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OP-ED: “The Hard Truth” By Ben Guttmann, Candidate for City Council

Ben Guttmann, Candidate for NYC Council District 26

Sept. 30, 2020 Op-Ed By Ben Guttmann

There is a famous scene repeated in countless cartoons. The coyote chases the roadrunner off the cliff, hangs there for a moment in mid-air until he looks down, realizing that gravity is about to bring him to an unfortunate fate, and then he plummets – often with an anvil following shortly behind.

This is what it feels like in New York City at this precarious moment. We have not fallen yet, but with our footing gone, the danger comes once we look down.

The pandemic has pulled back the curtain and shown in cold daylight what is broken in this city.

One in five of us is jobless. One in three of our small businesses may be gone for good.

We have a housing crisis that has resulted in the highest homelessness since the Great Depression and prices that lock out my generation.

We readily give away a quarter of all the land in this city to dangerous, polluting vehicles while neglecting our crumbling public transportation infrastructure.

We have a bloated police force that too often views those it serves as antagonists. Inequality is deeper than ever. NYCHA is an afterthought. Storefronts are empty. Schools are packed. And this is all happening while the waters are rising around us.

These are big problems, and the times are tough. But I believe that the fight is worth it. This is why I’m running to represent District 26 in the New York City Council.

I have been an entrepreneur and champion of western Queens for nearly a decade, and I’ve seen first-hand how all of these challenges come to a head right here in our community.

As an outspoken progressive voice on Community Board 2, I’ve long been a thorn in the side of powerful interests.

This district, and the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, and Astoria that comprise it, is where we can, and we must take a stand and build a better city.

We can reimagine our streetscape with pocket parks, micro mobility parking, safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and non-gross garbage solutions.

We can allow retail and cultural institutions to use our streets, and disincentive storefront vacancies to bring back the vitality of our neighborhoods.

We can expand NYPD training and institute a residency requirement to improve our policing. We can equitably and inclusively build housing, schools, and transportation onto Sunnyside Yard, and urgently build resiliency around Newtown Creek.

We can even use existing rights of way to add new mass transit, and existing public land to add more green space – both desperately needed. These are all problems with solutions.

The hard truth is that the promise of New York is slipping away. The hard work is that we can fix it. This is why I’m joining the fight, and I hope you can join me.

Ben Guttmann is the co-founder and co-owner of Digital Natives, a Long Island City-based digital marketing agency. He is running for City Council in district 26 to represent Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria.  

For more information Guttmann’s campaign visit: http://ben2021.com/

email the author: [email protected]

29 Comments

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#wokemuch?

Democrats destroy economic growth: they are against freedom and capitalism although they always have their hands out!

2008
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Mac

Economics is about way more than than just growth. “Larger“ growth many times comes at the employees expense. Democratic economic policies are better at creating individual wealth than Republican policy. Fact! Ten Wealthiest States Per Capita Income 2020 According to US Gov’t:
10. Washington
9. Virginia
8. California
7. Alaska
6. New Hampshire
5. Connecticut
4. Massachusetts
3. Hawaii
2. New Jersey
1. Maryland
According to US News and World Report here are the 10 poorest states in America for 2020:
Mississippi
New Mexico
Louisiana
West Virginia
Alabama
Kentucky
South Carolina
Arkansas
Tennessee
North Carolina

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He's an entrepreneur that wants more small businesses

The capitalist is “against freedom and capitalism?!” You should try reading the articles you copy and paste this on before you embarrass yourself again.

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weNeedmoreLocalEntrepreneurs

#wokemuch? maybe it should be #readmuch. This guy is an entrepreneur. He started and runs an award winning business right here in Queens as stated in the Op-Ed. We need more businesses here in NYC started, run by, and hiring locals. I’m his company has benefited the local economy much more than this naysayers quick to espouse right-wing talking points who is surely finds it easy to criticize but hard to contribute to the community.

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amazing

all the problems he lists are caused by gross overspending and now we have a funding crisis….so the natural solution is to spend even a lot more money…unbelievable that he cannot see how silly this is on its face….and he wants to be a leader of this city…god help us

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Alice

Amazing- It’s always overspending when it’s money going to people and causes you don’t agree with or just plain don’t like. One of the things that makes government different than business is the fact government needs to spend when individuals and the private sector aren’t spending. Spending on something that kicks out a return is not “unbelievable” it’s actually practical.

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wrong

it is overspending when our pension systems are going bankrupt and we have had 19 hospitals close in the last ten years…when working people lose their pensions and we can’t get hospital care and tens of thousands of people will be laid off that is overspending. there will be less trash pickups, firehouses closing, parks falling into disarray, trains and buses always running late and homeless and mentally ill people will be dumped on our streets due to lack of funds from overspending. please don’t play the progressive race card…the left’s divisiveness is growing tired.

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Mac

@Wrong- Is that the introduction to your erroneous post? 19 hospital closed have nothing to do with government spending. Just ask the Catholic Church who closed the vast majority of them. The only people who have lost pensions are people who worked in the private sector like Pan Am, worldcom, TWA or Lehman Brothers. Firehouse closings and less trash pickups are reductions in spending. Are you for real? Over spending like a campaign that is missing a billion dollars?

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ABoondy

he seems very imaginative. but i guess thats what progressives do all day long. the truth is, Ben, you can never fix this city. its misery was designed from the ground up, and while you admit 1 out of 5 is jobless, yet you also want to compound to that by cutting the NYPD jobs, because you think they are too bloated…you know, the PD that used to patrol areas and save countless lives by keeping guns and thugs off the streets. and, what land do you propose on creating these pocket parks on? will the city be taking land from owners in Sunnyside? there have been countless politicians over-promising and never delivering.

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Melissa

Progressives love bail reform, which has released countless criminals who have committed VIOLENT CRIMES back onto the streets to again commit crimes. #feelings

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Maritza

i prefer to vote for a person of color to represent our district. if he truly believes what he says he should endorse a person of color and step out of the crowded race.

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David

Hashtagger as Maritza – Administration needs to block your IP you’re destroying the integrity of this site. Get a life.

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Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC?

Awww did a person of color hurt your fragile feelings?

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ABoondy

because Carranza, who did the same thing, is so successful, that every parent wants him fired.

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Trump redistributed taxpayer wealth to give everyone free money

You’re against that right? What a hypocrite, sad!

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Progressivism is the new communism

Thanks for the laundry list of complaints and talking points we’ve heard before – ad nauseum.

What else ya’ got?

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He's an entrepreneur that wants to help small business...

That would make him a capitalist, you’re completely wrong.

You have NO idea what the difference between socialism and communism even IS lol. Just parroting whatever orange man puts on Twitter.

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David

Susan- The President told you to resist and “liberate” just do it already and get it over with. “It is what it is”.

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That's false, the president was never mentioned

Trumps response to the pandemic cost 200k lives and record unemployment, but he didn’t name Trump directly.

Are you referring to that?

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