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MEL WYMORE TO CHALLENGE ROSENTHAL FOR UWS CITY COUNCIL SEAT; WOULD BE FIRST TRANSGENDER MEMBER

Mel Wymore Headshot

Mel Wymore, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary for a City Council seat four years ago to Helen Rosenthal, is throwing his hat in the ring again this year, saying he’s the best person to combat Donald Trump’s policies in the district.

“City Council is our last line of defense against Trump’s attacks on our most vulnerable citizens,” he said in a statement. “We must be vigilant, take initiative, and most of all, organize for action right here in New York. Helen Rosenthal lacks the responsiveness and inclusiveness to serve every member of our community and bring us together.”

Affordable housing has disappeared faster on the UWS than in other parts of the city and classrooms remain overcrowded, Wymore says, criticizing Rosenthal’s response to the problems: “Good leadership isn’t a Twitter rant or an automated voice message.”

Rosenthal responded with a statement saying she is “proud of the work we’ve accomplished together. In upholding the values we as a community hold dear, from tenant protections, school integration and educational excellence, and supporting our seniors, we have given a clear and strong voice to those most vulnerable among us.” We’ve posted her full statement at the bottom of this post.

Wymore, a former community board president who is active in progressive politics, could be a formidable challenger, given his name recognition in the community. In 2013, he got 6,149 votes to Rosenthal’s 7,509. He is a systems engineer who grew up in Arizona and moved to the Upper West Side in 1988. Among his accomplishments on the community board was shepherding the opening of the Gertrude Ederle Rec Center on 60th Street.

Wymore spent much of his adult life as a woman. He married a man and is the mother to two children. But a presentation at his children’s school (Fieldston) was the spark that changed his life, he told the Times in a profile during his last City Council run. He announced he was transgender at his first community board meeting in 2009. Wymore is now the executive director of Transpac, a group focused on advancing trans rights in New York.

Wymore would be the first transgender member of the council.

Cary Goodman, a fierce opponent of the Museum of Natural History’s expansion plans, has also announced he’s running for the seat.

Wymore’s website is here. Rosenthal’s council website is here.

Rosenthal’s full statement is below:

I’m honored to serve the UWS in the City Council and proud of the work we’ve accomplished together. In upholding the values we as a community hold dear, from tenant protections, school integration and educational excellence, and supporting our seniors, we have given a clear and strong voice to those most vulnerable among us.

Now, more than ever, we must continue to come together and stand up for these values. When the current presidential administration is committed to eroding protections for immigrants, women, the LGBT community and many others, we have an obligation as New Yorkers and as Americans to fight back. As your Council Member, I will continue to stand up to hate in all of its ugly forms, from xenophobia to anti-LGBTQ, to misogyny, to racism.

As Trump has unleashed hate, the UWS has been on the front lines of resistance and solidarity. I’ve partnered with the New York Immigration Coalition to speak out against Islamaphobia. As Co-Chair of the City Council’s Women’s Caucus, I’ve led the Council’s efforts to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. Standing together with my colleagues on the Council’s LGBT Caucus, I have fought to expand protections for LGBT New Yorkers.

With the support of the residents of District 6, I look forward to continue to be a leading voice in the City Council fighting for our values.

NEWS | 106 comments | permalink
    1. Paul RL says:

      Our local politicians need to focus on fixing the problems that plague our neighborhood before anything else. If they want to use their energy to combat Donald Trump’s policies, then they should run for Congress or the Senate.

    2. Debbie D. says:

      I think there’s something to be said for identifying how our president’s new policies will affect residents in our neighborhood. Bigger policies trickle down and have to be dealt with on a local level.

      That said, I am stoked that there are some real contenders for this seat, and am curious how the candidates can differentiate themselves, and what they can bring to the neighborhood. Not much up on his website yet other than some broad general statements.

    3. Bruce Bernstein says:

      apparently proud Trump voter PaulRL is unaware of the ways in which federal government and state and city government interact, and the steps that city and state government can take to counteract Trump policies that target working people, immigrants, minorities, and women.

      these include areas like health care, where there is currently a Single Payer bill before the NY state legislature (yes, we have the right to set up a statewide single payer system); election reform; housing, where the federal government will be withdrawing funds from public housing; immigration, where the city has decided not to cooperate with ICE; and many other areas.

