By Rabbi Shea Hecht
When I look to endorse a candidate running for public office, one of the important factors I value is sensitivity to issues in our community. Scott Stringer has a strong track record of responsiveness to the Jewish community, and I am therefore confident that he will continue to be a receptive and compassionate public figure.
In his years as Manhattan Borough President, Mr. Stringer has stood up against anti-Semitism and supported our community, addressing our concerns and needs. I therefore endorse voting for him this Tuesday to be our next Comptroller.
The Comptroller is the chief fiscal watchdog of the City of New York—a powerful check on the Mayor and the steward of our City’s $140 billion pension fund. The Comptroller leads a staff of 760 professionals serving 18 bureaus with a budget of $76 million.
As such, the Comptroller has the duty to be a powerful voice for working people in New York City and to work with other Comptrollers, Treasurers and pension funds across the country to improve pension returns, cut costs and fees and strengthen collective corporate governance work and by pressing Washington to enact policies that address the unique problems facing America’s urban communities. The Comptroller is also responsible for improving the performance of City government to ensure it meets the needs of all New Yorkers.
Scott Stringer has both a proven track record and concrete goals for addressing financial issues which concern the Jewish community in Crown Heights and in other boroughs, as well as all of the working and middle class families of New York City.
For example, one of the biggest concerns of the Crown Heights Jewish community is the high cost of yeshiva tuition. In 2012, during Mr. Stinger’s Borough presidency, yeshiva students became eligible for a state-funded financial aid program known as the New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
Coupled with federal Pell Grants, this aid has helped many students continue their education beyond grade school, including many who attend the United Talmudical Seminary in Williamsburg. In addition, the State now provides millions of dollars in funding for state-mandated services, ranging from textbooks and health services to technology needs and teacher training.
Another concern of the community is making New York City a more affordable place to live. As Comptroller, Mr. Stringer says he will invest in affordable housing that is desperately needed by families in Crown Heights and in neighborhoods throughout the City and real middle class tax relief for people struggling to make ends meet.
All residents of New York City should be concerned with excessive government spending which comes out of the taxpayer’s pocket. According to Mr. Stringer’s platform, he will address these concerns by conducting performance audits to make sure taxpayer money is being spent efficiently on programs that really work. He will cut the $400 million in annual fees the city is paying money managers and appoint a Chief Risk Officer to proactively and systematically manage risk.
As Comptroller, Mr. Stringer will be a staunch advocate for middle class New Yorkers, ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely. His 20 years of public service have been defined by independence, integrity, and hard work on behalf of working people.
In the Jewish community, we hold our leaders to a high standard, and Mr. Stringer’s opponent has by his own admission committed immoral and illegal acts. Mr. Stringer has never once embarrassed his constituents in twenty years of public service. On the question of what kind of role model Mr. Stringer strives to be, he told YQ Media:
“I have a wife and two young sons and you can bet that every day, I think about being a good husband and a dedicated parent as the first elements of being a role model. Beyond that, I think leaders are expected to treat all people equally, without regard to where they grew up or how much money is in their bank account. That means having one standard of justice for everyone who comes before you—whether it is a privileged constituent from Park Avenue or a middle class mother from Nostrand Avenue.”
Our leaders are expected to work hard to make New York a better place for our children to grow up and prosper. Mr. Stringer has always been a tireless advocate for our families and will continue to be one as Comptroller.
I therefore strongly endorse Scott Stringer for New York City Comptroller.
Joining me in this endorsement are the following community leaders Rabbi Zally Abramowitz, Rabbi Ari Raskin, Rabbi Shimon Hecht and Rabbi Hanoch Hecht.
Please vote in the Primary Election this Tuesday, September 10. (Poll site in the Crown Heights neighborhood at St. Marks’s Day School, located at 1346 President Street.)
VIDEO: Scott Stringer greets shoppers at Gourmet Glatt in Boro Park for Rosh Hashana, accompanied by Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group and a long-time friend of Mr. Stringer.