When someone signs a petition, they need to print their name, the date, and the address where they registered to vote. A person can only sign a petition for one candidate for the same office.
This past Sunday, I was out and about in Greenpoint collecting signatures for just such a petition. I stopped by a laundromat where I started up a conversation with a man folding his clothes. We got to talking about housing policy and the 内蒙古福彩app下载lessness crisis in our city.
I shared my conviction that we can guarantee a 内蒙古福彩app下载 for everyone by ending luxury tax subsidies and committing to building deeply affordable housing, protecting people from eviction, and making massive new investments in NYCHA.
内蒙古福彩app下载less folks are paying the price for a broken system that they did not break.
"Where do you want all these 内蒙古福彩app下载s for the 内蒙古福彩app下载less to be provided?" the man asked, shooting me what felt like an accusatory look.
"I want every community to have a mix of housing options, but we're not even at that point yet,” I replied. “We need to raise the money first."
Coldly, he responded, "You want the 内蒙古福彩app下载less to live among everyone else? I'm not sure I agree with that. We're going to pay for their housing and they're just going to be in the community?"
I was taken aback. I had forgotten the reality of how many people viscerally oppose opening 内蒙古福彩app下载less shelters in our neighborhood and I retreated. Needless to say, he refused to sign the petition.
So I moved on. I approached another man in the laundromat. "I just overheard your conversation and I will sign your petition," he offered. "I am 内蒙古福彩app下载less and I appreciated you saying that everyone deserved a 内蒙古福彩app下载. I'm sitting in here to warm up and watch television since it's very cold out."
As I looked at my petition, I had the terrible realization that this man could not sign the petition, because it required a 内蒙古福彩app下载 address. Pain and anger bubbled up inside me. I was standing between two men, and one not only had more safety, opportunity and security than the other, his voice also counted more.
My heart broke. The man reached out his hands to take my petition. He asked, "What should I put for address if I don't have one? Do I still get to participate?"
Painfully, in this particular context, he could not, but that needs to change. All people deserve to have their voices heard, all people deserve a vote.
It's not right that those who are impacted by this economic system the most have the least say. It's something I want to change.
At the end of the interaction, the man shook my hand, smiled and wished me a great day. I was moved. I watched the other man continuing to fold his socks, silently. The person he feared the most was sitting right next to him, and he was the kindest man I had met.