rhodes Scholar, veteran of Afghanistan, fluent in eight languages, concert pianist, author, accomplished municipal executive. And although it seems an odd word to apply to the youngest candidate in the field, Buttigieg strikes me as more mature than most of his rivals. Beyond mastering the details of public policy, he roots his positions and statements in a fully-developed, coherent worldview that is clearly the product of deep and original thought about the nature of our country and its challenges.

Buttigieg would be a formidable candidate in the general election, a stark contrast to Trump in every regard, and yet someone who won’t fall into the Trump playbook of schoolyard bullying. Buttigieg’s language and manner are relatable, persuasive, and elevating, and in our present toxic and exhausting political environment, his calm and warm rationality comes as an almost physical relief.

The Democratic field is shaping up to be the largest in history. Personally, I find all of the candidates at least acceptable (relative to the incumbent), and I could be enthusiastic about several of them, but only one has knocked my socks off. When we have an opportunity to elect as President someone so talented and so ideally suited to the moment, shouldn’t we take it?

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