First and foremost, I was saddened and dismayed by the recent resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner and felt that he should have remained in office until an election was held.
I believe that Rep. Weiner had been a strong and passionate voice for progressive causes such as single payer healthcare, the elimination of the disastrous Bush tax cuts for the rich and he represented the district extremely well during his tenure.
We need representatives in Congress fighting for the working class and poor to push back against the GOP and their repressive agenda of tax cuts for the rich and advancement of business interests over the rights of the people. Rep. Weiner had proven to be an effective passionate progressive voice for the values this country was built upon.
But now that he’s gone, it’s time for the people of the district to decide who should represent us.
It was the people of this congressional district who elected him and it is my belief that it is us who should pick his replacement in a fair, open primary election.
By Gov. Cuomo’s recent decision to hold a special election in September, the choice of who will run for this seat has been taken from the electorate and placed in the hands of party leaders.
Since the majority of the area in the Ninth Congressional District is located in Queens, the decision to select whom to run for the seat was left up to Queens Democratic leader, Joseph Crowley.
Rep. Crowley and other Queens party leaders have selected Assemblyman David Weprin to be the standard bearer in this race.
Although I am against the will of the voters being overridden by party officials, in this case they have selected a most worthy candidate.
I have known David for many years through his work in the City Council and the New York State Assembly. I have found him to be a hard working public servant, diligently working on behalf of Queens residents.
He has earned my praise, respect and admiration as a public official, and as a person.
It is my firm belief that if David Weprin wins the upcoming Special Election that the people of Brooklyn and Queens will be well-served, he will continue the work begun by former-Rep. Weiner.
At this time in our country’s history it is especially important to elect a tough intelligent leader like Weprin to fend off Republican threats of ending Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the social safety nets that have made us the great nation, respected by others throughout the world.
David M. Quintana is a Queens-based community activist and blogger of Lost in the Ozone.