Scratch surface: Choose most qualified candidate


My background in economics, law and government separates me from other candidates. However, I’m not good at self-promotion, and I don’t tell fictional stories as a ploy to relate to voters. For these reasons, my campaign lacks the pizazz of others.

As a candidate, it’s easy to see why our problems go unresolved. The most qualified people for public office are often overshadowed by political forces and savvy campaigns. These campaigns give you the intoxicating feel of being in a new car dealership.

However, we learn too late we ended up with a lemon that we’re locked into for years because we didn’t read the fine print.

If we’re not careful on June 22, that’s what will happen to us in the northwest Bronx.

Our city has faced longstanding issues that have been kicked down the road by unqualified and self-serving politicians. Over time, we have paid for their shortcomings one way or another. How does this happen?

When I was in law school, there were students that spoke with such fervor that you believed they must be right — until the professor chimed in and we learned they were absolutely wrong. It was the performance that tricked us. We see similar shows in campaigns with little opportunity to fact check.

Candidates supported by political organizations like the Bronx Democrats and Working Families Party tap into an existing network of elected officials and unions to endorse their candidacy.

This gives the appearance of legitimacy. Propaganda principles are implemented — including repetition of artificially bloated resumes, half-truths, and lies by candidates and their supporters.

Campaign consultants create flash that diverts from substance. Questions go unanswered by candidates, who blatantly disregard them.

I ask that you take the time today to research the candidates asking for your vote. Separate the marketing from the substance. Go below the surface and ask yourself a series of questions.

Is the candidate well-versed in economics, housing and land use? Can they analyze complex issues and problem-solve? Does the candidate have legal experience? What has the candidate done in this community in the last 10 years? Has this person worked with city agencies? Will this candidate support the will of our community, or put their own interests first?

Is this person genuine, or just acting?

I’m part of the third generation of my family to live in the council district. I went to P.S. 95 and J.H.S. 143. I’m a local attorney who represents neighbors in the purchase and sale of their homes. I interpret laws and draft documents based on those laws. I’ve been a local business owner for more than 20 years.

I have provided free legal services and information to tenants who have housing disputes. I teach mock trial to seventh-graders at P.S. 95. I sued the city and a developer to stop an oversized building from being built on Giles Place.

For 12 years, I have sacrificed personal and professional time to serve you on the community board — three as board chair, eight as chair of the traffic and transportation committee, and four as vice chair of the land use committee. I’ve run nearly a thousand community meetings to work on local issues.

We’re at a critical time in New York City. We need smart and genuine people committed to protecting the most vulnerable, and making your quality of life better. My lifelong ties and extensive public record show my dedication to this community.

I’m the neighborhood candidate, and I’m running to solve neighborhood problems.

On June 22, I ask that you elect me to the city council by selecting me as your No. 1 choice on Line 4.

The author is a city council candidate in the June 22 primary.

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Dan Padernacht,