Please see the attached document containing a statement from Roxie Stowe and a joint statement by the three Democrats on the New Rochelle City Council. These statements are offered in response to requests from the media for reaction to the Council Republican press release issued earlier today.
Statement of Roxie Stowe:
At the suggestion of many neighbors, community leaders and Democratic officials, I am prepared to provide the people of District Three with the continuous representation they deserve and to uphold the principles and goals for which my husband fought for the past seven years. I cannot be manipulated or bullied by anyone – and reject entirely the statement that I am being “exploited for political gain.”
Statement of Mayor Noam Bramson, Council Member Barry Fertel and Council Member Marianne Sussman:
The important matter of choosing a new representative for the Third Council District should not be permitted to degenerate into an ugly, partisan fight. The people of District Three expect and deserve better than that. For this reason, we are tempted to withhold comment entirely on the latest press release from our Republican colleagues. Their statement, however, is so offensive and misleading, that silence is not an option.
Here are the facts that the Republicans’ overheated rhetoric attempts to conceal:
1) The November 2nd election to choose a new Council Member is required by State law and the City Charter and will occur as scheduled. The implication that this election has been somehow suspended or that residents of District Three will be ”denied the right to choose their own representative” is a disgraceful and inflammatory lie.
2) We have pledged and continue to pledge to immediately seat the winner of the November 2nd special election and respect the will of the people in District Three. It is the Republicans who still refuse to make this commitment. Their silence on this issue is deafening.
3) As the Republicans know very well, they were approached weeks ago in the hope that this matter could be resolved through bipartisan agreement to seat the November 2nd election winner. Regrettably, they have decided instead to treat this serious issue as a circus to exploit for partisan gain.
4) Democrats proposed the appointment of Mrs. Stowe in direct response to community input, because some residents had expressed concerns about even a two-month vacancy in the District Three seat and because Mrs. Stowe is uniquely linked to the mandate of the last election. Our positions on both the appointment of Mrs. Stowe and the appointment of the special election winner are based on respect for the people’s clear wishes, as expressed at the ballot box.
The Republicans’ outrageous attempt to claim the mantle of the civil rights movement for their own narrow partisan objectives is repugnant and an insult to all who struggled nobly to achieve equality in our country. The misuse of terms like “Jim Crow” for petty partisan gain sullies the heroic memory of giants like King and Parks and devalues the experience of those who sat at lunch counters, endured beatings, linked arms and too often gave their lives in support of justice. We doubt that any resident of District Three – or New Rochelle as a whole – will be fooled by this cynical tactic.
Democrats believe in inclusion, and, in this matter, we have been guided by the input and requests of District Three residents and leaders. We have repeatedly pledged to honor the special election outcome through an immediate appointment and call, yet again, on the Republican Council Members to join us in this pledge. We are ready and eager to appoint Roxie Stowe right away to provide District Three with continuous representation. And despite this unprecedented breach in the civility and decorum all citizens expect from the Council, we will endeavor to continue working across party lines for the common good of our city.