Op/Ed By Gloria Winston –
Pardon me while I get another cup of coffee. I just read the overdue platform of mayoral wannabe Jim Sheppard, and, not only am I in pain from laughing so hard at someone’s attempt to make him sound intelligent, his proposal almost put me to sleep.
He needs technical writers, badly.
Someone should also advise him that a candidate’s well-written platform would NEVER mention his or her opponents by name.
That is a political no-no, but you would probably have to have political experience to know that.
At any rate, recently, he decided to release the document on the steps of City Hall that he should have had in hand the day he announced he was running for mayor.
Even more interesting than the insincere words he muttered during his press conference, since public speaking is also not one of his strengths, were the community members who gathered to show their support.
It appeared to be a handful of trade unionists who were ALL men.
There was one female present, in addition to the candidate’s wife.
And, from what I could determine, these men have a history of representing unions that fail to hire black and Latino people from our community.
These are folks who have tried every trick in the book to keep black and Latino residents off their payrolls, and out of any well-paying jobs they might land.
They have been in an ongoing fight with City Hall recently, so I guess they want to make sure Sheppard is elected so he can work with them to keep their hiring practices the same.
Unfortunately, with their money and support, he would not be in a position to do anything to promote community hiring if elected.
And, those present, with the exception of one person I was able to identify, don’t even live in the city, so they can’t even vote for Sheppard.
As far as public safety is concerned, Sheppard’s platform states that Rochester has a violence problem.
Wow!! How enlightening is that?
He restated the problem, but never really offered what he actually plans to do about eradicating violence in our community, although he suggested, of course, that our incumbent mayor and current chief of police are doing nothing at all.
Sheppard also suggested that jobs would not be created unless he becomes mayor. What a joke.
He’s clearly outlined in his proposal the efforts that are already in place.
And, the current mayor’s practices have not only increased job opportunities, but the city’s level of support for small businesses.
Apparently, Sheppard is very confused about the facts, and, again, he failed to outline HOW he would change the way business is currently being done in the city.
Sheppard has also feigned concern about neighborhoods and housing in his proposal, even though, according to records, he not only has the reputation of a slumlord, but he is more than hypocritical, since city-living is a new thing to him.
Similarly to his other concerns, this also seems to be a concern he’s only recently acquired.
By comparison, our current mayor has been a lifelong city-dweller, and her interest in our community is genuine; she did not just acquire it when she decided to run for mayor.
Sheppard also fails to list the steps he plans to take “to ease the burden of structural poverty.”
His fighting poverty platform, as written, seems to take personal potshots at the current administration, minus outlining any legitimate solutions.
Maybe he does not recognize the current partnerships that exist between several organizations and City Hall, amongst groups that are already engaged in the fight.
His platform regarding education and youth is also a farce.
This from the man who was locking up youth with no bells on their bicycles, as opposed to educating them. This from the man who ultimately declared war on young people, when he had the power to embrace them lovingly instead.
Sheppard has also made it sound like City Hall has not worked in partnership with the RCSD when it has, and still does.
Ultimately, his full platform has done no more than restate what we already know, and I could not find one solution, or one plan that outlined the steps he would take to impact any of his so-called areas of concern.
So, if this is what we have been waiting to read since January, it could have stayed in his computer for all the good it will do him or his campaign.
Do your self a favor Jim, and educate yourself about what a true mayoral PLATFORM should look like, because the one you’ve released is far from it.
It lacks substance, just like you do.
And, there was one area of concern you failed to mention in your PLATFORM.
Many in the community can’t wait to hear how you feel about women’s issues and domestic violence.
We all know you are only running for mayor because you are a disgruntled, former city employee who really wanted to remain chief of police almost four years ago.
You have been angry ever since our current mayor failed to appoint you to the position.
However, you were the worst chief of police on record, and you are doing no more than spinning your wheels.
I have outlined my personal experience to the point of exhaustion, but I will never forget how information I shared with you personally found its way to the drug dealer I was reporting and complaining about, as I recall. Never. You are not only not on my list of people that can be trusted, I don’t believe you are qualified to be a dog catcher.
You also have no respect for the political arena, based on the fact that you’ve just recently decided to register to vote, and to participate in an election.
Tell me, honestly, would you be running for office if the mayor had kept you on as chief of police??
Your platform is a joke, and so are you. Go somewhere and sit down, and take care of your character flaws. You will never be mayor; it takes integrity, or haven’t you noticed?
(Disclaimer: The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)