A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
So, change is in the air. It’s not that Manhattan is a conservative place. It’s not. We all have friends, you know, mostly old white guys who still compliment women on how they look when they first meet them; who still smile instead of comment when two men or two women embrace or are seen holding hands in public; or, perhaps suspiciously eye black teenagers riding on bikes — simply because they’re in SoHo. The implications are far-reaching and social policy, not to mention the lagging justice system, are on the line.
The changes that drag us forward to a more equitable, more egalitarian society depend upon the politicians who operate in the vanguard of social change. And so, we need to pay close attention to the candidates for all of the offices in this election cycle.
Brad Hoylman is an example of that change and is running for Borough President in Manhattan. Aside from his stellar educational credentials he has a long history of community service in Manhattan beginning with the Community Board where he became Chair and moved on to the NYS Senate where he vigorously supported tenant and LGBTQ rights. As Borough President, in addition to his other responsibilities he would have direct control over the functioning and reform of the Community Boards in Manhattan.
When I asked his campaign what they wanted his candidacy to be known for, they provided this encapsulation —
“Brad Hoylman has spent the last eight years fighting in the State Senate for structural change that makes a real difference in New Yorkers’ lives. He led the fights to strengthen vaccine requirements to protect children and the immunocompromised, make police reporting more transparent, end discrimination against transgender New Yorkers, ban ICE from targeting undocumented New Yorkers outside court houses, protect tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, and get justice for victims of child sexual abuse. As Borough President, Brad will bring this same energy to tackle the toughest challenges and rebuild Manhattan for working families, small businesses and our most vulnerable communities. Brad has lived in Manhattan for three decades; he lives in the Village with his husband David and daughters, Lucy and Silvia. Brad would make history as the first LGBTQ Borough President.”