Quoted in The Associated Press: “Shock, then ambition: Ocasio-Cortez hopes to shake up House”

I am proud to have supported Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the Democratic nomination for New York’s 14th congressional district. I am proud of my neighbors in the Bronx and Queens for voting for bold change. I am my proud of my future congresswoman for speaking truth to power and delivering an impressive victory.

Supporters in her district said that’s what they were looking for when they picked her over U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, a senior member of the Democratic leadership in the House and a longtime party boss in Queens.

“She understood us because she is one of us,” said Syed Ali, a 26-year-old Harvard University graduate student from the Bronx who volunteered for her campaign. “The real highlight of her campaign was just how genuine she was. Her voice felt very true.”

Read more from The Associated Press >

New Yorkers, Vote Because Your Lives Depend on It

Make your mark.  Vote.  From the NYC Votes/the New York City Campaign Finance Board.As anyone who lives in New York is aware, it’s municipal election season.  The mayoral race, holding the most political power, has attracted the most attention.  The mayoral race has also received nationwide publicity due to a scandalous candidate, which also helped elevate the comptroller’s race into visibility.  There are many other positions up for grabs, however, including Public Advocate, Borough President, and City Council.  It’s easy to brush these elections off, but New Yorkers should take them seriously; your lives hang in the balance. Continue reading “New Yorkers, Vote Because Your Lives Depend on It”

MARCH.

President Obama delivered on Wednesday a speech in commemoration of the fifty-year anniversary of the March on Washington. Some have lauded the successes of the movement, while others have reflected on its shortcomings. Ultimately, in any polarized discussion, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Although he himself does not harp on it, it is impossible not to pause over the powerful symbolism of President Barack Obama presented before us. When he speaks of interracial marriage, it is difficult not to think of Obama himself, the product of a black father and a white mother. When he says that the White House has changed, it bears a force that can only come from the first black President. Could King even dream that such an event would happen so soon after he stood at those steps? Continue reading “MARCH.”

NYC Digital: Listening to You

Rachel Haot, NYC's Chief Digital Officer, presents on the State of the Digital City.
Rachel Haot, NYC’s Chief Digital Officer, presents on the State of the Digital City. [Photo by Joly MacFie]

With the sun starting to set a warm glow over the East River, I was one of 150 people scurrying through the stone streets of DUMBO on Thursday, July 11th.  Approaching the NYU-Poly DUMBO Incubator building, strangers’ suspecting glances were confirmed: others around them were also heading to the Brooklyn edition of the NYC Digital Roadmap Listening Sessions.

The name of the event series may cause some minor confusion.  The “Digital Roadmap Listening Session” is not just for attendees to listen to government officials explain themselves.  Those attending the sessions are not supposed to merely listen to that which is already occurring.  It would be a mistake to assume that the listening in these sessions is merely passive.  Ordinary New Yorkers are invited to be “innovators,” as the @nycgov Meetup group terms attendees.  It is important to note that the events are described as participatory discussions; all are welcome to chime in on the city’s digital future. Continue reading “NYC Digital: Listening to You”

Looking into the Prism: Surveillance, Secrecy, and Snowden

PRISMMedia outlets have been abuzz for the past few weeks, scandalizing the revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) has vast records, even on Americans.  The question of security versus surveillance has provided much room for debate, even inviting comparisons to oppressive regimes.  Perhaps even more heavily, the popular media is fascinated by the Edward Snowden, the Booz Allen contractor responsible for the leaks.

In engaging in such pervasive surveillance, the government is overstepping its bounds.  While the actions of these agencies are likely legal, they are not necessarily appropriate.  President Obama and other officials have repeatedly insisted that these actions are not made explicitly illegal by the word of law.  Rather, they have been sanctioned by all branches of the federal government.  Is this enough?  Continue reading “Looking into the Prism: Surveillance, Secrecy, and Snowden”