Looking for Leadership

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy

As I sat in the dark, writing on my half-charged I Pad just after the storm, I wondered how the events of Monday October 29th would shape a week that was supposed to be occupied by complete immersion in the November 6th Presidential Election.

Flash forward half a week and we have so many stories of power remaining elusive in many communities from the Jersey Shore to Far Rockaway. Commuter transit and even long distance travel came to a halt. The New York City Marathon, a staple for decades cancelled, and gas (if you can find it) can keep you in line for hours with your car or gas can. Phone service has been spotty at best. And this isn’t even the important stuff.

Almost 40 people have lost their lives with some still missing. Many in our listening area lost their homes and thousands of small businesses struggling to recover in a shaky economy, have been stuttered for almost a week.

If there are any lessons to learn as we move past Sandy and attempt to find some sense of stability, one is the importance of leadership.

Tuesday, we go to the polls to elect our Commander in Chief who will be responsible for decisions affecting each and every one of us for the next four years and far beyond. Here’s what’s at stake:

  • 3 Supreme Court Justices will be at or above 80 years of age during the next Presidential term. Our next President will likely select at least 2 Judges to serve on our highest court.

  • Women’s rights are a huge question mark. While some controversial Republican remarks have been dismissed as “rogue” commentary from “regional” candidates, the truth is even Mr. Romney has been caught several times holding a much harder line on women’s health and abortion before securing the Republican Presidential nomination.

  • “Obamacare” has been demonized by Republicans, yet they’ve offered no viable solution to rising health, medical and drug costs that are rising far out of reach of even the insured. How do we keep our population healthy?

  • Jobs-7.9 percent unemployment often translates to 30 and 40 percent unemployment in the “hood” and even some formerly affluent communities. Where are the jobs, and when they arrive, will the average American have the skills required to handle them? And don't even get me started on our public education system!

  • Debt-Research shows the average American household has learned from the past 5 years and decreased the amount owed on credit cards, mortgages and cars. When will Washington learn the same lesson? Owing more money than taxes can take in is dangerous business, especially when we owe some debts to Countries like China, Saudi Arabia and others that could experience financial and internal political fluctuations at any time. Some very tough decisions must be made soon!

  • The Least of These-What happens when you lose your job, have a medical bill you can’t pay, go through a divorce, or a family experiences the sudden death of a bread winner like my college room mate who suddenly passed at 44 years of age this year, leaving a family behind in need of support? Are you just “out of luck”, or should you, as a tax paying citizen, be entitled to a safety net?
    If hurricane Sandy taught us anything, we know there’s a lot that can happen beyond our control. And many along the Jersey Shore and areas around NYC will rebuild thanks to funds from FEMA.

These are just a few of the decisions that will be required by the men and women guiding our Nation after November 6th.

We saw examples of leadership throughout the storm. The decision by President Obama to quickly designate “disaster areas” allowing for immediate assistance proved crucial. Governor Christie, who was on the road just a few weeks back campaigning for Mr. Romney, put politics aside by touring New Jersey with President Obama, then praised the President for addressing the needs of New Jersey. Mayor Bloomberg had to step up and cancel a New York City Marathon that has been a consistent cash-cow for the City. And Newark Mayor Corey Booker directed relief efforts by being “part” of Newark’s recovery by riding along with companies restoring power and delivering food to the elderly and families in housing projects.

On November 6 we elect a leader. Our vote is truly valued this time with an election possibly as close as the 2000 fiasco. Demonstrate the leader in you and VOTE Tuesday!

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