      • Paul RL says:

        Working people, immigrants, minorities, and women also have a right to cleaner streets, crime reduction, business improvement, and many other things that are essential to the health of our neighborhood and our general quality of life. If the people we elect to represent us at the local level are not focused on these things, than who is?

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          as i said, you apparently are not familiar with the connection between funding for local services and federal policies, which is ironic, given yesterday’s release of the draconian Trump budget. no one is arguing against focusing on local issues. you argued that dealing with national issues is irrelevant to a council person, which is simply false.

          by the way, we live in a neighborhood that has astonishing low violent crime rates. an amazingly low level of violent crime. fewer murders per capita than many supposedly safe smaller cities, like Portland Maine. the endless harping on crime as opposed to the incredibly pressing and important issues facing us, such as affordable housing, health care, education, income inequality, and racism seems to be a form of tunnel vision.

          policing is an issue but it’s off base to mention it in NYC without also mentioning our astonishingly low rate of violent crime.

          the right wing fanatics on this site, almost to a person, predicted gloom and doom when De Blasio did away with racial profiling re: stop and frisk. i have yet to see a single one admit he or she was so very very wrong.

          i’m all for “business improvement.” let’s start with some form of control on commercial rents, which have gone up to levels that are forcing small businesses to close throughout the city, and especially in our neighborhood.

    4. Lynn says:

      Having Progressive in each level of Government should be the focus, in addition to Congress. Keeping NY a progressive city shows our unity and strength.

    5. UWSider says:

      Anyone but Helen! As a parent who went through the District 3 school rezoning and watched Helen’s endless hypocrisy, I couldn’t be happier to see her out of office.

      • UWSschoolparent says:

        Agreed! I look forward to learning more about Mr. Wymore and getting Ms Rosenrich out of her office!

      • Anne says:

        Hypocrisy? How so? I found Helen Rosenthal to be the only elected official representing us to truthfully and candidly stake out an opinion on he re-zoning issue. (LINDA Rosenthal…now that’s another story.) I appreciate what actually seems to be thoughtful integrity on HR’s part. She is not your typical politician.
        (minor peeve: I do wish we could all better appreciate her Columbus Ave bike lines without the double-parked trucks et al that make things feel MORE dangerous to riders).

        • Steve says:

          Completely disregarding all constituents is not integrity. Especially not when you are doing this for the benefit of luxury high rises and your buddy, DeBlasio, who you are hoping to gain favors from as Helen is.

          • Anne Schramm says:

            I don’t even understand what you are saying. The beneficiaries of the rezoning are hardly all luxury tenants. (That may be the most uninformed comment I have seen on the whole rezoning issue, actually!.) Many, many constituents were heard & a diverse group was in favor of zone lines that create more diverse and well-sized zones. Raise your hand if you are a disgruntled Lincoln Towers resident…

        • Steve says:

          I should also mention that Helen is known to be extremely vindictive, using her power of office to get back at people who do not serve her well (e.g., if she has heard that a certain group has not voted for her). Again, integrity isn’t the word I would chose for these types of actions.

    6. Ken J. says:

      The only thing Helen Rosenthal does is send out announcements about her alleged doings.

    7. Sherman says:

      I think Rosenthal is a disaster but this person brags about being even more “progressive” than Rosenthal.

      That’s pretty scary.

    8. Molly Fowlere says:

      Very pleased to see that Mel Wymore is stepping into the race. He seems far better connected to my idea of the Upper West Side than Helen Rosenthal, who seems to simply operate in our Mayor’s shadow rather than as a representative of her constituency. I’ve watched the UWS shift more under her than it should. She nor her Mayor are true Progressives, and this is absolutely a Progressive neighborhood. It really doesn’t matter to me what Helen claims at this point. She’s a lot of talk, but what is she DOING?

