8 Elul 5770
One of the interesting aspects of working as a rabbi in a community is who reaches out to you at election. In the last several years, a number of people have come to talk, to learn about our diverse community, what issues are pulsing through the life of the Jewish community.
Recently I was visited by a really nice young man named Mark Pollard, who is a professor of law at Medgar Evers College and has decided to run for the New York State Senate's 18th district, which represents various parts of Bed Stuy, Ocean Hill/Brownsville, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Red Hook, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope and Sunset Park.
Pollard's website is a bit thin--it could use some more information about the many issues of concern to Brooklyn. I'd recommend he make that information available soon, since the primary is September 14!
In conversation with Mark, I learned about his father's roots in Alabama and his family's emigration to New York; his own work as a prosecutor and now professor; and his passion for housing, jobs and education. He also talked about the sorry state of political affairs in Albany and his desire to help break the logjam of dysfunction and get things moving in the right direction.
I was impressed by his forthright manner, his friendly ease, and frankly, the fact that he took to the time to come visit the synagogue. It says alot about the concerns of politicians and public servants when they reach out to others in the community to actually hear about the range concerns that we all feel about the current state of affairs locally, nationally, and globally.
This kind of refreshing perspective can be very good for getting us going in the right direction.