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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Albany Neighbors First formed by Tim O'Brien
Times Union ,2/11/09 pB6, informs us that a group
of neighborhood activists
have formed a political action committee to
"draw attention to issues it wants addressed in the
City of Albany.

Two of the group's founders are First Ward Democratic
Committee Member Judith Mazza and Attorney Mark
Mishler, who see themselves
as "progressive neighborhood activists".
They claim not to be competing with the Council of
Albany Neighborhood AssociationS (CANA).

Among the issues Albany Neighbors First highlights
in a 10 page Vision for Albany statement are:
(1) city budget and fiscal problems
(2) urban blight ,(3) energy conservation
(4) violence and poverty
(5) improving public education
(6) urban infrastructure
(7) land use and
(8) "A Government in step with its citizens".

The group proposes a number of actions including:
(1) limiting borrowing and cutting spending
(2) creating a City cabinet position
charged with energy conservation and seeking
state/federal funding to retrofit city homes and
buildings to conserve energy
(3) dealing with blight through improved code
(4) addressing violence and poverty by more
activities for youth
and better relations between communities
most affected by violence, and the Albany Police
(5) cooperation between city government and
the city school district
(6) repairing every city street and a long-term plan
for sewer reconstruction / maintenance
(7) creation of a comprehensive master plan
including improved neighborhood commercial strips
increased residential development downtown and
reduction in spot zoning
and (8) government reform.

The last enumerated action advocated by Albany
Neighborhoods First (government reform) is the
main objective of the group.
Government reform, in the eyes of these
"progressive activists" means that THEY control
the government and THEY decide what
is best for the City, you and me.

It is all about political control!

Of course Albany Neighbors First
is not in competition with is a
political arm of CANA.
CANA would be denied further grant monies
from local and state governments, if it were
to openly espouse political action
and openly embrace the
"new spirit of change and transformation
sweeping the nation".

Albany residents have to look closely at the
nature of that change and ask themselves
is that what they want to occur on the local
level? Is it change for the better or worse?
Who decides the nature of that change?

Most of what Albany Neighborhoods First
proposes, is nothing new. It's just that they are
presenting themselves as the agents
of change that will make the quality of life in
this city and its'
various neighborhoods better.

Believe that and you believe in the tooth fairey.

This group is another front for the Far Left
"progressives" who control the Albany City
School District, and who seek to control
Albany City government.

Notice some serious omissions in the vision
statement of this PAC.

(1) Churches and schools are the instutional
structures that anchors neighborhoods.
Nothing is said about impact of closing churches
and schools as evidence of neighborhood decline.
St Teresa's and St James are two examples which
are forerunners of neighborhood
decline and increased urban blight.

Nothing is said about neighborhood schools being
best for kids parents and maintenance of neighbor-
hood identity/vitality.

(2) Urban blight rampant in Albany, not just because
the city housing stock is aging and 2/3 of the housing
stock is absentee-owned.
The blame for this blight also rests with the tenants
many of whom are parasites living off the government
funded by taxpayers.

(3) The growth of a dependent population that
demands and consumes government services, including
schools, police, fire, Heap, Section 8 housing and
SSI (crazy money); and which contributes little or
nothing to the betterment of society is the major factor
resulting in the blight, crime, violence and disorder
which plagues Albany
and other urban places in the Capital District.

(4) The violence and disorder rampant on city streets
and in city schools is a major quality of life issue for all.
It is a behavioral issue that will not be cured with
simplistic solutions like more
school funding and more after school activities.

These problems will never be resolved without reform
of the social services system and school environments
that condone and reward anti-social, irresponsible
behaviors. Major attitude and behavioral adjustments
are required.

(5) "Progressives" view themselves as superior to the
unwashed, dependent population. The "progressives"
view the latter as the stepping stone of the progressives
to political power and control. The sheep led by the
"good" shepherd.

The road to recovery in America, begins at the local
level with the 2009 city elections.
Voters have the ultimate responsibility for
the fate of our communities, our state and nation.

The voters must endeavor to become informed about
support (vote for) candidates who advocate the best
course of action for the benefit of
all the people of Albany.

The 2009 primaries hold the key to our fate on the
local level ,just as the 2008 primaries held the key
to our fate as a nation.

Joe Sullivan

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