Democracy, Whether We Like It or Not

Election Day 2016: How Did We Do on Roosevelt Island?

Updated 2 years ago Peter McCarthy
Reelected NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright
Reelected NYS Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright
The Roosevelt Island Daily file photo

Election Day, 2008, a friend emailed from India: "The whole world rejoices." Eight years later, the world's reaction is much different, but locally, Roosevelt Island stood tall with our choices.

It's till hard to believe that our nation elected Donald Trump as our next President, and analysts will be dissecting the causes and effects for as many years as it takes for global warming, now about to catch an updraft, to melt civilization.

But Roosevelt Islanders and the neighborhoods with which we share in New York City can be proud that we did our part in electing the best qualified leaders to help us through the next few years.

  • Most closely aligned with us by geography, the 76th New York State Assembly District saw the reelection of Rebecca Seawright to a second term. Seawright has been a visible presence on Roosevelt Island and the rest of her district. She's a valued activist who will serve us well.
  • The first time I met Carolyn Maloney, she was riding Red Buses around the Island on a Saturday, talking with voters as a candidate for the House of Representatives. Also reelected by a large margin, Maloney has been our champion in Washington for a quarter of century. She never seems to have lost her enthusiasm for getting things done.
  • State Senator José Serrano, Jr. was reelected by a similarly large margin, giving Roosevelt Island a chain of continuity across the spectrum we can count on continuing to work with.

As Hillary Clinton said in her acceptance speech, "This one hurts." But she also went on to encourage us to stay in the game, standing with the children she's devoted her life to helping, the immigrants who may doubt that they still belong, the LGBTQ community where doors have finally been opened and are now in danger of closing, people of color still trapped in a cycle of second class citizenship, the Muslims who have been unfairly characterized and, from my point of view, the struggling Americans who are about to learn that the voice they just voted for is not really their own.

We need to work harder than ever to fight efforts to roll back the humanitarian gains of the Obama years.

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