I’m running for City Council and I need your help.
A lot has changed since I moved to Long Beach in 1979. Things were dim: Crime was high, “steak tidbits” passed for haute cuisine, and many storefronts were empty. I bought my first house for $24,000, quickly suffering two burglaries.
The City by the Sea has been transformed. It is again a destination not only in the summer but also for year round residents looking for a safe, eclectic life style. The city rocks 12 months a year with great restaurants; a vibrant music scene on the beach, clubs and library; and recreation programs.
More work needs to be done. Like many residents, I am still recovering from Sandy not only in an unfinished house but also plying potholed streets and watching ongoing beach reconstruction. We need to rebuild our economic foundation with solid planning and strategic growth.
Long Beach is a tough political arena with plenty of high elbows and sharp words. I’m not worried – as a college hockey player I learned to fight a hard game, leave the rink with no hard feelings and joining my opponents for a post game beer. I am running because I believe I can bring a measure of gravitas and collegiality to government.
I have been a community activist. A not-for-profit corporation I helped found sprang into action after Hurricane Sandy providing donation streams and sweat equity. You’ve seen me on the beach helping out.
Local social media is awash with charges of “corruption.” I am the only candidate who has investigated corruption both as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and as a government official assigned to a statewide task force. If I uncover corruption I will make sure perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law regardless of political affiliation.
I am an advocate for our children, a long time SEPTA member who, along with my wife, Barbara Fischkin, and sons, created programs for disabled youth in schools and on the beach. I’m a fighter – when I uncovered evidence of torture in the Middle School I got involved and continue to push for resolution for our kids.
I am a healer. I served as deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of human rights, developed anti-gang programs with the FBI, working with the NYPD Hate Crime Squad to develop anti-bias curriculum, partnered with the Department of Justice to force the Suffolk County Police Department to eliminate racist practices.
I am a teacher in the police science department at John Jay College and hold a Masters of Science in the Administration of Security and Justice.
I’ve got Long Beach sand in my shoes and my heart. I love the city and I love the residents and want to work with them to help make a better Long Beach.