9/11 gives NYC elections more importance

The following is a statement issued by the Communist Party of New York on the Nov. 6 mayoral election:

NEW YORK - It is hard to focus on the local elections here; some may be asking if the elections are important. The tragic events of Sept. 11 did change everything, but much remains the same.

The magnitude of the horrible deaths of more than 5,000 people pushed other issues aside. Still, those issues - like saving public schools, ending child poverty, building decent affordable housing and stopping police brutality and racial profiling - are an everyday reality.

If anything, the aftermath of the Sept. 11 tragedies make this election even more important. The inadequate health-care system is taxed even more by the danger of anthrax. The economy, already in crisis, is now far worse, with hundreds of thousands unemployed as a result of Sept. 11.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani managed to change his normally mean-spirited tone in the wake of the tragedy, but he did not change his basic right-wing policies. We saw the real Giuliani arrogance once again when he tried to extend his time in office, despite term limits.

Mayoral candidate and billionaire Michael Bloomberg is spending millions to tell us that he is a liberal who will somehow solve our problems by continuing Giuliani's conservative, racist, undemocratic, anti-labor, pro-big-business policies.

He brags that as a CEO he 'created' thousands of jobs, but his proposals for solving the problems in our public schools is to lay off hundreds of teachers.

He will no doubt favor his big business cronies above everybody else if he is elected. This is not what the working people of our city need. We don't need to privatize our schools and other public services. Bloomberg's election would mean four more years of the worst of Giuliani policies.

We are sharply critical of Mark Green both for his offer to allow Giuliani to remain in office for an extra three months and for his racist and divisive primary campaign against Ferrer.

Green will likely vacillate and require constant pressure from progressives if he is elected. But with pressure from the people we believe that Green can move our city away from the bad policies of the last eight years.

While disappointed in his campaign, progressive voters know that Green is the only candidate who can stop Bloomberg.

We call on Green to rethink his acceptance of Giuliani's 'help' and to apologize for his racist code word campaign against Ferdinando Ferrer. In the remaining time before the election, and as mayor, Mark Green must reach out to all of New York's diverse communities and unions.

The working people of our city have knowledge of the real problems and the best ideas on how to reunite and rebuild our city. That is who Green needs to advise him.

Though Green isn't the progressive candidate we might want, we can once again register our independence by voting on the Working Families Party line.

The proposed changes to the City Charter are another example of the Giuliani administration's attempts to sneak changes by us without clarifying their effects. We advise a no vote on all propositions except Prop. 1, which eliminate gender-biased language in the current charter.

Much is at stake in this election. On Nov. 6, in the midst of the fear, anxiety, shock and anger, we hope the voters will see through all the hysteria and hype and find their way to defeat those who are pushing the divisive policies of the last eight years.