Yesterday evening over 150 people gathered, in the rain, to remember the students and teachers murdered at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and speak out against gun violence. We stood in solidarity with the brave students of that school, who have made it their mission to ensure that this horrific tragedy finally leads to meaningful change in our country’s gun laws. No students should ever have to fear for their safety when walking into their school in the morning and no parents should ever have to wonder if their children are safe when they put them on the bus. It is my hope that we are at a tipping point, where our lawmakers finally understand that simply calling for “thoughts and prayers” is not enough, as it does nothing to curb the scourge of gun violence facing this country.
I was asked to say a few words at the end of the program, a program of powerful speakers who addressed the easy access to weapons, condemned those unwilling to take action and questioned our leaders resolve in addressing this crisis. I focused my comments on our constitutional rights, and the fact they are not without limits. The First Amendment calls for freedom of speech, but we cannot legally yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater and place people’s lives in danger. The same is true for the Second Amendment. Reasonable limits to protect lives does not violate the Constitution and calling for such limits does not mean you do not believe in the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. Those unwilling to have these conversations, but instead hide behind “thoughts and prayers” and their fears of the NRA, have no business being in elected office. However, it will be up to us to vote them out… by coming out in record numbers in November.
In the meantime, it was a busy week!
It started with the Westchester County Democratic Breakfast, celebrating the 2017 election victories and the prospects (with hard work) for an even better 2018. It was a sellout crowd of Democrats now serving in elected offices across the County, as well as their ardent supporters cheering them on. It gives every candidate running in 2018 great hope for this coming November.
I was then off to say a few words at Voices Rising, the resistance/Indivisible group of Lewisboro. This was followed by the Up2Us “County Government Seminar” led by County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky. I then spoke at Indivisible Briarcliff before heading off to a Meet & Greet/Fundraiser at the home of Nalini Rau in Yorktown. They had the best homemade Indian food, a perfect event.
This past week included presentations to the Beekman (Dutchess County) and Southeast (Putnam County) Democratic Committees, being a guest on Blog Talk Radio’s “Westchester on the Level” (we will be doing this every other week until the election), attending County Legislator Catherine Borgia’s coffee with George Latimer, and the Empower You launch with Mayor Andre Rainy in Peekskill. Sunday included a rally against gun violence in White Plains, followed by an interview on radio/TV program, “In The Mix Radio”.
Our fourth Town Hall is coming up next Monday, February 26th in Yorktown. The focus is on Property Taxes and Infrastructure, a combination you might not realize go hand-in-hand. Click here to read some of my thoughts on the issue in advance of the Town Hall.
I hope to see you at next Monday’s Town Hall! And please don’t hesitate to reach out with any thoughts, ideas, or opportunities for the campaign.