|This is a copy of the letter sent to
Preserve Ramapo members. It explains why the County Democratic
Committee campaign is important to all of us. If you qualify to vote
in the primary, please vote.
An important request
This Tuesday (Sept. 12), Preserve Ramapo has a great opportunity to get representation in an area where, today, we have no voice at all.
There are 16 people on the Democratic ballot running for positions on the Democratic County Committee. You know many of these people: Bob Drennan heads up the Ramapo Highlands Coalition protecting the Ramapo watershed, Joe Meyers and Dennis Kay are leading the legal fight against the RLUIPA lawsuit on Hillside Avenue, Peter Strasser FOILed the documents that exposed the continuing failures of the Sewer District, and so on. These are the people who should be on the County Democratic Committee to counterbalance the professional politicians who have rigged the game in their own and the developersí favor.
The Status Quo
Supervisor St. Lawrence and others who run the machine are concerned about this move to get reformers on the Committee. Yesterday, registered Democrats who are in the districts where the reform candidates are on the ballot received a first-class mailing asking them to keep the incumbent Democratic membersóin order to maintain the status quo. The status quo is ongoing downzoning (for example, you can build on 90% of your lot in Hillcrest; if you have a school in parts of Ramapo you now have the right to build a dormitory large enough to house the students, according to a recent zoning change), itís Adult Student Housing and the collapse of zoning boards who have been threatened with RLUIPA lawsuits, itís Patrick Farm, the Nike Base, and Hillside Avenue, itís a building inspector walking away untouched by drug and traffic violations, and no explanation for the stuffed envelope, itís a dangerous, failing sewer system, carbon monoxide corridors, and a threatened water supply thatís existing on borrowed timeóthatís the status quo.
What You Can Do
The outcome is completely in our handsóthe bloc vote will not be a factor in the districts where these candidates are running. If we lose this chance, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Hereís what you can do.
If you are a registered Democrat, you will probably receive a postcard with names of the Preserve Ramapo-endorsed reform candidates for the Rockland Democratic Committee. Take the card with you to the polls. Even if you had not planned on voting in the primary Tuesday, take the timeóyouíll be delivering a message and getting a voice for little more than a half-hour (if that) of your time. If you donít get a card, check our website (www.preserveramapo.org) for the story on the voteóit will be near the top of the page and will be up this weekend. It will have an index of addresses, districts, and candidates. There are 5 election districts involved in Airmont and Chestnut Ridge (17, 34, 57, 67, and 76).
If your street is not in one of the districts, or you are not a registered Democrat able to vote in the primary, you can still be a part of this. Look over the street names in the index. If you know someone, or have a relative in one of these districts, give them a call to see if they are qualified to vote in the primary. Give them the names of the reform candidates and tell them to look on the Democratic lineóover to the right.
These 20 or so minutes of your time can buy 2 years of representation on a Committee that helps shape the future of our town and county. This oneís in our handsódonít let it slip away.
Michael Castelluccio [Running in District #67 Chestnut Ridge along with Louise Castelluccio, Stewart Bader and Suzanne Bader]