Tony Gronowicz Kicks Off Campaign at Mayoral Forum
Tony participated in a Mayoral Candidate’s Forum at the 19th Annual Bronx Parks Speak Up at Lehman College on Saturday, Feb. 23rd. Here’s his report:
Yesterday, after teaching my Saturday class in American Government at BMCC on Chambers Street, I managed an hour and a half later to make it to a mayoral candidates forum at Lehman College on “The Future of Bronx Parks.” Candidates listed on the program included former Council member Sal Albanese; Tom Allon, newspaper publisher; Adolfo Carrion, former Bronx Borough Presiden;, John Liu, NYC Comptroller; myself, listed as professor and author; and Bill Thompson, former NYC Comptroller. Allon, Liu and Thompson never showed up.
The three remaining candidates were allowed opening remarks, asked questions from the moderator and the audience, and then gave closing remarks. I immediately distInguished myself as a Green, and focused on the record of the Democratic Party (my U of P PhD was on the NYC party) while the two Democrats (although Carrion is now running on the Independence Party line) focused on the future. And of course, I frequently mentioned that the best predictor of the future is the past. I stressed the fact that the one-party rule of the Democrats in the Bronx for over a half century has resulted in Bronx County being the poorest urban county in the nation.
When the question about financing came up. Albanese and Carrion’s solution was the proverbial “public-private partnership”, I pointed out that Bronx parks which are in the worst shape in the city except for the zoo and the botanical gardens, should be financed on a per capita basis that is based on the entire city population; and, most importantly, adjusted for the private portion already given. For example, the hedge fund manager who just pledged $100 million to Central Park. That amount should be deducted from that borough’s public allocation, and distributed to the other boroughs. I noted that the Bronx is the toxic waste dump for the city, and pointed to the audience and Walt Nestler who ran on the Green line as my potential Parks commissioner and deputy mayor.
I made the point that I never see my opponents slogging it out on the annual cleanup day of the Hutchinson River that runs through the Bronx, and which my opponents did not mention in their pie-in-the-sky proposals for the Harlem River.
At the end of the forum, a few of the people in the audience who were present at last September’s Hutchinson River Clean Up day came up to be photographed with me and said they would support my candidacy.
I could go on, but you get the drift.