By Asher E. Taub, Esq.
As a Republican Conservative frum Jew, the knee-jerk reaction in every race is to vote Republican. In New York City, however, almost all elections are decided in the Democratic primary. This is once again the case in the City Council race for the 24th CD. The 24th CD encompasses the Orthodox neighborhoods of Kew Gardens Hills, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Briarwood, and Jamaica Estates. It is the most Orthodox council district in Queens.
Isaac Sasson is a perennial candidate. He won the lottery a few years ago and thinks he can buy himself an election. In 2009, Mr. Sasson ran for City Council in downtown Flushing, where he resides, and lost. In 2010, Mr. Sasson ran for the New York State Senate against Toby Stavitsky. Mr. Sasson lost again. Mr. Sasson is now running for a third time. This time Isaac Sasson is once again running for City Council, but with a twist. He is running in a district that he doesn’t even live in.
We Orthodox Jews need a proven political tiger who can push our agenda, not someone who is retired and needs a new hobby. To be an effective advocate in the City Council, you need to be politically savvy, to know how to maneuver within the city government. The individual has to bring clout, political skills, and a laser focus on the prize.
We are under attack. First, Bloomberg went after bris milah. At the same time, grants to yeshivas and Jewish institutions have been drastically cut while our taxes have gone through the roof. Anti-Semitism and outright hatred for Israel is on the rise and has infected our halls of higher learning. We need the next mayor to order the New York City Health Department to stop its attacks on milah and our way of life. We deserve our fair share of the pie. We need to make sure that the city with the most Jews in the world does not become Paris, where Jews fear to display their yarmulkes in public. The only way to accomplish that is to be represented by a seasoned politician who can build relationships, or be a bully if needed, to accomplish our goals.
Isaac Sasson has no accomplishments or experience which make him fit to serve our community in these increasingly dangerous times.
Rory is a parent of children in Jewish schools (Solomon Schechter) and knows the tremendous burden that yeshiva parents face. In Albany, Rory fought for yeshiva parents and won. Thanks in part to Rory’s efforts, yeshiva parents are now entitled to receive TAP. The MTA tax which had been assessed against yeshivas was repealed. School busing hours for yeshiva students were extended. Isaac was not seen or heard in any of these fights. Does Isaac know firsthand the financial burdens that yeshiva parents endure?
Every parent’s nightmare is the security of their children at school. Islamic radicalism is on the rise and the funding for school security is down. While in the Assembly, Rory secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants to protect Jewish institutions. In the City Council, Rory will make the safety of all of our children his number one priority. Isaac is flooding our mailboxes and papers with what he will do for our community. Does the security of our children get a single mention?
Rory has been at the forefront of protecting and defending Israel’s right to exist and insuring her security and territory. Though the City Council cannot legislate national policy, it has a voice which echoes throughout the nation. That voice is now muted and sometimes outright hostile. We need to change that. Rory Lancman has the energy, vitality, and drive to do that; does Isaac Sasson?
The choice is clear. Go with a proven leader and doer, or go with an inexperienced neophyte who will spend the first six months learning his way around City Hall. v