The annual New Rochelle State of the City address has been scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28th at the Davenport Club, 400 Davenport Rd. in New Rochelle.
I wonder whether the State of the City is a public event or not. It seems that you have to pay to sit (and I'm not saying anything about eating). If you view the NR Chamber of Commerce site, it denotes that standing room only is limited. This does not seem like a public forum or venue as there is no free parking or public transportation to get there. A glimpse of last year's crowd would result in a who's who of cronies and contributors to Noam's political efforts. Why couldn't this State of the City be held in a convenient place like the public library downtown so that seniors, working class people and students could attend? Pretty disconnected of Mayor Noam Bramson.
As one of the most respected New Rochelleans recently commented, the state of the city speech should be free. It should be given in a public place so all can attend regardless of their personal budget. In this way people come together to listen, share and disagree instead of having to read clips in various papers or online publications. We pay the ever rising taxes and should be able to hear first hand how our money is being spent. A donation can be taken at the door for such charities as Project HOPE and SongCatchers, instead of money being spent on cocktails and dinner.
The response from Eli Gordon, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, is indicative of the frustration many working class people in New Ro feel. Note the "we set up seats in the back"—sounds awfully close to the Rosa Park days of "sit in the back of the bus," eh? Is this the vision of Noam Bramson? Very disheartening, very sad, but so real. Is this the illusory “Diversity” that Mr. Bramson so often clamors?
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