WE THE PEOPLE: Leadership is in short supply today

We need a functional government to work responsibly and cooperatively to provide America with a sound plan for the future. We have faced challenges before. In the 1930s, New York City was in the grip of bootleggers and racketeers but the work of courageous individuals returned control of the city to decent citizens.

In the 1980s, Mayor Giuliani found a way to enable the NYPD to reduce crime throughout the city. This was accomplished through innovative genius, individual valor and leadership in City Hall. That leadership is in short supply today.

Our neighborhoods are plagued by gun violence and the threat of gun violence. State Senator Parker sponsored a microstamping bill that would add a vital forensic tool to our law enforcement community. A weapon with microstamping technology stamps an alpha numeric code onto ejected shells to identify the serial number of the weapon so police could track down and convict killers.

The proposed law has the support of hundreds of mayors and police departments. It is opposed by the gun lobby. Senator Golden failed to vote on a prior attempt to pass this the law; perhaps the tragedy of innocent children who are gunned down in Brooklyn will convince him to support it now.


Our representatives must speak with one voice about the important issues of safety and education. Mayor Bloomberg is set to close more than 30 schools. His DOE declared that they failed. He failed to state how the closures help the students. Chancellor Wolcott needs more energy when making official statements. After the fifth school worker in three weeks was arrested for sex abuse, he stated in a whisper that the latest DOE, “takes all allegations of abuse seriously.” What is the plan of action, Dennis?


As our political parties are more and more controlled by single issues, all effort and energy is consumed in the contest so that the people become subject to a veritable tyranny of contention between two special interest groups. This is not the way our republic should be governed.

There are some people who delight in the disaster that is imminent due to the discord. Some would use the dysfunction caused by the discord to prove that a weak and divided federal government is acceptable and more acceptable to people who value individual liberty.

This preposterous proposition would result in a society governed so weakly that persons with money and resources would grab up all power to themselves. It is not in the best interests of the people to have a weak and ineffectual government despite what conservative pundits may propose.

Our federal government successfully preserved the Union, defeated the Central Powers and eliminated the Axis. It built our superhighways and nuclear reactors. It funded economic growth and intellectual research. It can and should continue to do great things.


The Pestilential Candidates continue to sling mud at each other and anyone else within sight. Rick Santorum gained momentum and some leaders have shifted allegiance to him like former Sen. DeWine (R-Ohio). However, the candidate had to defend a remark that President Obama’s policies were driven by a “phony theology.” One Santorum spokesperson said this referred to the president’s “radical Islamic policies!”

On “Face the Nation,” Santorum explained that the remark wasn’t about theology but about theology-like beliefs about global warming. Why use the word theology if you want to talk about environmentalism? The Republican primary campaign is awash with irony and Super PAC money. Santorum still has not reconciled his statement that big government must be dismantled with his record of championing every entitlement increase put forward by George Bush while he was in Washington.

Locally, candidate David Storobin — with the full support of the State Republican Committee and Senator Golden — attempts to reduce next month’s State Senate special election contest with Councilmember Lew Fidler to a mud fest.

It is unfortunate that candidates care more about how they sound than they do about the message delivered. In our history, there have been governors who used their energy to trim state government and reduce spending which helped all New Yorkers. We the people must have faith in ourselves and our fellow citizens and find a way to elect representatives with a record of working collaboratively for the future of every citizen.

Brian Kieran is an attorney and community activist who works as a Principal Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Kings County and is a Democrat.

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