Posts Tagged ‘voting’
Election season is all about unity. It is a time when all Americans, regardless of race, gender, or religion, gather to vote for individuals who will best represent their communities. Some of the candidates running for office are elected officials we’ve known for years. These politicians have become household names, making us feel both comfortable and safe. Then there are the candidates who come from nowhere, the candidates who reignite sparks of hope in all of our hearts, and make us believe that change is possible.
The election season in Brooklyn is no different. As a borough with one of the most eclectic mixes of ethnicities in all of America, voting for representatives is very important to its inhabitants. The parents of many of the Italian-Americans, Asian-Americans, Russian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, and African-Americans that will be voting in the Brooklyn polls were once immigrants, making voting incredibly symbolic. Many of the candidates themselves stem from diverse backgrounds, having parents who emigrated from all over the world. Brooklyn is a melting pot, and its elections prove it. Most of the candidates in the Brooklyn elections run to help their communities and its people in unprecedented ways. This is the American dream, and they have grabbed it by its horns.
“I have always been one who believed that politics is a vehicle to make a difference in the lives of people,” State Committeewoman Olanike Alabi told Patch.com. Alabi is running for reelection for State Committewoman/District Leader of the 57th Assembly District, which includes the neighborhoods of Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, and parts of Prospect Heights. She is running against two opponents in the upcoming September 13th Democratic primary – male Democratic District Leader Walter Mosely and former State Department of Education official Martine Guerrier.
Alabi, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, has worked really hard on behalf of her community. She is a pioneer in social justice reform and is a strong advocate for the labor movement. She gives back whenever she can. When she isn’t in the office you can find her volunteering at the Clinton Hill Brooklyn Public Library branch or at Teen Lift – a program serving inner city youth, by offering tutoring and assistance with college.
In 2006 Alabi was elected as the Democratic State Committeewoman of the 57th Assembly District. Ever since the election she has taken charge and instituted change. She has organized annual community food drives, has worked with spiritual leaders to assist citizens, and has funded legal clinics. Due to her incredible work she has received endorsements from New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, and many more prominent individuals. Alabi promises that if reelected she will go the extra mile to help her community’s elders and youth.
Not too far from the 57th Assembly District, Dilia Schack is perfecting her campaign for reelection for State Committeewoman/District Leader of the 46th Assembly District, which includes sections of Sea Gate, Fort Hamilton, Bath Beach, and Bay Ridge.
Schack is running against Coney Island community activist, Bigette Purvis, who will most likely be tough competition, even for a seasoned and well-known politician like Schack. Assemblywoman Pamela Harris has put her support fully behind Schack.
Schack recently lost her husband, Justice Arthur Schack, who was a renowned and beloved New York State Supreme Court Justice. Even though she is mourning the passing of her husband of 42 years, she is willing to set aside her emotional state to help her community’s constituents.
What makes a great politician lies in his/her dedication to institute change, and Charles Ragusa, State Committeeman/District Leader of the 47th Assembly District, says that he’s been changing his community for more than 50 years. Ragusa is once again running for reelection for a position which he was first elected to in 1982. However, Chinese-American Billy Thai might upend his reign.
Ragusa has been in the game for a long time, and recently he has proposed a plan to utilize Calvert Vaux Park, Kaiser Park, Marine Park and Jamaica Park for field biology programs. He says this would create jobs and educational opportunities for students. Ragusa told the Bensonhurst Bean, “Ecotourism provides a significant portion of the economy of other states, for example, Alaska, as well as for the nation of Costa Rica. New York City is sitting on top of a financial and educational bonanza that is literally at our doorstep.”
Linda Minucci, State Committeewoman/ District Leader of the 50th Assembly District, is working hard to hold on to her seat in the district leader position against Emily Gallagher, 32.
Minucci has held the position in the district, which includes sections of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, since 1984. Minucci has advocated for district subway riders and has battled against homeless shelters in Greenpoint Hospital. Minucci has many supporters in the district as evidence by her continued success in elections.Molly Meisels
It has come to my attention that there’s a very creative kippa (the cute little beanie cap that many Jewish men wear for religious and Jewish identification reasons) company designing kippot for the 2016 American Presidential Elections.
Pic-A-Kippa established by two former IDF lone soldiers has expanded its very pro-Israel Zionist collection of printed kippot to include a variety for those who want to go headfirst to promote either Hillary or Trump in the upcoming elections. As with all of their products, they donate 10% of each kippa to The Lone Soldier Center in Israel.
I don’t know if this skews the results, but there are more designs for Trump than for Hillary.
|91 heading for Trump|
|49 heading for Hillary|
Upper West Side Judaica – 2412 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
And of course tell them that you read about them here on Shiloh Musings.Batya Medad
Israelis count the remaining ballots from soldiers and absentee voters at the parliament in Jerusalem, a day after the general elections for the 20th Israeli parliament on March 18, 2015.Photo of the Day
Police arrested three people, one in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, one in Beit Shemesh and another in the town of Kochav Yaacov after the suspects removed all the Yachad voting slips from voting booth.
