LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

What Rivera really stands for

Posted

To the editor:

Have Jeffrey Dinowitz and the Bronx Democratic machine become post-truth, or are they just lying the old-fashioned way?

As progressives whose activism is grounded in our Jewish identity and values, we find recent remarks by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz about state Sen. Gustavo Rivera deeply disturbing. 

Sen. Rivera is running for re-election in 33rd Senate District which, since recent redistricting, includes Riverdale and other Northwest Bronx neighborhoods. Per the New York Post and NY1, Assemblyman Dinowitz claims Sen. Rivera supports defunding the police, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the state of Israel.

Both statements are untrue. Sen. Rivera supports continued funding of the police, along with meaningful investments in our communities, to help our neighborhoods thrive and keep our streets safe. He does not support BDS and does support Israel as a democratic and Jewish state.

He supports the rights of individuals and institutions to have their own positions on the issue. In employing the twin dog whistles around crime and fears of antisemitism, Assemblyman Dinowitz appears to be using wedge issues to separate Jewish voters from an effective elected representative of color.

The Jewish community of Riverdale and environs is both too diverse and too sophisticated to fall for such manipulative name-calling.

For years, and now as chair of the senate health committee, Mr. Rivera has fought for improved health outcomes for all New Yorkers, and is the main sponsor of the New York Health Act, which will provide single-payer universal health coverage to all New Yorkers.

Further, he supports protecting tenants and a desperately needed expansion of affordable housing, and the protection of immigrant rights in New York state.

Gustavo Rivera has exhibited just the kind of community-focused legislative and moral leadership we need and deserve. We urge readers to learn more about him and conclude, as we have, that he deserves our vote.

Madeline Ritter

The author writes on behalf of Betsey Knapp, David Knapp, Brent Schneider, Aaron Stayman and Elizabeth Wilson

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