The Word On The Street, Part II: Silence Speaks Volumes

Unless you have been on vacation in Timbuktu, fellow north Brooklynites, you are undoubtedly aware of the recent allegations of sexual harassment as practiced by the fellow at left: the Honorable Assemblyman Vito Lopez. I for one found the whole affair so repulsive I saw fit to mention it on this site.

Mr. “Gropez” (as I have taken to calling him) has received a great deal of media attention as a result. I do not see this changing in the foreseeable future. The same goes for commentary* and questions tendered by my fellow citizens— and I can assure you there are many. But as of late the prevailing sentiment seems to be as follows:

Why haven’t our elected officials/public servants spoken up about (or at least acknowledged) this turn of events?

I for one think this is an excellent question.

Let’s take Christopher Olechowski, for example. As you can see from the above piece of campaign literature our current chair of Community Board 1 purports to be the voice of our community. I find this fascinating given he continues to be curiously quiet. To my knowledge Mr. Olechowski has yet to respond to inquiries regarding his “leadership” role in the fight against the TGE plant or requests that he participate in a debate with our current 50th Assembly District Leader, Lincoln Restler.

Perhaps silence is the voice of our community? The lack of any acknowledgement— much less a response— from fellow Assemblyman Joseph Lentol regarding Mr. “Gropez’s” alleged activities would certainly indicate this. But I digress.

This morning I:

  • a resident of Community Board 1
  • a constituent of the 50th Assembly District and
  • a very pissed off  registered voter with a vagina (and free time)

mulled the matter over. Finally I decided:

Fuck it. If they want to act like there’s not a problem, I will remind them there is one. On their proverbial doorstep.

So I dug into my war chest of Crayola sidewalk crayons (mere sidewalk chalk would not suffice), tossed on some flip-flops and took a walk.

A very long walk.

Here’s the deal, folks…

These public servants work for us, not the other way around. They are accountable to us, their constituents. Our votes can and have placed these individuals in office— and our votes can remove them. How much time and/or effort would have been required of Mr. Olechowski, Mr. Lentol or, dare I say, our City Councilman** to simply state (or have a staff member “tweet”) the following:

In light of recent allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez, I (insert name here) want to make it clear I do not condone sexual harassment. I want to assure you, my constituents/neighbors, I will be watching this matter very carefully.

My educated guess would be “very little”— and yet this has yet to happen. Think about this when you cast your votes in upcoming elections, north Brooklynites.

I know I will.

UPDATE, August 30, 2012: I have received both an email and telephone call from Mr. Lentol! You can read the first by clicking here.

*Including my personal favorite. A piquant observation which comes from a lady named Sarah:

Hey, Vito, don’t let the door hit you in the DICK on the way out.

**Stephen Levin, former Chief of Staff for Mr. Gropez Lopez.

 

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