The Yachad party reports that their slips have been removed from dozens of voting stations.
In Israel, voting is done by inserting a slip of paper representing the party you want into an envelope, and then inserting the envelope into the voting box. By removing all the slips, it would be impossible, for a short time at least, to vote for that party.
Needless to say, interfering with the ability for a voting process is illegal.
In addition, it appears a straw party was created, represented by the letters “נץ” in polling stations. The Yachad party used “קף”.
But in the previous election, the party Baruch Marzel was a member of, Otzma L’Yisrael, used “נץ”, implying that this party may have been set up by an opponent solely to confuse voters.Jewish Press News Briefs
It isn’t every day that the Prime Minister of Israel adopts an idea proposed by yours truly, first introduced on the pages of JewishPress.com.
Though for the sake of transparency, other MKs have brazenly taken ideas we’ve proposed at the Muqata Think-Tank and then claimed them for their own, and we’ve been told that Netanyahu is also familiar with Jameel’s very successful Scotch whiskey counter-boycott.
On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu introduced an electoral reform plan that would “revolutionize” the Israeli multi-party system, and move us over to a two-party system.
The idea is that the party with the most seats would automatically form the government and appoint the Prime Minister, without needing to form a coalition, or go to the President of Israel.
If this sounds familiar to you, it should, because in December I analyzed the problem with our current system, and provided that solution.
The JewishPress.com was even kind enough to put one of those Asher Schwartz cartoons on it.
A Solution Within the Existing Framework So what can be done now with what we have?
If Israel wants to stay with the parliamentary system, the solution is not as complex as you might think. It requires two steps.
First of all, remove the minimum electoral threshold. Let people vote for whom they want.
The second is, let the head of the largest elected party become the Prime Minister, automatically, with no requirement at all to assemble a coalition to form the government.
I then explain why this will work — because people in Israel vote strategically, they want to get a specific Prime Minister, along with specific platforms or MKs:
The Intended Consequences What do I foresee happening?
Only the die-hards will vote for the small parties. Most everyone else will want to make sure the Prime Minister comes from the biggest party that represents them the closest.
We would see a lot of parties consolidating automatically.
There will be a natural push to make sure the Likud or Labor becomes the biggest party.
Unfortunately, Netanyahu seems to have left out an incredibly important component of the idea – removing the minimum electoral threshold.
And that reminds me of the other half-baked change he made in 1996 — introducing direct elections for the Prime Minster, but without simultaneously introducing it for the Knesset too.
Removing the minimum threshold is critical for my idea to work properly – and Mr. Netanyahu, I know you’re reading this, so pay attention… .
If Israel ends up with a binary-based majority system, where you vote for a party and not individuals, and there are only two parties in the Knesset, you will have implemented a tyranny of democracy onto Israel. For four years the winner will run roughshod over the loser, and it will always be win-lose; the opposition might as well not even show up for work.
For democracy to work properly, citizens need an effective opposition capable of opposing the majority, at least in the worst case scenarios.
It’s important to remember, unlike the U.S., Israel doesn’t have truly separate executive and legislative branches, with the checks and balances that brings. Instead, Israel has a legislative branch whose members also make up the executive branch.
In Netanyahu’s version of my idea, if Labor (or whatever they call themselves) won and wanted to implement another Disengagement or Oslo 5, there would be no way to stop it in Netanyahu’s binary-based Knesset, as Labor would always have an automatic majority.
Nor could there even be a legislature vs. executive conflict to fight it out; in Netanyahu’s version it simply can’t happen.
The other problem is that by forcing people to vote A or B, thereby guaranteeing only A and B get into the Knesset, a significant enough percent of Israeli society will not be represented. You will be disenfranchising segments of the population.
Voting levels will drop as people see no reason to vote for a party that can ignore them, knowing there is no alternative.
By removing the threshold, you don’t exclude people who don’t fit into category A or B.
This will have two consequences, both incredibly important:
1) You don’t need a 61 vote majority for most run-of-the-mill legislation to pass, so having a few small parties won’t make a difference on most votes.
But on more important issues, the society changing ones, you do not want to give an automatic pass to the biggest party (think Oslo, Disengagement) – YOU WANT THEM TO WORK HARD FOR IT before they can throw you out of your home.
2) By allowing the small 1 or 2 man parties to be get in, you create a real reason for the big parties to pay attention to the individual sectors internally.
If the Likud knows that the Israeli-Arabs and Hareidim (just to name two obvious examples) may vote for an Israeli-Arab or Hareidi party instead of them and they will get into the Knesset, the big parties will make sure that Israeli-Arabs and Hareidim are included on their party’s list and paid attention to, to get and keep that sector’s vote.
I highly recommend you read my original analysis of the election idea, and the implementation.
And Mr. Prime Minister – I am available for consultation – you know how to reach me.JoeSettler