      • Molly Fowlere says:

        Just looked at What Wymore has accomplished in our neighborhood. Wow! And Helen? I don’t want to frighten voters from DIstrict 6 away with the word Progressive. Wymore seems to know who we are, what our small businesses need, how to address environmental concerns, how to grow our neighborhood without posting a Trump sign on a building…

      • Sherman says:

        “This is absolutely a Progressive neighborhood”

        I guess all those affluent parents screaming bloody murder at the thought of poor project kids attending PS 199 shows what being “progressive” is all about.

        • Jen says:

          Very down to the point. If the neighborhood is liberal, lately it is an example of latte/limo liberalism at its worst. And I’m a democrat.

          • Sherman says:

            I became a Republican in college when I realized all the hypocrisy of self-proclaimed liberals and progressives.

            (But I despise Trump and the current incarnation of the Republican Party).

            The current PS 199 fiasco is a perfect example of this hypocrisy.

    9. Nathan says:

      I won’t vote for any of them.

      • EricaC says:

        OK, but what WILL you do? Just sitting on the sidelines pouting doesn’t do anything. What is your alternative action?

        • Nathan says:

          I will register my displeasure with the candidates online, e.g. write comments on WSR. 🙂

          I’ll probably vote for somebody, but that somebody surely will have no chance of actually winning.

      • David Shapiro says:

        Good for you!

    10. UWS_lifer says:

      Not really sure what being transgender has to do with anything. But I am also not that naive to think it doesn’t matter

      Let’s keep it to the actual relevant issues and not the usual “political” nonsense. I’ll vote for anyone that I feel will represent the best interests of our neighborhood and our neighbors, especially the oldest and youngest among us.

      I don’t care where you or your parents were born, who you sleep with, what church or synagogue you go to on the weekend and I think most of us feel the same way. At least I hope so. All I really care about is whether you love the UWS.:)

      Come on, let’s make the UWS great again!!! (just kidding, folks)

      Big Nick for Mayor 2017

      • Harriet says:

        Agree totally. I don’t understand why being transgender should matter at all, no more than having blue eyes or brown eyes. We are making too much out of people’s sexual orientation. It was nothing to do with their ability to do or not do the job.

    11. John says:

      If he is going to run on the anti Trump platform I will not be voting for him. I want someone that will actually do there job not just be anti trump and really what does that mean? We have to many local issue that do not include President Trump to be addressed.

    12. Dr. Cary Goodman says:

      I welcome Mel Wymore to the race and agree that the incumbent needs to be replaced. I am running on an eight-point platform that features saving Roosevelt Park from annexation and combating school segregation. We know Ms.Rosenthal supports the museum over the park and has been ineffective in fostering integration in our schools. Where does Mel Wymore stand?

      • UWS_lifer says:

        With all due respect, Doctor, 98% of the UWS either supports the museum expansion or really doesn’t care. Certainly not enough to get someone elected.

        If you are serious, I think you might need to re-calibrate your campaign strategy to include issues that really speak to the residents of the UWS. It shouldn’t all be about you. We already get enough of that from our politicians.

        Put forth a positive plan that is beneficial to the neighborhood as a whole and its many parts. If you don’t know what the issues are that face different streets, schools, buildings etc. then I would imagine the first step is finding out what the true concerns of your prospective constituents are.

        Put forth a common sense mission plan and strategy that addresses those issues in a reasonable and responsible way and i’ll be the first one to support you. And I have a feeling our neighbors would be lining up behind me.

        Good luck.:) Politics is a tough game.

        • Carlos says:

          Agreed – if you are going to be a one issue candidate, the park at the museum is pretty far down the list for most of us.

          A definition of the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of this job would be very helpful. I think a lot of us aren’t very sure what is within the jurisdiction of this role (particularly since many of us get the two Rosenthals confused), which makes it hard to determine whether Rosenthal is truly doing her job and whether the other candidates are making promises they will actually have the power to keep.

