Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion column written by Lauren Loiacono, a Cornell graduate, parent and piano instructor who has lived in Ithaca since 2001.
As always, The Voice is willing to reprint alternative or dissenting viewpoints. If you wish to write a response, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jeff Stein
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Dear Mr. Reed,
I awoke this morning to the news of your re-election. I did not vote for you and cannot say that I am pleased by the outcome. However, I am one of your constituents and, as such, I expect that you will read this letter with the open-minded respect all your constituents deserve.
As the elected official in NY-23, you are tasked with representing ALL of your constituents, including the residents of Ithaca. Beyond representing us, I would also like to think that you are proud of this district you represent and speak well of your constituents. Unfortunately, that is not at all what I witnessed in your recent campaign. Instead, your campaign chose to disparage and poke fun at the largest city in your district. Your campaign’s comments about Ithaca and its residents are completely unacceptable. Imagine how it feels to be a resident of Ithaca and hear *your congressman* speak of your city in such a disrespectful and hateful manner. Whether I personally voted for you is immaterial. Whether you won Ithaca or not is immaterial. Our city and all of its residents are part of your constituency and you are charged to represent and, dare I say, respect us.
Your campaign and your ads targeting Ithaca represent what is broken in our political system. Who thought it was wise or appropriate to garner support by attacking a portion of your own constituency? Hasn’t history, not to mention common sense, taught us that stereotyping and name-calling flies in the face of anything meaningful or dignified?
Aside from the ways in which my political views differ from yours, I am shocked, saddened, and rather sickened by the prospect of being represented by someone who would run such a campaign. This issue transcends political ideologies. This is about respect for your own district. Even the youngest children are taught how to treat others in a respectful manner. How disgraceful for adults – especially adults with one of the most privileged and hallowed responsibilities in our democracy – to stoop so low.
Ithaca – and all of its residents – deserves an apology from you. And since you are, for better or worse, our representative, I sincerely hope you will consider making right what you made wrong.
— Lauren Loiacono