One of the reasons people are cynical about politics is because their elected representatives show more allegiance to their personal interests and lobbyists than their own constituents.
Too many politicians are like an abusive partner who swears it’ll be different this time if we just give him or her one more chance.
It’s abundantly clear what the citizens in New York state Assemblyman Carl Heastie’s district have advocated for, but Heastie’s window into the desires of the people he represents has been replaced with a mirror.
In a McLaughlin & Associates poll commissioned by The Post within Heastie’s northern Bronx district, out of the 400 likely voters surveyed last week, 62% said they support charters, and 68% indicated an interest in increasing the number of charter schools.
Many of the poll respondents also stated that crime is the top issue in their community, and 64% approve of requiring anyone committing a crime with a gun to be held without bail.
Despite a markedly low 46% positive opinion of New York City public schools and majority support for charter schools in Heastie’s district, there are only four charter schools located in Williamsbridge, Eastchester and Wakefield.
But if Carl Heastie is working against the people he’s suppose to represent, who is he actually working for?
Does he work for the massive New York City teachers’ unions and affiliates who’ve donated a combined $146,000 to Heastie and another $1.3 million to the state Democratic committees?
What sway has the $80 million in special-interest money had over his decision-making when it comes to the success and safety of the families within his district?
Our cynicism is legitimate when our political system encourages and rewards quid pro quo corruption, exudes overt favoritism for middleman lobbying firms and corporate juggernauts and preserves positions of governmental authority for the most immoral characters simply because of their connections to the donor class.
The lack of educational success and general safety for our children will always come at a cost when someone else can outspend our concerns.
Politicians like Heastie are not willing to risk losing a re-election by going against the demands of his financial donors to do right by you.
Heastie’s primary interest, like most politicians, is to stay in power and succumbing to the interests of common people isn’t nearly as important as succumbing to the interests of organizations that are deemed “special.”
This is especially true in a state like New York where Democrats could get a ham sandwich elected, given their huge registered voter advantage. They need not fear the voter.
An organization or individual with an abundance of money can dictate the direction of an entire community that they don’t personally live in, and politicians like Heastie play as the enforcers of their political demands.
Even worse, politicians like Heastie will get away with this irreverent attitude towards the public because they know we’re too busy trying to survive in an increasingly tumultuous environment that they had a hand in creating.
Emotional pleas, common sense and polling data won’t be enough to get Heastie to stop blocking charter-school expansion and bail reform. If you want him to his shift positions, you’ll have to treat him like Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie “Jerry Maguire”: Show him the money.
Adam B. Coleman is the author of “Black Victim to Black Victor” and founder of Wrong Speak Publishing. Follow him on Substack: adambcoleman.substack.com.
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