          • Steve says:

            Just for clarity: Linda is wonderful. And for people who are more right winged, she is also progressive but still wonderful. Helen is Horrible. It has nothing to do with her political orientation. More to do with her consistent refusal to talk to her constituents on a range of issues and condescending pattern of deciding what is best. Anyone other than her is important, but Mel is a particularly good candidate with his authenticity and track record of LISTENING and actually getting things done rather than claiming accomplishment from others work (as Helen frequently does). Remember: Held. Is Horrible.

      • Paul RL says:

        Doctor, please. The AMNH expansion insures that the UWS will continue to be host to a world-class institution for science and education for years to come. In addition, the plan calls for keeping the park and planting even more trees than it has now. Your obsession with opposing this project is evidence enough that you are not working in the best interests of our neighborhood. Helen has my vote on this one.

    13. Joan Conlon says:

      Thank you Helen.I think local politics is crucial and I’ve been pleased to be on your PB committee.Think your staff is great too.

    14. David says:

      I think it is long past time for a good solid Consevative Republican to toss his hat in the ring and run a slam bang campaign to appeal to the many people of that political persuasion who live on the Upoer West Side. There is not a dime’s worth of difference between the incumbent, Helen Risenthal, and her opponent, Mel Wymore. Both are liberal /progressive Democrats, spouting the same played out flawed policies of the past that have yielded nothing of a positive nature. Those policies have made ours a disfunctiinal society, in which “entitlement” of one kind or another has firmly replaced self-initiative, and dependency upon Government largesse has become a disease! Perhaps, one day soon, the Upoer West Side, like the rest of the country, will awaken from its reverie, face reality, and elect someone who wants to restore a sense of self responsibility and common sense leadership that is NOT based on “political correctness” and other liberal Democratic claptrap that has not served the community at all well.

      • Sherman says:

        I agree it would be great if a conservative Republican would run for City Council.

        (And I mean a Republican representing true Republican values, not what the party has mutated into).

        But as you noted there are too many folks living in the UWS who live off entitlements.

        There’s nothing more permanent than a government entitlement and lefty Democrats like Helen Rosenthal pander to voters sponging off the system.

        I don’t see a Republican gaining any political traction on the UWS anytime soon.

        • EricaC says:

          I do not live off entitlements, but pay for a lot of them. There are many of us who believe that it is the moral obligation of members of society to look after the poorest among us, and that in a country of wealth, no one should go hungry, without housing, or without medical care – even if they are inept, lazy or stupid.

          You can believe in what you believe in, and perhaps a true conservative would be a positive contributor to the neighborhood. But this constant need to assert that the only reason one would support social programs is in order to draw on them oneself is both wrong and very telling. If people who opposed social programs were more certain of the moral foundations for their positions, they would not need to be so dismissive and accusatory in their comments.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            You should check out the supermarket at 104th and Manhattan Ave. You don’t see cash at the register, just that magic Benefits card. Swipe, swipe, swipe.

          • UWS_lifer says:

            This is a great and actually beautiful comment.

            Even if you don’t agree with her politics you have to admit that this is a person of high moral character and treats people with respect and dare I even say, love. You know, like all these so-called religious folks who apparently haven’t even read the books they claim to live by. Blissfully unaware of the hypocrisy.

            This is the kind of person that I want to have as a neighbor and/or friend. The world would be such a better place if this was a more prevalent attitude. Believe me!! as The Donald loves to say.:)

            Conservatives often don’t see the big picture. They are too busy rationalizing their selfishness and greed. Anyway…

            Happy St. Patrick’s everyone!! I’m not Irish and I don’t drink but man, I love St. Patty’s for some reason. I am a huuuuge Van Morrison fan though. The king of Celtic soul. Do yourselves a favor and give him a listen if you have a chance today. Maybe have a Guinness too to really get in the mood.:)

            • UWSHebrew says:

              The purpose of welfare is to help people going through tough times until they get back on their feet. The people I see do it as a lifestyle. Thanks to yours and others views, the government agrees. You somehow feel good about a massive part of our population who do not want to work, and just collect welfare forever? Fascinating.

            • Mark says:

              You’ve been following people longitudinally and observing their welfare status?
              Or is your comment based on feelings rather than actual information.
              Seems like your emotions might be getting the best of you again.

