Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Brewer for Manhattan Borough President 2013

dear Friends:

On my own initiative, I have to ask you to volunteer and/or contribute to the campaign of Gale Brewer for Manhattan Borough President. It has been a joy and a privilege to know Gale for several decades. Her enthusiasm, commitment, good ideas, follow through, leadership and love mark her as the best. In the sweep of time, I have had a life due to a meaningful lens knowing Gale

Decades ago as a Columbia CUSSW student intern, I negotiated a placement with the pioneering social worker in politics, Ruth Messinger. Gale was the Chief of Staff. Nowhere else could we have organized such an inclusive coalition and had actions such as sitting-in a local tavern marked for a massive rent increase, or doing laundry on the street to support another business. I think of the spirit of my social worker buddy, Hannah of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, who always showed for a demo. She would be so thrilled to know Gale imagined and created zoning to protect some small businesses. This community organizing took place whilst college senior Barack Obama was in the neighborhood and I somehow just feel he signed one of our street petitions.

In my 9 years working at Citibank, it was a pleasure to hear the thoughts of Gale during her graduate work at Harvard, and at City Hall. Those late 1980s/ early 1990s were tough years since so many of my friends were dying from AIDS. I look at the photos of parties and see the faces of men I loved who are now dead. Gale was always at my parties and I see the face of my wonderful friend Frans from Rotterdam who is now dead and how he loved her. A photo of him is in one of her campaign videos. From the 1980s, we all advocated for civil rights first routinely denied, In my 1990s doctoral study, some of my research on lgbt families was received well, but my advisor oft decried there are no such families. Thankfully, in the spirit of my friends and their families, Gale has always been part of the advocacy with marriage equality in New York shining as a beacon to the world today.

When I moved to Newark in 1999/2000, I still campaigned for Gale in her first race for New York City Council. It was incredible to meet so many interesting people as well as to witness her natural rapport with people on the street. On election day, 9/11/2001, my first thought was to phone Gale as all transit was stopped due to the WTC attacks. For years I would share that "where were you moment" at the start of each of my college classes in Manhattan. My moment included being blessed to have had Gale and my Mom to purposefully phone that scary and significant day in our history.

I do not know all the issues particularly since I am such a Newark person now. As I think about Barack Obama, I may even disagree on some points, but they make tough decisions, have a heart, and I trust their judgments. Gale is one of those rare people who always has something positive to share about others. I know of her caring from many shared friends and experiences with Ellis, Susan and Gail, Wayne, Muriel, Hans, Ann Schwalbach, the Hunter Scholars, some of my siblings, and others just in need. What a wonderful life so many have had knowing the spirit of Gale.

As you can read, I no doubt have total bias. I love the spirit of her campaign and know that she will be the best investment. Perhaps you can volunteer just to meet fun, involved folks with passion for our future.

Thank you so much.

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