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Straight No Chaser: Tell Them What You Really Think, Gloria

Op/Ed By Gloria Winston


gloria newNovember is almost upon us, and, electing the next president of the United States is a decision that we will have to live with for at least four years.

But, who will it be?

Because of the choices we have been left with, some are threatening to not vote at all.

Others are claiming they have been left with voting for the lesser of two evils, which suggests evil is a large part of the race to the White House.

Hopefully, we all know what a mistake and an embarrassment it would be, if Donald Trump managed to reign supreme.

Personally, I have nothing against Hillary, and will vote for her, however, I have to admit I was feeling the Bern; mainly because I am sick and tired of political dynasties, and politicians who have come to us with a sense of entitlement.

As a woman, I am more than proud of Hillary, and I respect her resume, and her ability to overcome adversity.

Therefore, staying home, and not voting, is not an option for me, nor should it be for anyone who looks like me, and understands their history.

All it takes is to recognize and respect those who came before us. Those who died, and shed blood, sweat, and tears in the trenches just to give us the right to vote.

We always need to exercise that right.

However, ultimately, my main political concerns lie with local races.

The ones we still, as a people and as a community, need to educate ourselves about.

As a community, local politics is where we are truly impacted.

Local politicians have seldom been held accountable, and, as a result have a tendency to think it’s ok to go along to get along.

I often get calls from folks who ask my opinion about local politicians.

And, I have my share of opinions, as most of my readers know.

So, this election cycle, I’ve decided to publicly make recommendations regarding what I feel we need to do collectively, as a community.

This election cycle, I’m going to make a career move by targeting the “fantastic four” on the City Council.

The four who made the mistake of following the lead of a person who has perceived she is untouchable in the political arena.

I believe there are FOUR on the city council who should be replaced as soon as their terms end.

I do not respect disloyalty, or those who’ve claimed to have the community’s best interest at heart, when they are in fact selling us out, and speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

If you don’t support MY leadership, I can’t support you; it’s as simple as that.

The fantastic four, namely, Elaine Spaull, Matt Haag, Jackie Ortiz, and Molly Clifford seem to be walking in locked step lately, in case you haven’t noticed.

However, they are not in the majority, and have failed to support the majority when it comes to community concerns.

In my opinion, their failure to support my mayor is prejudiced at best.

Therefore, they need to be FIRED and/or RETIRED.

Matt Haag and Jackie Ortiz are council members at-large, which means they represent the entire city, and they don’t represent any one specific district.

We need to make sure this is their last term.

As potential candidates for their positions, I am asking Avery T. Blackman, Howard Eagle, Sabrina Lamar, Sirena Cotton, and Wanda Ridgeway to give serious consideration to challenging those seats.

I trust any of them would always have the community’s best interest at heart.

Yes, I know Howard Eagle has wanted to be on the school board, but my recommendation comes with a strong sense that he might best serve this community on City Council.

I suggest he follow Ernest Flagler-Mitchell’s lead.

Ernest lost his bid for the school board, and then wisely changed direction.

Personally, I feel the school board should be dismantled completely.

I often wonder if people have really thought about what we are paying these “commissioners” to do, and why.

If Howard was successful in getting on the school board, I believe he would find himself in hostile territory.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

On the City Council, I believe he could become a member of the majority, which is already in place.

Look at the city’s graduation rates, and ask yourself what the commissioners have been doing besides collecting a free paycheck.

Recently, I was told that, out of the 180 or so seniors at Wilson Magnet High School, only 75 were eligible for graduation.

If that is true, it is scandalous!!

The stats at other high schools in the city are probably not looking that good either.

And, the one voice the community we used to be able to count on may have been silenced with a title.

It appears as though Cynthia Elliott has been either bought and paid for with a vice presidency, or the lawsuits that have been brought against her have left her ineffective.

She was one of the last people I walked the street and knocked on doors for, and I am more than disappointed with this change. I heard from my cousin, Gladys-at-the-swap-meet, that she is another person who has been grinning in the mayor’s face, but slicing and dicing her behind her back.

I can’t say for sure, but I have heard this more than once.

As a result, I seek to remind ALL politicians I whom I have worked and voted for, to read the fine print when you receive my vote.

I WILL hold you accountable.

But, I digress.

We have three years to groom a candidate to replace Council Member Elaine Spaull, who currently represents the East District.

We need to identify someone who lives in that district to run against her, just in case she thinks she is going to be in that seat for life.

In three years, the same will go for Molly Clifford, who is the status quo representative that has taken her act to City Council, and successfully placed a ring in the noses of the aforementioned.

She is their leader, instead of the City Council president.

We also need to rally and support LaShana Boose-Stanford, who only lost to Molly by 13 votes.

We have three years to strategize; plan to take over committees; and take them both out.

We can do this folks.

Stop calling press conferences, and having ineffective public meetings, with no real agendas on record.

Let’s get busy!! We have come a long way baby, but we have so much further to go. Did I tell you what I REALLY think??  Stay tuned, there’s more to come, for sure.

Gloria Winston is a Community Activist, Writer, Communicator, and Political Activist. She is a native Rochesterian and has been involved with numerous community organizations in Rochester. Contact Gloria at:

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