          • Jen says:

            I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. The society is judged how they treat their weaker members. Yes, there’s abuse of the entitlements but the abuse itself should be dealt with, not the entitlements itself. I will never agree with conservatives who claim that help to disatavanteged should be taken away.

            @UWSHebrew, I saw “swipe, swipe,swipe” at supermarkets a lot, and I pay a lot of taxes towards these programs. Unlike you, I don’t seeth and only want a better screening process.
            If conservatives want to see shanty towns and people dying on the streets like in the third world countries, shame on them.

            I agreed with Sherman re the comment above about hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed liberals who scream bloody murder when their comfort is touched. Example was ps199 re-zoning. He is down to the point there. As much as I am a democrat and want my taxes to go towards helping poor, education and healthcare, I totally despise this comfortable liberalism when overcoddled semi-intelligentsia starts fighting for insignificant issues while protecting their own comfort.

            • EricaC says:

              I agree that there are people who are given enough comfort through welfare that they never get on their feet, but there are far more that use it as intended. There is a great deal of suffering, in any event, by children, the elderly and other people who have no choice about whether their parents/children/guardian are or are not of the fine moral character that would lead them to build an escape from the welfare cycle. Moreover, I would be more inclined to cut the safety net if I were more comfortable that the opportunities were open to all. (One visit to a Harlem public school compared to one visit to the public school, or one read-through of the commentary in this blog about the school reasoning, is enough to make it clear that we are far from offering equal opportunity to all.)

              If your goal is to wean people from welfare, just cutting the rope and letting people hang doesn’t achieve that. There are people with thoughts and suggestions about how to help people break into the workforce (in a totally dysfunctional economy, mind you, according to the Republicans) – but in the absence of suggestions for how to do that, the idea of cutting welfare (especially WIC) seems to be motivated entirely by relieving “us” from responsibility for the poor, not by bringing “them” into the working economy.

              And I do not have the same reaction that you do to the “swipe, swipe, swipe”. It makes me proud to live in a country that has the capacity and willingness to help the most vulnerable.

      • David says:

        Oh, the humanity!! The warmth….the compassion…..the love!! Every one of these people posting their warm-hearted messages embracing the less fortunate!! Well…….if they are so touched by the plight of the less fortunate, all well and good! Let THEM reach deep into their pockets, and put out the money to care for these people! Let THEM invite the less fortunate into their homes to break bread with them! Let THEM take the deprived to Macy’s and buy them some new clothes! Let THEM find the poor some decent housing on Central Park West, and offer to pay their rent! They are sooooooo humane!! Time to put your money where your mouths are, folks! Time to SHARE the wealth! YOUR wealth…..I choose not to share mine! I am not quite so humane or good natured!. But West Side liberals are famous for their “guilt” and dedication to helping the less fortunate! Let’s see some ACTION! Talk is cheap! The streets are loaded with homeless. We can eliminate the problem, if only every liberal would “adopt” a homeless individual,,,,,,,,

        • UWS_lifer says:

          OK, first of all take a deep breath and try to calm down a little.

          I thought you were kidding but unfortunately I see that this is a serious comment. Well, I would answer your questions and concerns like this:

          1) you do not get to CHOOSE to not pay taxes. Death and taxes, Baby!! Whether you like it or not.

          So let me get this straight, you want to avail yourself, and your family, of the benefits of Manhattan, NY and the USA but not pay any % of your earnings??? And who is the freeloader in this scenario??? hahaha

          2) we live in a democracy, a society…actually the most modern, progressive and richest society in the history of the human race. You seem to think your opinion has some kind of disproportionate value. This is a common misconception among those with wealth and tiny, cold hearts.

          3) with regard to the charges of hypocrisy, what makes you assume that none of us DO anything?? Seems like a pretty big assumption. But there are plenty of people that think Globabl Warming is a hoax because we had a blizzard in March or that crime is soaring because they saw a disturbing episode of Law & Order. The facts still matter. You remind me of people who deny evolution by saying “then why are there still apes?? huh??” like it’s checkmate.

