Robinson’s 2021 Albany Voters Guide

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is running for a third term. Opposing her are Republican candidate Alicia Purdy and independent Greg Aidala; and Valerie Faust as a write-in.

The Republican party, nationally, is a threat to democracy, and insane. Hence I reject all Republican candidates. Purdy has refused to say whether she voted for Trump. That alone disqualifies her.

Aidala is a professional comedian and entertainment promoter. Of his lack of political experience, his basic answer is “look what experience has gotten for us.” A facile posture. It’s easy to take pot-shots. Albany’s problems are complex and difficult.

I strongly supported Sheehan the first time. But her insistence on billing a protest group for police costs during a demonstration was a Russia-like outrage against freedom of speech. I’ve also lambasted her more recent handling of a protest at a police station. I considered voting for Faust in the primary until I heard her on the radio full of God-talk. I actually skipped the mayoral line in the primary. But will vote for Sheehan Tuesday as the only responsible option.

There are 7 propositions (on the back of the ballot). Number 1 concerns legislative redistricting. Here’s the story:

In 2014 Governor Cuomo promoted a supposedly non-partisan redistricting reform. It was a standard Cuomo sham. The “independent” redistricting commission was structured to guarantee its deadlock and failure, so redistricting would revert to the legislature after all. And the commission has duly failed. Tuesday’s Prop 1 is complicated but, long story short, would ensure a Democrat gerrymander.

“Gerrymandering” is when one party controls the legislative maps and can engineer, like, winning 70% of seats with 50% of votes.* It’s a bane of our politics, driving parties to extremes and promoting polarization. Nationwide, it threatens to give the Trumpist party control of the House of Representatives. A Democratic gerrymander in New York would help prevent that. Hence I’m voting for Prop 1. (Also, it seems if it doesn’t pass, New York’s redistricting would be thrown into chaos.)

Proposition 2 is the fake environmental rights amendment, which I’ve previously addressed.

Numbers 3 and 4 would allow voter registration at the polls on election day, and no-excuse absentee voting. We need this. (Number 5 is just technical.) Number 6 would create a residency requirement for Albany’s city council. I don’t see why we need this. Voters should be left free to vote for anyone.

Proposition 7 is very important, giving Albany’s Civilian Police Review Board some teeth. I’ve written about this problem before too. Lookit, we give cops weapons and empower their use against citizens. There has to be oversight and accountability, but heretofore it’s been sorely lacking. Police organizations are mounting a disgraceful campaign against this reform, trying to scare people that it will somehow make the city less safe. In fact it will make us more safe — from police misconduct. They also say it would put police oversight in the hands of “politicians” (who appoint the review board). Well, who should have oversight of the police? Their answer seems to be: themselves alone. Politicians are elected by citizens to perform such functions. The police — hired by us — should be answerable to us, through the political system. That’s how democracy works. Passing this reform is imperative.

* By cramming as many other-party voters as possible into a few districts, which they win overwhelmingly, so your party wins all other seats by just decent margins.

5 Responses to “Robinson’s 2021 Albany Voters Guide”

  1. Don Bronkema Says:

    1. Correct re cops. Where they rule: torture, gulag & diktat folo. Police Depts are magnetic to sadists.
    2. Never hurdov non-residential city councils. Maybe you meant ‘at-large’ as opposed to ward-based. Ikan hear the Paleoliths howling from DC: Carapace of 1832-37 UK Rotten Boroughs! Clarify or expect a mob at your door.
    3. Will Glasgow produce? Que piensa vuestra merced?

  2. Lee Says:

    Proposition 6, if it passes, means that gerrymandering can change the boundary of a district to exclude the incumbent (e.g., from the party out of power). I would vote against Proposition 6 so as to eliminate that mayhem.

  3. Don Bronkema Says:

    On the other hand, Glasgow will take us half-way to ecodise. Ovkorss, Manchin must be extracted from Energy Cte, think-you-not?

  4. David Lettau Says:

    Proposition 7 is much needed.As a retired correctional officer I can attest that law enforcement does attract some who are recreational sadist. As for Glasgow,I fear it will turn out like most environmental conferences. It will be what Simone Weil called, “A good without light”

  5. Don Bronkema Says:

    The class of billionaire swine has reached its aphelion, but will decline by force majeure [entropy] to ineluctable oblivion. Earth can be regineered via CRISPR, mNRA & proteomics, if we droids first apply CBT to assuage our despair. Mene, mene, tekel upharsin: the moving finger, having writ, moves on…

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