Letters to the Editor

Vendors not sold

To The Editor:

There is a fundamental flaw in the proposed laws Councilmember Gerson has flooded the City Council with (news article, Sept. 26 – Oct. 1, “Police, peddlers, struggle with vending law”). He wants us to believe these laws will somehow magically reduce illegal vending, however, these laws will have no effect at all on illegal vendors. Gerson’s proposed laws are all intended to target street artists. Proposing an avalanche of new restrictions on legal vendors and street artists will do nothing to affect illegal vendors who are already 100 percent in violation of the vending laws regardless of where they set up or how they set up. Virtually every single proposal he has made is a full frontal attack on First Amendment rights in public space. Like so many elected officials today, you cannot take anything Gerson says at face value.

Robert Lederman

President of Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics

To The Editor:

No need for long-windedness here. Councilman Gerson has spent most of his time, and that of the City Council as well, fighting against the First Amendment in a corporatist attempt to seize public space for private interests, in particular those of David Rockefeller’s sinister global Business Improvement Districts, a bizarrely semi-governmental “agency” which extorts “taxation” without representation from defenseless businesses for alleged services provided by ill-paid workers.

Another aspect of Gerson’s war is that it is waged against the poor. He would prefer to see them battle each other in lotteries for street space… or starve… or turn to the state for assistance… or turn to crime to survive. Considering the imploding economy, we can expect many more will be joining the armies of the streets, including former Wall-Streeters. Gerson should have to hit the sidewalk as well.

Gerson is always losing his battle when Robert Lederman and others fight his laws in court. Then he repetitively comes right back with the same or worse bills.

Taz Delaney

Row with us!

To The Editor:

Re “Gay, gray and green color hearing on plan for Pier 40” (news article, Sept. 19 – 25):

Community Board 2’s public hearing two weeks ago on Pier 40 was truly remarkable. To be in a community discussion about what Pier 40 should entail — without the looming prospect of a mega-entertainment complex — is something that we in the West Village community should be celebrating. In the course of the hearing, members of the community stressed the importance of having space for middle schools, larger dog runs, public sports fields, space for the Village Community Boathouse and for a 24-hour L.G.B.T.Q. youth center.

Throughout the course of the night, it became clear that one of the fundamental links that holds these concerns together is the belief that no one wins if development decisions push out uses that are not seen as profitable.

The Village Community Boathouse extended an informal invitation to L.G.B.T.Q. youth to come row with them sometime. In some ways, we and others in the West Village have already accepted the invitation. This boat that we are all rowing is ultimately propelled by pushing development priorities that put people first.

We want to pass the invitation on to West Village elected officials and ask that they too hop in the boat and support a vital space for L.G.B.T.Q. youth on Pier 40. Quinn, Duane and Glick, come on out and row with us sometime, the water’s just fine.

Glo Ross

Ross is lead organizer, FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment)

Hearts and minds

To The Editor:

Re “ ‘RENT’ and ‘Hair,’ how history repeats” (editorial, Sept. 19 – 25):

I was deeply and profoundly moved in my heart by the social conscience expressed here. The social ills laid out: lack of affordable housing; homelessness; being bogged down “in another quagmire war”; issues of patriotism, and drug addiction are very real.

The editorial ends stating “…all the more reason to fight for change.”

The root cause of these symptoms is that society has an infection. That infection is the set of values, priorities and attitudes adopted by the vast majority of our citizens. These values focus on hardened materialism; callous and ruthless indifference to the plight of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society; the belief that the ends justify the means; personal desires and personal pleasure; the cynical belief that it’s every man for himself; a predatory belief in exploiting others, etc.

The cure for this infection? A combination of primal therapy to open up hearts encrusted with cynicism and a regimen of consciousness expansion, including meditation, dream work and affirmations.

There is no other way.

Michael Gottlieb