2021 No. 6

© Elena Greco - Empire State Building/42nd St & 6th Ave (unedited)
(Play this photo as a jigsaw puzzle below!)
Hello from the Big Apple!

I live in New York City, one of the great cities of the world, a city I love. The country’s financial sector is based here, and it’s a major international magnet for the arts, entertainment, fashion, technology, and more. What happens in New York City happens to the entire country to some extent, particular with regard to the economy.

And that’s why—when New York City is just about to begin to recover from the financial devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic—the New York City Mayoral election is important to everyone in this country. It’s never been more important.

I’ve made it a point not to talk about politics since January, but this election is critical, and the Democratic primary—which will decide the election in November—is only a few weeks away; the Primary is June 22. I'll bring back the fun in the next issue!

There are a lot of people running for NYC Mayor, some of them highly qualified and some of them not qualified at all. Some of them are charismatic, and some of them are not. Some of them have some popular ideas with no idea how to implement them, and some of them have well-thought-out ideas with a plan ready to implement those ideas immediately if they’re elected.

The job of the Mayor of New York City is second in scope only to that of the President of the United States. It’s a huge job, one with thousands of complex working parts and relentless demands. It requires someone who has experience working with large governmental agencies, or at the very least has managed a large, complex organization successfully. Anyone who does not have that experience will require a very long time after taking office to get acquainted with the operation of the slow-moving and often contentious machinery of the New York City government before they can begin to govern. We do not have that time. We need someone who can do this job on Day One.

A viable candidate needs to have more than nice ideas that you agree with; they need the ability and experience to implement those ideas while functioning within a large government entity. A viable candidate needs to have more than a pleasant face and charisma; they need to have the stamina and resilience to sustain their vision while conquering governmental obstacles—something you will know whether they possess by looking at whether they have done that in the past. And while hutzpah and self-confidence are useful attributes in governing New York City with its in-your-face attitude, if the person also shows evidence of being highly narcissistic, is that going to serve the city and the country when they attempt to govern an entity that requires getting along with others and seeing multiple points of view?

It disturbs me that from what I read on social media and hear in my neighborhood, many people assume that if a candidate says they are for doing a particular thing, that they can actually do that particular thing. Why would you assume that? If I say I can service a diesel truck, do you assume I can do that? Or would you like to see some evidence that I’ve done that in the past, look at my resume, and maybe check with some former employers or clients to see what sort of job I might have done? Why are we so much less cautious about hiring (voting for) a candidate to run the largest and most complex city in the country, one which has a huge effect on this country? To be the District Attorney of Manhattan, for example, you must have a law degree and show evidence of having practiced law successfully; you must already be an attorney. Why would managing the second largest governmental bureaucracy in our country require lower standards?

There are four Democratic candidates running for New York City Mayor who have experience and a proven track record of success in running large, complex agencies or businesses (in alpha order): Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, and Scott Stringer. Garcia, Stringer, and Donovan have substantial experience and success in New York City government, while McGuire has experience successfully running a large, multi-faceted financial business.

The other candidates seem to be running a popularity contest. The most popular, the most charismatic, the best looking, or the one who offers a wish list of enticing things everyone wants with no plan for accomplishing them or any experience indicating that they can do so—those people should not be given the large task of running the City of New York. We need someone who can do the job, who can step into the job and hit the ground running on Day One.

I urge you (actually, I beg you) to research the candidates carefully (including for other important offices, such as Comptroller and Manhattan District Attorney) and to vote in the Democratic primary on June 22, even if you don’t normally vote in local elections, and even if you don’t care about politics. This election matters. To all of us.
Voting information
Find your poll site/View sample ballot (vote.nyc)
How to get your absentee ballot in New York - info (ny1.com)
Get NYC absentee ballot - apply (NY BOE)
Candidate Info (InformNYC)
Candidate info (The City.NYC)

Dates to remember
Democratic Primary - June 22
Early voting - June 12-20
Last day to request absentee ballot - June 15
Deadline to register to vote - in person May 28; mail-in ballot must be received by June 2

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TECH TIP. This week's Tech Tip is a recommendation: Canva!
I don't often recommend third-party apps with gusto, but this is an exception. I've used the free version of Canva for quite a few years, and it just keeps getting better. All of your graphic design needs can be met here, even if you're a total amateur. Maybe especially if you're a total amateur. But the products look professional. You can develop your branding, make an animated gif sized for a particular social media, use their templates or images, create templates yourself, even create a branded mug and ship it! I tend to use it for social media posts; Canva has templates perfectly sized for every social media need and every app. If you haven't explored Canva, do give it a whirl!
CLASSIFIEDS. Showcase your work here! Contact me if you'd like to include a plug for your upcoming concerts, courses, groups, book or album for a super low fee ($25) in a future Newsletter. You can include images, copy, links—whatever you like. It's also a place you can put out a call for personnel for your project—e.g., video editor, stage manager or tenor. My subscribers are mostly creatives or people who are interested in the arts—music, visual art, film, dance, writing, and theater. They'd love to know about your project!
Jigsaw Puzzle! If you love jigsaw puzzles, try my photo: Elena's Puzzle!
(Hint: click on the dotted box in the top center to do edge pieces first.)
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