Amicone Faults Senators for Election Year ‘Dog and Pony Show’;
Says Neither has Delivered in Meaningful Way for City;
Calls for Less Talk, More Action
Yonkers, NY — April 26, 2010 — Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone (left) is calling out U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (right) and New York State Sen. Andrea Stewart- Cousins (center) for staging an election year political grandstand over the weekend in Yonkers, while doing little-to-nothing to actually deliver for the people of the city.
At the Yonkers YMCA on Saturday, Gillibrand and Stewart-Cousins conducted a community roundtable on the subjects of drugs and gang violence. But Amicone says it was nothing more than a photo op staged for members of the press in order to convince community leaders that the senators are actually doing something meaningful. All evidence is to the contrary, according to Amicone.
"The community meeting held by Senators Gillibrand and Stewart-Cousins over the weekend was an absolute joke. Not only was it blatant election year politics, it was an overt attempt to mislead the people of Yonkers away from their collective record of failing to deliver for this city. As mayor, I feel obligated to call this what it is: a campaign stunt, and a shameful one at that," Amicone charged.
"We don't need our legislators to come to Yonkers and tell us we have a gang and drug problem. All that demonstrates is a firm grasp of the obvious. What we need is for them to deliver the funding that will help us combat these issues and build stronger, safer communities."
The mayor continued, "To my knowledge, this is the first time Sen. Gillibrand has even set foot in Yonkers on official business since becoming our senator almost a year-and-a-half ago, and it's no coincidence that this is the year she's running for election. And despite our repeated requests, she has yet to meet with me or any city officials to even discuss ways that she can help the city in Congress. I'm sorry to say that her record is one of empty talk and zero action."
Since January of last year Mayor Amicone has been to Washington twice on official city business, lobbying federal officials for more investment in Yonkers. Sen. Gillibrand is the only member of Congress not to meet with Amicone, either in Washington or in Yonkers.
"Even worse, the fact that Sen. Stewart-Cousins co- sponsored this dog and pony show is the ultimate hypocrisy. She comes to Yonkers pretending to do something about gang violence and drugs. Meanwhile, the state budget she and her colleagues in the Legislature have so far failed to adopt cuts tens of millions in state funding to Yonkers and will force us to layoff police officers and other city workers — the very people we're counting on to combat gangs and drug violence on the front lines," Mayor Amicone said, referring to more than $40 million in municipal and education cuts in the state budget.
Amicone added, "If Sen. Stewart-Cousins really wants to be helpful and do something about gang violence and drugs, she'll go back to Albany and get to work on a budget that provides adequate public safety funding for the people of Yonkers, and delivers the fair and equitable education funding that will help turn our children away from that dangerous lifestyle."
"We need less talk and more action from our two senators, both in Washington and in Albany. Campaign photo ops don't get the job done; in fact, they're counter productive. Let's see Senators Gillibrand and Stewart-Cousins actually deliver some funding for our police officers, for anti-drug and -gang programs, and for education. If that happens, I'll be the first one to stand up and pat them of the back. Until then, it's time to put up or shut up," Amicone concluded.
Source: City of Yonkers Press Release