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OP-ED: “The Hard Truth” By Ben Guttmann, Candidate for City Council

Ben Guttmann, Candidate for NYC Council District 26

Sept. 30, 2020 Op-Ed By Ben Guttmann

There is a famous scene repeated in countless cartoons. The coyote chases the roadrunner off the cliff, hangs there for a moment in mid-air until he looks down, realizing that gravity is about to bring him to an unfortunate fate, and then he plummets – often with an anvil following shortly behind.

This is what it feels like in New York City at this precarious moment. We have not fallen yet, but with our footing gone, the danger comes once we look down.

The pandemic has pulled back the curtain and shown in cold daylight what is broken in this city.

One in five of us is jobless. One in three of our small businesses may be gone for good.

We have a housing crisis that has resulted in the highest homelessness since the Great Depression and prices that lock out my generation.

We readily give away a quarter of all the land in this city to dangerous, polluting vehicles while neglecting our crumbling public transportation infrastructure.

We have a bloated police force that too often views those it serves as antagonists. Inequality is deeper than ever. NYCHA is an afterthought. Storefronts are empty. Schools are packed. And this is all happening while the waters are rising around us.

These are big problems, and the times are tough. But I believe that the fight is worth it. This is why I’m running to represent District 26 in the New York City Council.

I have been an entrepreneur and champion of western Queens for nearly a decade, and I’ve seen first-hand how all of these challenges come to a head right here in our community.

As an outspoken progressive voice on Community Board 2, I’ve long been a thorn in the side of powerful interests.

This district, and the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, and Astoria that comprise it, is where we can, and we must take a stand and build a better city.

We can reimagine our streetscape with pocket parks, micro mobility parking, safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and non-gross garbage solutions.

We can allow retail and cultural institutions to use our streets, and disincentive storefront vacancies to bring back the vitality of our neighborhoods.

We can expand NYPD training and institute a residency requirement to improve our policing. We can equitably and inclusively build housing, schools, and transportation onto Sunnyside Yard, and urgently build resiliency around Newtown Creek.

We can even use existing rights of way to add new mass transit, and existing public land to add more green space – both desperately needed. These are all problems with solutions.

The hard truth is that the promise of New York is slipping away. The hard work is that we can fix it. This is why I’m joining the fight, and I hope you can join me.

Ben Guttmann is the co-founder and co-owner of Digital Natives, a Long Island City-based digital marketing agency. He is running for City Council in district 26 to represent Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria.  

For more information Guttmann’s campaign visit: http://ben2021.com/

email the author: [email protected]enspost.com

9 Comments

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Tony

This guy is obviously tone def if he thinks he can run successfully on a progressive agenda when all the problems we have right now…WERE CAUSED BY PROGRESSIVES!

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FromLICQueens

OMG, it’s crazy, clueless AOC all over again! This guy thinks he’ll only represent a portion of our population. That’s bad news for all of us. People are abandoning NYC in unprecedented large numbers because this “progressive” approach has FLOPPED ginormously! I have so many neighbors in LIC that are gone from NYC for good. He’s got no idea how much well-paid New Yorkers contribue financially to this city. The budget hole is only going to get larger and larger, and then the bottom will fall off.

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Frank

How are you going to pay for all this? The pandemic has shown that I can do my job from anywhere. Raise taxes, and many high income residents will leave the City

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CHARLES CASTRO

How is your progressive ideology any different from the rest of the past and or future candidates? You all have the same socialist mentality that has brought us to where we are today, high crime, dangerous streets, people losing their jobs due to stringent anti-business rules, etc. etc. . Tell me how you differ.

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NYC for Ben

Ben is a solid candidate that cares about the fate of this city. He’s got my vote!

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Chas

Who help you get on C2. Please be honest who sponsored you.I am not familiar with you ,I have been a resident for 30 years . Your Ideas are a pie in the sky ,but please answer and don’t be a coward . We have one already in the City Council.

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LIC Resident

THANK YOU! It is so refreshing to hear from a politician that seems to actually get what’s happening here. I’m especially excited to hear more about your ideas for Sunnyside Yard–it has such potential!

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