          And finally I just thought I might suggest a solution to you. You clearly don’t share the mindset of New Yorkers. In fact, you seem down right miserable here. Another great thing about this country is no one can force you to live anywhere. That is actually something that you DO get to choose. Living in NYC is clearly a privilege that you don’t appreciate.

          Good luck and on a more serious note, all that anger isn’t good for your heath, physically or mentally. Try to take it down a notch for your own good…maybe try some of that mindful meditation. I hear good things.:)

        • EricaC says:

          I believe it is a responsibility of society as a whole to support the poor, That is precisely why I believe that taxation to carry it out is appropriate. It should not be that those, like you, who deny the social contract can simply abdicate and leave this responsibility to others. This does not mean that those driven by moral concerns cannot do more than those driven by other priorities – but there is a minimum level of contribution to addressing some of the worst impact of poverty that lies with all of us, whether we are affected by moral concerns or not, just as there is a level of military protection we all need to pay for, infrastructure we all need to pay for, etc., whether we agree with it or benefit directly from it or not.

          Moreover, while I believe strongly that basic housing is a basic human right, that does not equate to opening my house – it means that we all need to pay for housing. In addition, charity, or welfare, to be effective, often needs to be accompanied by services – mental health care, job training and incentives, and other forms of education – that I am not qualified to provide. It is, in any event, false to suggest that my belief that people should be housed means that I believe they should be housed in my home. But of course, you know all this. Your argument is the new style for denying the social contract, and as you’ve guessed, I disagree with you.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          David, take it from me — you’re talking to a brick wall. All you will get are responses along the lines of “calm down”, “you’re so angry”, etc. So, it’s you, me, and I think one or two others that are clear-thinking regarding this topic. But the vast majority are far-out, irrational hard-left liberals.

          • Jen says:

            No, you two are just plain greedy and care only about yourselves. No further observation needed. Thank god it is very few of you just like you said. Otherwise we will be living in the world of bankers and shanty towns like the third world.

          • EricaC says:

            UWSHebrew, you are correct that we disagree fundamentally as to the extent and nature of the responsibility of the fortunate to the unfortunate. But to ascribe “hardness” and “brick wall”-ness only to the liberal side is simply wrong. The suggestion that you are not “angry” or that you are calm is belied by your own words.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              Is it also greedy of me to want a wall built on our southern border? Can a country be called a country if it has open borders so anyone can come in?

            • Carlos says:

              UWSHebrew – until Trump brought it up, were illegal immigrants really on your top 10 list of problems troubling this country? Or are you just selfishly following this moronic pied piper leading us off a cliff. Cutting social services to increase defense spending and build a wall – brilliant! I wish they would build the wall and leave him on the other side.

            • EricaC says:

              Greedy or not, it is foolish. It will not stop people from coming in. Particularly when it is paid for by cutting the Coast Guard (a border guard that is actually effective!).

              And supporting the kind of mindless behavior that has characterized our border personnel is mind-boggling. My neighbor, a survivor of the Holocaust, always said that it didn’t take long for the jackbooted bullies to arise when given the slightest encouragement. I always thought she was wrong.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              @Carlos — two words for you. Kate Steinle.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              @EricaC your Holocaust reference is a sham. You have no understanding of how and when the “jackbooted thugs” came into power. I love people who say one sentence that invokes the Holocaust and they think their point is not only made, but iron-clad. Not even pseudo-intellectual.

            • EricaC says:

              UWSHebrew, again, we disagree. As it happens, your assessments of my knowledge, and of my motives, are inaccurate. But they have nothing to do with the point. Building the wall, while cutting the budget for the Coast Guard, makes no sense. And the behavior of the border guards in many, many incidents borders on the inexplicable, and the brutal. And it will not make our country safer.

            • Jen says:

              @UWSHebrew
              You remark about Kate Steinle only shows how prejudiced you are. Kate was murdered by the illegal alien, that is correct. It is very very sad. But are you trying to imply that murders are carried out by immigrants only? You can’t possibly think that and you do know that murders are committed by US citizen much more frequent and are pretty much a daily occurrence. So it would only leaves me with a conclusion that you think murders committed by US citizen are sort of a lesser evil.
              And the tone of your comment “… two words for you…”, don’t get me started.

