My son and I have been invited to speak at the Sierra Club endorsement of John Liu for NYC mayor on City Hall steps Sept. 3rd, 1-2 PM.
Some background. I have been a political activist since McGovern ran for President. Now I donated pennies to his campaign because that was all I had. But I remember wearing McGovern buttons at my elementary school in the heart of Nixon country (San Fernando Valley) and standing up to the threats of being beaten up.
In high school my friends and I discovered backpacking. In college I learned the scientific backing of environmentalism and I helped organize and teach a class called "Wilderness and Human Values" exploring our interaction with the environment. In the process I became a backpacking leader and I met some key environmentalists like David Brower (former head of Sierra Club), Dave Foreman (founder of Earth First), Sam Hinton (folk singer and Oceanographer at Scripps Institute) and the likes.
I discovered the scientific literature covering global warming. I have been following it ever since. Back then it was a scientific hypothesis predicting what MIGHT happen if we stick with business as usual. What strikes me is that every single prediction made by scientists 20-25 years ago is coming true right here, right now and impacting our lives today. Our political leaders did not listen to the scientists, they stuck with business as usual and our children will inherit the consequences of OUR mistakes.
This is why I (and my son on his own initiative!) am speaking in favor of John Liu for mayor of NYC. I know many on dKos are siding with Bill de Blasio, but my experience, as outlined by the NYT recently, is he is all talk and no action, so he is not really on my list of people to support. By contrast John Liu has done amazing things as Comptroller, weeding out large-scale corruption in our city that the previous Comptrollers and Mayor Bloomberg completely ignored. In the process he saved our city billions of dollars.
At the same time, as the NYT emphasizes, Bill de Blasio as Public Advocate said many things but did nothing.
Quinn and de Blasio are the front runners in this race. To me they both are basically an extension of Bloomberg. Quinn is basically honest about this. Bill de Blasio tries to hide behind a facade of progressive stands that he NEVER has actually done anything about, so he tries to separate himself from Bloomberg but I see absolutely nothing he has done in office that opposes Bloomberg. Even when it comes to Bloomberg's third term de Blasio supported it strongly before he backed off and opposed it. He is an opportunist whose default is Bloomberg policies unless he feels he can capitalize on opposing Bloomberg. I do not trust him.
ALL of the major candidates have scandals to their name. Bill de Blasio's campaign was caught up in a major campaign finance scandal that forced his campaign to return money because of violations to campaign finance laws and then charged him $20,000 in fees. He gets away with this massive scandal. Quinn has several City Council scandals where she threatened people who didn't support her with retribution when it came to public finance and she is getting away with it. So far Quinn seems to get away with this scandal. Liu's campaign (not Liu personally) seems to have made some short cuts that led to a scandal. But the amounts and the problems are less than what we see for de Blasio and Quinn. I don't like what Liu's campaign did, but it seems far less corrupt than what de Blasio and Quinn have done. We have found Liu far more honest in his fundraising than any other candidate we have ever dealt with and we are not easy on this issue. So from what we can tell, Liu remains the MOST honest of the candidates AND the the candidate with the best positions.
My son, my wife and my son all approach life as scientists. We all strongly feel that John Liu is BY FAR the best candidate for mayor. This is based on our scientific background and our environmental background AND because we are very familiar with the supposed corruption among ALL of the mayoral candidates. Sal Albanese is the ONLY mayoral candidate who has NO accusations of corruption that can stick. ALL the other candidates have such accusations. From what I can see, John Liu does better than the rest of the lot.
Bottom line is this: John Liu did an amazing job as Comptroller (no one debates that!) and has all the ideas to extend that to mayor. No other candidate (other than maybe Albanese) has the ability to take NYC into the future.
Quinn, de Blasio and Weiner have all basically proven themselves to be Bloomberg Democrats and have to date supported ANYTHING developers demand of them. These three will be variations on whatever developers want.
Thompson is an old school Democrat who will basically support ideas from 10-20 years ago.
Sal Albanese and John Liu have, in different ways, very logical and clear ideas of where NYC has to go for the future.
We support John Liu because he has the intelligence and energy to face the impacts of global warming that NO OTHER NYC POLITICIAN has been willing to address.
If you want to hear my son and me express this support, please join us for the Sierra Club endorsement of John Liu for NYC mayor on City Hall steps Sept. 3rd, 1-2 PM.