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Straight No Chaser: Category 63 Hurricane Lovely Made Landfall

Op/Ed By Gloria Winston –


gloria newWhile we all had our eye on the devastation Harvey, Irma, and the potential for damage Hurricane Jose might leave behind, in Rochester, Category 63 Hurricane Lovely made landfall, and left in its wake the political demise of those who had dreams of preventing this mighty storm from occurring.

Hurricane Lovely brought with it the kind of devastation that left mud holes in its path.

The results were similar to what happens after a Tsunami.

Are there any questions?

Even Bob Lonsberry, a journalist I’ve usually perceived to be a resident racist, and one with whom I seldom agree, admitted in his column, entitled “Lovely’s Vindication,” sentiments worthy of re-posting:

“If there are milestones in a politician’s career — and in the rise of a community — last night was an important one. Lovely Warren showed that she is not a fluke, she is not riding on anyone’s coattails, she is not just a candidate for blacks, she is not a downtown candidate, she is a citywide behemoth.”

“Though just 8 percent of the city’s population took part in the vote, and some two-thirds of those people cast their ballot for Lovely Warren, the number that counts is 63. That was the percentage of the vote collected by the mayor, and in our system — especially in a three-way vote — that is a landslide. It is a mandate. It is a thunderous win. It is a no-doubt-about-it romp.”

Lovely and her camp showed her critics what she’s capable of better than anyone could have possibly told them.

Brittany Wells is the mayor’s campaign manager, and she did an awesome job energizing the volunteers, and the community.

And, not to take any credit away from Brittany, but we all know who was also calling the shots and giving marching orders from behind the scenes – the king and queen maker, Lovely’s mentor and surrogate father, and my friend of over 50 years, Assemblyman David F. Gantt.

I also did my part to encourage the young folks to do the damn thing.

Color me an adviser, never a gatekeeper!!

And, thanks to Brittany’s organizing efforts, the community showed up, and showed out.

The community spoke to the mayor’s opponents loudly and clearly.

Just to drop some trivia on you, those who remember my modeling group, Spectrum Models, may also remember Claxton Wells, Brittany’s father, and how he used to steal fashion shows.

However, I digress.

Neither of Lovely’s opponents were ever qualified to present a challenge to her re-election.

Neither were they qualified to participate in the same conversation with such an intelligent, community-minded, sincere, gifted leader as Lovely Ann Warren.

I love the way her daughter, Taylor, looked up at her with such admiration, also.

Nonetheless, Broom Hilda’s sense of entitlement continued to be insulting.

I bet she wishes she’d paid her water bill now.

Hey, you ain’t Bill Clinton.

You don’t play the saxophone, and you get no pass, little girl!!

Her attempts to insult my mayor almost brought all of the Jefferson Ave. DNA out of her.

And, if you haven’t heard the remix, produced by Chad Bruce, you are missing a treat, and a serious laugh.

It should be nominated for a Grammy, in my opinion.

I also wonder how it feels to spend over $200,000 on expensive TV ads, and you still can’t muster at least 50 percent of the vote.

Mayor Warren’s opponents were always scandalous to me.

I know Lovely was being generous in debating them, but I told her I wouldn’t have given them the time of day.

Lovely was the ONLY candidate with a record.

Their strategy was to use her presence as a means to get their names in the media, because, otherwise, no one was paying any attention to their empty words and promises.

Now, you can both take several seats!!!

Bye Felicia, bye!!!

The team effort also produced wins for City Council President Loretta Scott, Willie Lightfoot, and Malik Evans.

I was ecstatic about those wins.

The community also supported Mitch Gruber over Dana Miller.

I am sad that Dana Miller did not make the cut this time, but he has no reason to hang his head.

He has served this community like the gentleman and scholar he is for 12 years.

In my mind’s eye, God has something special in store for him.

When one door closes, I believe another one is guaranteed to open.

I was sad, however, that Sabrina LaMar and Cecilia Golden did not win.

This community is stuck on stupid to have returned incumbents to a failing system.

The incumbents in the Rochester City School District deserve nothing but to be FIRED or RETIRED.

Personality should have nothing to do with selecting folks who have shown us repeatedly that our children, and/or their education, is nothing but a game to them.

Our kids continuing to fail should be our priority.

Why return the same individuals to office who have contributed to their demise?

And, we are PAYING them to do so.

I just don’t get it!!

I am an elections inspector, and have been for decades, for those if you who may not know.

As a result, every election reminds me of how much my community needs to be educated, and re-educated, about the process.

Some found out the hard way that if you were registered as anything other than a Democrat, or Working Family Party member, you could not vote this past election day, and you would only be allowed to vote in the general election, not the primary.

Some of the folks in our community found it cute to be registered as a “blank,” but they were more than sad to find out they could not vote on primary day.

There were people who protested loudly because they didn’t understand why they could not vote.

As a former political education instructor who worked with Willie Lightfoot Sr., the need for a new PERTO (Political Education Registration Training Organization) to resurface is more than apparent.

When primary elections are held, you MUST be registered to the party hosting the election in order to participate.

Some folks really just don’t get that!!

Civics courses are almost non-existent in the RCSD.

Some wanted to argue, and threatened to sue the election sites, when they were told they would have to wait until November to vote.

All I know is, like Jason Hart always says, “You can’t put a lampshade on a star.”

And, the next time Hurricane Lovely makes landfall, which should be around Nov. 7, you may need to find shelter.

A hurricane of this magnitude follows with Tsunami effects – and anything not anchored in reality will be swept away with the rest of the garbage and debris.

If you don’t bunker down, and you decide to stay in its path, then your devastation is guaranteed.

Let’s not lose sight of the prize.

I am with Lovely!! How about you?

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