            • Carlos says:

              UWSHebrew: I love Trump fans resorting to random examples of illegal immigrants committing crimes to justify his craziness. I think I am more likely to be killed crossing Broadway than by an illegal immigrant. And was Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook illegal (assuming you are not one of the crazies who think that was fake)? Was Dylann Roof in Charleston illegal – I think his family practically came over on the Mayflower?

              I learned in elementary school not to generalize about any group of people based on their race, gender, religion, etc. You live in one of the most diverse cities in the world and should know better. Unfortunately Trump and his supporters must have missed that day of elementary school.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              All of your “points of logic” are deeply flawed. Yes, of course American citizens commit crimes, but WHY let more people in, who are not enter legally, to commit more crimes? Do you think you are doing a good deed by supporting illegal immigration? Is that in your warped view, some kind of charity, like serving food at a homeless shelter? Illegal immigrants are THREE TIMES as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population and account for far more crimes than their 3.5-percent share of the U.S. population would suggest.

              The percentage of illegals committing the number of crimes are as follows:
              13.6 percent of those sentenced for all committed crimes in the country
              12 percent of murder sentences
              16 percent of trafficking sentences

            • UWS_lifer says:

              No made up stats from Breitbart or Infowars please. Thank you.

              Come on, UWSHebrew you are better than this…or maybe not.

              Like it or not, this is a country of immigrants. It is an asset not a weakness. Until you recognize and accept this you are going to continue to be a very bitter and frustrated person. I’m actually starting to feel for you. As your Orange Leader loves to say…”Sad”.

              If this is how you act when YOUR GUY WON I can’t imagine what 8 yrs of Obama must have been like for you.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              @UWS_lifer my stats are not from Breitbart or infowars. This is a typical intolerant response to facts that the left simply state are “made up”. Second, yes, this country is a country of immigrants. LEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Legal. Legal. LEGAL. Why do you and others always ignore the term “illegal”? I am all for LEGAL immigration! —- the following are review reports from immigration reform groups and various government agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Sentencing Commission, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Government Accountability Office, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and several state and county correctional departments. Statistics show the estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced for crimes committed in the U.S. Twelve percent of murder sentences, 20 percent of kidnapping sentences and 16 percent of drug trafficking sentences are meted out to illegal immigrants.

        • Jen says:

          @UWSHebrew and his logic that he thinks has no flaws.

          What is your stance on guns?

          • UWSHebrew says:

            I hate that AR-15’s are legal to own. A handgun for protection, fine, but the obsession with owning guns that are easily converted into automatic weapons sickens me.

        • Go for Mel Wymore says:

          Even better yet…have Helen give up her children’s private school tuition and her $8.5 M apartment. The swipe, swipe, swipe.

    15. Chris says:

      Processive Democratic liberals have destroyed our city.
      Like our Mayor , they are in denial of the crisis that plague our city. . Homeless, drug addition, crime and child abuse is what I read about every day. Let us focus on those issues. Those are the issues that Mel and Helen need to address. I am not interest in your gender, or your verbal attacts against against our President. Talk is cheap, I want to SEE CHANGE

      • EricaC says:

        It’s interesting. I actually see a city that is vastly improved over what it was when I arrived here years ago. I find the liberal rhetoric frustrating (more because I actually am liberal, and it frustrates me to see “my” side when it acts stupid), but we have alternated between somewhat more liberal and somewhat more conservative – but always liberal, compared to the rest of the country – mayors since I arrived here, and we have had a trajectory that has largely been up, except to the extent that we have been brought down by the problems facing the country/world as a whole. The city is cleaner, has more robust infrastructure, has new parks, new buildings, new housing, some improvement in schools, less crime, and more, as compared to when I arrived. We are also more fiscally sound.

        It isn’t that I wouldn’t like to have more of all of that – I would. I would like more fiscal soundness, less crime, more housing, less incursion of big box stores, more small business, etc. So, by all means, I think we all need to advocate for that.

