The decision for Tom Murphy to run for Mamaroneck Town Supervisor misses the lessons of history by reducing the different voices that speak and debate while ruling. The Democratic Party in Mamaroneck Village and Town has gained dangerous positioning, and we as voters need to take that into account.
We cannot have one dominant political party define and negotiate the social and economic terms because they would then control the results. We cannot have one governing party with the conviction that every disagreement has only one resolution, theirs.
I am well aware of the elasticity and clever language that English provides us. Attempts to speak to us about how even inside one political group there are debates, still filters out to having only one voice in power.
I recall how in 2001 we received flyers, required by “Megan’s Law.” I was troubled by the category “Not Hispanic” under the picture of the “sexually violent predator.” The face was someone who was certainly Black, so I became curious. He was also not Greek, Italian or Irish! After I was unable to secure help from local and private actors and advocacy groups, Hon. Valerie O’Keeffe wrote a letter to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), objecting to that ethnicity selection. On April 4, 2002, the DCJS counsel responded that the only authorized entries in the ethnicity field are Hispanic Origin, Not of Hispanic Origin and Unknown.
I recall July 30, 2004, when a Republican trustee said, “He would never support printing government documents in other languages in Mamaroneck … It is a disservice to immigrants when we change this country’s ways to accommodate them.” Again, I could not gain support from any local advocacy group to mobilize against those words, so Valerie helped me write a rebuttal to the newspaper.
Valerie, less than two years ago, performed a wedding in my home for a Latino couple that many officials would not have helped.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s most famous speech was said on March 18, 1968 in Memphis. A few days later he was murdered. He spoke about the dignity of man. Valerie’s life has been dedicated to the dignity of man and their labor. She stands alone in our community.
This may be the first time a community of non-voters will help elect someone to a public position. Already I have gathered close to a hundred signatures from the Latino communities asking us voters to support Valerie. As of now, in this village I have become a Republican.