To the editor:
After reading a recent New York Times article reporting how the residents of Chinatown and its elected officials collaborated in canceling plans for a homeless shelter in their neighborhood after their joint efforts and protests, it saddens me that Riverdale has fallen into such a state of apathy and resignation over the failure of our nepotistic Dinowitz dynasty to do anything positive for our community.
Hundreds of parents, local business owners, concerned senior citizens and others have been shouting from the rooftops that Riverdale doesn’t want another drug and crime magnet in our already deteriorating neighborhood. And yet pompous “Dinowitz Sr.” (Jeffrey, the Assemblyman) and opportunistically woke “Dinowitz Jr.” (Eric, the councilman) only pay lip service without ever doing anything decisive to kill the corrupt, scandal-ridden project once and for all.
Similar to how they only paid lip service to the dangerous traffic conditions on Kappock Street until our dear neighbor lost her life after getting hit by a bus,
How many muggings, stabbings, used drug needles and child harassments will have to happen at this North Riverdale men’s homeless shelter before the Dinowitz twins finally wake up and actually represent the wishes of their constituents and shut it down?
Alessandra Biaggi and Jamaal Bowman never even pretended to represent the voice of Riverdale, instead just jamming down our throats their misguided socialist policies that have accelerated the rates of crime and poverty in their own local neighborhoods.
But we should hold our “hometown Dinowitz boys” — the local political duo only in office because of voter apathy — to a higher standard. One they will undoubtedly fail, but we should hold them to that standard nonetheless.
Let’s look to Chinatown as an example of what a successful grassroots effort looks like when you have an engaged citizenry and competent elected officials who actually care about their constituents and can get things done.
While we are obviously lacking the latter, my hope is that we can increase the former enough to get Riverdale back on track, starting with ending any further talk of this ill-conceived homeless shelter.