|Rochester, NY City Council President|
Ok, let me be clear... I can't stand Rochester, NY Mayor Thomas Richards.
Don't care for him at all.
I don't like his 'Corporate 1%' disconnect with minorities and lower income residents in Rochester.
In fact, I find it disgusting that right before Richards stepped down as CEO of Rochester Gas and Electric, he received a buyout of more than $10 million, while hundreds of RG&E workers, with families to feed, got laid off.
After former Rochester, NY Mayor Robert Duffy jumped ship and abandoned my city for personal gain to become New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's right hand man as Lt. Governor, Richards was appointed Mayor in a special election, and was later elected Mayor.
And now, what I predicted well over a year ago, is happening:
Rochester, NY City Council President Lovely Warren has announced that she will be running for Rochester, NY Mayor.
Not only do I NOT support Lovely Warren, but I will do everything I can to inform, and educate the Rochester community on why they should NOT vote for this woman.
To explain my dislike and disgust of Lovely Warren, it requires going back a bit, to my life as the son of a great man, Mario Vara.
Having come to the U.S. from Cuba in 1968, my Dad became active in the Rochester community in the fight against police misconduct and corruption.
Unlike many Americans, who take for granted their right to free speech and to denounce injustices, my Dad did not.
He took full advantage of that right, because he knew what it was like to live in a dictatorship, where people could not speak out, and let their voices be heard.
As a young child in the 1980's, I would tag along with my Dad and attend rallies and community meetings, including at Rochester City Hall, where my Dad would speak in front of City Council.
I remember feeling so proud of my Dad, as he stood behind the shiny, reflective podium, calling for a civilian review board to oversee the Rochester, NY Police department, and demanding that Rochester's elected officials do the job the people elected them to do.
Fast forward almost a quarter century, and as an activist exposing police misconduct and corruption, continuing my Dad's work, I'm still calling for a TRUE civilian review board, one with teeth.
One with real subpoena power and not just a bunch of 'yes men and women' who are controlled by a millionaire mayor and a sellout Uncle Tom Police Chief, like what is currently in place with the Center for Dispute Settlement.
In 2011, shortly after the Emily Good incident, the Rochester woman arrested by Rochester, NY Police officer Mario Masic, after she video recorded Masic conducting a racially-profiled traffic stop of an African-American motorist in front of her home, I spoke in front of Rochester City Council once again calling for a civilian review board with subpoena power to oversee the Rochester, New York Police Department as well as investigate cases of police brutality and misconduct.
As is common, speakers, including myself, went over the allotted 2 minute speaking limit they are given.
The only difference was that when I went over, by just 10 seconds, Rochester City Council President Lovely Warren ordered the time keeper to turn my microphone off.
Lovely Warren's actions that evening solidified for me, what I had already known for years, that elected officials, such as Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden, another minority, do not care about citizens, and in fact have completely sold out their own community, and, their own people, just like Adam McFadden did, when he walked through Rochester's inner city, poverty stricken neighborhood, asking African-American families who are struggling just to eat, to vote for a Millionaire Mayor!
Lovely Warren preventing me from finishing my speech is not the reason why I don't support her.
It's much more than that.
As a black woman in Rochester, NY, Lovely Warren has never spoken out or denounced incidents involving Rochester, NY Police officers profiling, harassing, abusing, and in some cases executing minorities, especially African-Americans like herself.
Lovely Warren has never done anything to denounce the injustices and atrocities committed by members of the Rochester Police department.
In fact, Rochester, NY residents will be hard pressed to list anything that Lovely Warren has done since being elected to Rochester City Council in 2007, and since being elected as City Council president in 2010.
If elected as Mayor, Lovely Warren will be another Bill Johnson, former Rochester Mayor who ran on his 'Blueprint for Change', promising voters the world, then completely selling out, and betraying the very same people who put him in office, including screwing taxpayers out of millions of dollars with his failed fast ferry, and High Falls project, which is nothing more than a ghost town that will close on June 30th.
It's time for the Rochester, NY community, especially African-Americans and Latinos to finally wake up, and realize that your vote is precious!
Your vote is power!
DO NOT waste your vote on Lovely Warren.
If you have any doubt at all, as to if you should vote for Lovely Warren, just look at what she has done on City Council for the past 6 plus years.
Don't vote for someone who doesn't care about you.
Don't vote for someone who has condoned the Rochester, NY Police department abusing, profiling, and executing innocent African-Americans in Rochester, NY.
There's a Cuban saying that goes, 'Mejor conocido, que por conocer', which basically translates to 'Better someone one knows, than someone one doesn't.'
Personally, I wouldn't vote for Richards, or Warren, but I understand you may ask, ok Davy V., so who should I vote for?
Here's what I suggest.
If you want to exercise your right to vote, then you may want to choose the lesser of two evils.
After all, at least with Richards, we already know what Rochester is getting.
A white millionaire who doesn't care about minorities in Rochester.
Better than a black woman who feels the same way.
Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/davyvara