Dinowitz should exit council


To the editor:

(re: “Dinowitz must resign caucus,” June 16)

I wholeheartedly agree with the suggested outcome of the letter from these fine upstanding political advisors: Eric Dinowitz should resign. But from the city council.

He has failed at very basics of his job: representing the constituents of our district.

I am a confused gentlemen. Wasn’t it the noted U.S. Representative Tip O’Neill who stated (paraphrasing) that “all politics is local”? The issue of the relevance of any discussion surrounding Israel and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to the city council — and the impact on a council member’s delivery of services to their constituents — eludes me. Exactly how is a foreign policy discussion relevant to the dangerous, unchanged life threatening traffic conditions throughout Dinowitz’s city council district?

A glaring specific example is the intersection between 555 Kappock St., and the Winston Churchill, which has been a hazard for 32 years. Ever since 1990 when I moved to 555 Kappock, members of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club — from June Eisland forward — have promised what is actually needed to ensure safety there: a traffic light.

So Eric, where is it? Technology has advanced to where — gasp — we could even use a speed/red light camera.

Where are these measures? Councilman Dinowitz, have you even contacted the city’s transportation department to commission a study? (FYI: The interim Bronx borough commissioner is Keith Kalb at (212) 748-6680).

In the meantime — 32 years — all we have are rumble strips. Hardly a safe intersection. Thank you for not paying attention to us, your local constituents.

Furthermore, from the April 24 edition of this illustrious paper comes the continuing saga of civil disturbance by temporary residents of our neighborhood: Manhattan College students partying on West 238th Street. Is Councilman Dinowitz anywhere to be seen or heard on this community safety issue? His absence screams far louder than any photo op — by the way, he’s great at those.

If this is not a local issue, where our councilman liaisons with the 50th Precinct to help ameliorate the serious problem, I am dumbfounded to say what is.

As to the true issues of local antisemitism, Mr. Dinowitz appears to be more of a sleight-of-hand stuntman than an actual fighter. When otherwise questionably motivated Republican political figures held a news conference to denounce the latest attacks here last April, all Mr. Dinowitz could do was take a cheap political shot at them, thus walking away from an opportunity to join forces to actually fight the scourge.

Making antisemitism a political issue doesn’t help beat back the very real problem: It actually can make it worse.

Mr. Dinowitz should resign from his city council seat. He is far better at photo ops, cheap political shots, and doing little to nothing to help improve the quality of life in our vibrant council district and neighborhoods. The missive by political consultants to shore up his support among older Jewish constituents — and likely voters — appears to be nothing but more of the same: A meritless deflecting canard, of no help locally to Eric Dinowitz’s constituents.

Yes, all politics are indeed local. Someone should explain this to Mr. Dinowitz Jr. Perhaps he could then actually focus on improving the quality of life here for all his constituents within the district, and stop pretending to be an international negotiator.

By the way, if indeed Mr. Dinowitz and others on the city council are clients of Mr. Hank Sheinkopf’s political consulting firm, it would be a glaring oversight not to have mentioned, and should be corrected. After all, the missive would then turn out to be a paid political announcement, hiding behind the guise of a letter to the editor. 

If indeed that is the case, I suggest The Riverdale Press send them a bill. I’ll pay the postage.

Adam Stoler