Last week, one of Borough Park’s prominent community activists – Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group, took the role of being the first Orthodox Jew to publicly endorse Christine Quinn for mayor. In an Op-Ed on one of the news sites, Ezra explained why he decided to back Quinn for mayor and why the Borough Park community should follow suit.
“For me, the turning point in deciding to write this op-ed was precisely when Speaker Quinn decried the pandering of the other candidates,” Friedlander writes. “It was precisely what she was not promising that convinced me that when she does make a commitment, you can bank on it. I have known Quinn since her earliest days in the New York City Council prior to her becoming speaker and her record exhibits that she is sincere and dependable.”
“What should be most important to you as a voter, is a mayor who empathizes with the constituents. Christine Quinn’s record of public service and not her personal life demonstrates that she has the unique insights to understand the challenges and particular needs of the Orthodox Jewish Community,” Friedlander emphasized.
In an effort to convince voters to be open to Ms. Quinn’s candidacy, Friedlander compared her to the remaining candidates who have been received warmly and are been considered to get to the Mayor’s office. “Politics is not the Bais Medrash. None of the serious mayoral candidates reflect our lifestyle, nor do they have to, in order be effective advocates for our community,” Friedlander writes. Adding, Christine Quinn is the only candidate outstanding as “smart, sensible, stable, strong, and sensitive.”
“When it comes to politics, I always keep the following expression in mind, “Don’t be right, be smart.” I urge you to understand, don’t be right,” Friedlander concludes.
In an interview on the Spin Class radio show I hosted Thursday evening, Mr. Friedlander explained that social issues are not the center of this campaign, since there’s no daylight between all of the ‘reasonable’ candidates, who have a shot at winning, on social issues. Nonetheless, Friedlander believes Ms. Quinn is “a person who has by in large a moderate, middle class approach to governing.”
“Quinn is perceived as more conservative on economic issues,” he added, while pointing out that Bill de Blasio has already promised to raise taxes.
Aren’t you preaching to a deaf crowd, I asked, pointing out to Bob Turner and David Storobin’s stunning victories? “In a citywide race, it is almost impossible for the Orthodox Jewish community to have that kind of influence and the numbers to dictate,” Friedlander responded. Adding, Christine Quinn should get the same consideration as the other mayoral candidates, giving her equal opportunity to stump about her candidacy.
In a rather grilling interview, Assemblyman Dov Hikind mocked Friedlander’s assertion that Ms. Quinn is not pandering, and that her track record is one the Orthodox Jewish community would find as ‘friendly.’
(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)