Tag Archives: Andrew Cuomo

Open Letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio


Dear Mayor de Blasio,

As someone who has focused on expressing myself during this crisis almost exclusively through positive words of hope and encouragement, I have refrained from publicly expressing my thoughts regarding your job performance.  I’ve been one to take the approach that negativity does nothing for anyone, that my personal responsibility is to look for ways to help, and when I don’t find those opportunities I should only speak to those things positive.  However, your incompetence, partially based on what appears to be a biased focus, often against New York’s Jewish community has finally compelled me to speak up.

This is not a letter motivated by anything political. In fact, I find the most agreed upon non-partisan opinion in New York is the subject of your job performance.   As a New Yorker I felt gratitude for the daily updates we were receiving from both the President as well  New York’s governor in the earlier days of the pandemic. While each political side will attack the other and find fault in the actions of both of those men, I choose to take the position that they have both worked hard to protect those for whom they are responsible.  Furthermore I believe that when applying our judgments as to where they may have made mistakes,  we need to take into account that no one in the world had any experience in dealing with this type of situation.  However, as Mayor of New York, your inept performance during this pandemic has been so glaring, it has contributed greatly to the devastation the city has faced.

Although I am someone who agrees with making the use of marijuana one’s personal choice, when various sources over the years have indicated that you spend many, if not most of your mornings getting stoned, I doubt that is helpful in your abilities to handle a crisis of this magnitude.  Where were your actions in managing transportation at the onset of the spread? I know that essential workers need to travel to get to their places of employment, but did you make any attempt to structure a safer way to ride the subway?  Did you provide any alternative methods of transport?  I lived in the borough of Queens for around 25 years of my life, and knowing how subway travel is done through the borough, without a mayor taking some action, thousands upon thousands of people had to have traveled daily in what was clearly a petri dish. And on March 15th, 3 days after travel from Europe was shut down, you encouraged New Yorkers to go for one last drink. Well done Mr. Mayor, I am fairly confident that for some of those people it surely was one last drink.

I’ve seen you look panicky in news conferences, regularly assign blame to others, and contradict directives coming from Governor Cuomo’s office.  But when all else fails, I’ve seen you go back to the well for that one thing that really gets you going.  That favored activity of yours, the blaming and attacking of Orthodox Jews.  When the governor was asked about the gatherings in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, his response was that he found any large gathering to be unfortunate and dangerous and that he had spoken to the leaders of the various communities.  What did you do? You singled out the Jewish community.  You even made sure to run over personally to one of the gatherings. And apparently you are now opposing the governor once again on allowing places of worship, primarily Jewish places of worship to open up with guidelines.  Neither I, nor anyone I know outside of those specific communities have supported the large gatherings, however as Mayor of all of New York City, for you to target one group over any other shows a clear disdain for that specific group.  And what may very well be the most important point I make in this letter, is that had your criticism of those Jewish communities been consistent with a tough, hard-working non biased approach, I would have no legitimate criticism.  Instead it was more in line with a lazy approach and thought process based on hindsight, bias and the blaming of others.

Regardless of whether or not one loves or hates him today, Rudy Giuliani guided New York through post 9/11 in Churchillian fashion. I would say you have guided New York through the Coronavirus crisis more like Bozo the Clown, but that would be unfair to Bozo.  If the New York City we have known and loved falls as a result of what has taken place, that above all else will be what shapes your legacy.  Not only have you been a disgrace, but you continue to find ways to compound your errors on a regular basis.  The next best thing that will happen to New York City is when it gets a new mayor. I just hope that by the time that happens it won’t be too late.


David Groen


While People struggle, get sick or die, many still spend their time pointing fingers and fighting


Like every other normal person on the planet, I am saddened and concerned by the current state of affairs.  Also, like many others out there, I search for that silver lining.  It has been my hope that one of the things people would learn from this crisis is to look more at themselves and how they can become better, and less to how they can criticize others for what’s wrong in the world.  While I am sure there are many out there who are trying to do that, it is clear from what I see in the press and in social media that this is not happening on a large enough scale.

I will do my best to make my point without being overly political.  However, since most of the bickering and finger pointing is indeed rooted in political affiliation, it will be very difficult to make this point without going back to the source.  Sadly, it is clear that even in the most serious crisis that America has faced since WWII, a significant amount of people still put partisanship over country.  In tense times like these, politicians who need to work together but have different styles and philosophies are inevitably going to bang heads to some degree, but if you look to the back and forth between President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, you will see that it is possible to do so without either looking liking a petulant child.  Yet some are so hell bent on turning this into a juvenile pissing match that they even try to coax the 2 of them on, trying to lead them towards personal insults.  To their credit, it has not worked.

Other than taking the critical action of staying home, not everyone is in a position to help during this crisis. But almost anyone can make it worse.  If you get on social media and your contribution is to hurl insults in the direction of people that think differently than you do, then not only are you not helping, you are hurting.  Why?  Because if even one person is polluted by your focus on anger and bitterness over hope and personal development, you’ve contributed towards a societal deterioration we just can’t afford ever, least of all now.  It is human nature to lash out when you are frustrated or scared. I get it. I do it too. But times like these require a little extra self-control, a little extra focus on the all so important final outcome.  This should not be a time to yell because you need someone to blame, this should be about racking your brain to try to find a way to make at least one person’s life better.  If you can’t do that, then at least work on making yourself a better person.

Next time you decide to spend your time insulting other people, whether it be politicians or the average citizen, take a moment to think about whether or not you are helping anyone by doing so. Ask yourself if you want this to be your contribution to society during a time when society faces one of its greatest challenges ever.

And lastly, the time to litigate the performance of your leaders is not while they are working on saving lives.  I live in a hotspot for the Coronavirus. I live in a county in New York State that currently has more cases than every other state, not county, every other state in the country other than New Jersey. I make this point because my Governor is Andrew Cuomo, and my President is Donald Trump.  Two very different people and certainly two very different politicians.  But as an American and as a New Yorker, living through times that are life and death situations, my responsibility is to listen to and support my leaders.  Anything else is divisive, and divisiveness is a disease in itself that will not only not help save lives, it will take them.

So next time you look for people to yell at or blame, take a deep breath and try to make a different choice.  Choose to contribute positively. Call a friend or family member and ask them how they’re doing.  Make someone laugh or give someone encouragement.  Instead of publicly berating someone for what you feel they do wrong, try and find a way do at least one more thing right. Rather than be like everyone else and showing how much you dislike someone for how they think, be a difference maker. Come up with thoughts or ideas that help make people feel better and be better.  If you do that, ultimately you will not only do much more for the people you come in contact with, you will do more for yourself.