        But I do not see why either side makes the statement that the city has been “ruined”. We are a destination for people from all walks of life, a cauldron (with all that implies) for ideas and creativity and business, and a refuge for people of all stripes (including those on both ends of the spectrum). Again – we should not stop striving for better, but I think this sense of doom is overstated (at least through the lens fo the city itself).

    16. amy shapiro says:

      You have problematic language here. Mel did not spend any time “as a woman.” Transgender men are men.

      • Maddy says:

        Are you saying that Mel’s childhood, married years, being a mom of two kids, being a woman at work and in NYC should be erased and not talked about?

      • EricaC says:

        I don’t think this objection to this language is universally held. I have transgender friends who began living their in accordance with their identity only late in life, and they themselves talk about when they lived as a [man/woman]. They mean, obviously, the time when the role they played was that of that other gender.

        I think there is problematic language in your comment as well. I’m troubled when I see people leap on language so quickly. There is clearly no animus towards transgender people in this article. To bring people together to a better understanding, it is important to focus on intent – and sometimes to let small things slide. I’m well aware of microaggressions and all that (I’ve experienced my share), but sometimes we manufacture them. My own experience is that if you focus on intent, rather than policing for language, you will find many more allies. (For example, that old, White many that called me “honey” and “missie” at my first job also got me my first promotion – and helped for many years after – because he truly believed in supporting equality. He just couldn’t overcome (and didn’t see why he should) overcome his upbringing.)

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Wow, twice in one comment section you have absolutely hit it right on the nose.

          You are truly the voice of reason around here. Thanks for your thoughtful and intelligent comments. Agree 100%.

          EricaC for Mayor 2017!!!:)

      • Juan says:

        I’m all for accepting his new identity as a man and respecting his decision to re-orient and I think it is great that we have the technology that allows him to do this and attain happiness, but to suggest that someone who gave birth to children was never physically a woman is ridiculous. One could argue that he was never spiritually a woman, but physically he was a woman. Please leave the world of PC and return to the real world – this is why people in flyover country hate us…

        • Mark says:

          People in flyover country don’t hate us, despite what you are hearing on Fox News.

          • Juan says:

            How often do you cross the Hudson? I am frequently in flyover country for work and often immediately get a barrage of negativity the moment I tell people where I am from. They think we are smug know-it-alls too busy chasing the windmills of political correctness. I don’t even bother trying to explain it. This country is incredibly polarized.

            • Jen says:

              Very true. I travel often and people do not think of us highly. And sometimes for a good reason.

          • Cyrus says:

            People in flyover countries hate us because we call them flyover countries

        • Paul RL says:

          They don’t hate us but they do think we’re nuts.

      • West Sider says:

        Mel identifies as transgender, not as a man. Nonetheless, he uses a male gender pronoun. We checked on this with his campaign. But thank you for the comment, as people are getting familiar with the terminology. WSR

    17. Bruce Bernstein says:

      i hope that when people talk about social welfare programs, they don’t forget to mention those that go to the rich and upper middle classes. for example, the mortgage interest tax credit is a huge social welfare program, and people with mortgages of 1 million or more get 10s of thousands of dollars a year from it.

      Somehow this “welfare for the rich” always gets left out.

      • Leon says:

        Just to nit pick a bit – the mortgage tax credit cuts off at $1 million of mortgage principal. So yes, a $900k mortgage is still very big and creates a lot of benefits for the wealthy, but these max out at a level well below the home value of the 1%. And I think that encouraging homeownership (within reason – not to the level that caused the housing crisis in 2008) is a noble goal as it encourages stability in neighborhoods – kind of like rent control does.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          Hi Leon, thanks for the substantive response.

          yes, interest on the first 1 million of mortgage debt on any TWO homes (a first home and a vacation home) is deductible. (combined mortgage debt on two homes.) this is a REGRESSIVE welfare benefit for the upper class and the rich, but, as you note, has a cap on its benefits.

          if it made even more regressive as the mortgage interest deduction is more of a welfare benefit the higher income a person is. that is because they save more money due to a higher tax bracket.

          my calculation shows that for someone in the highest bracket, at current interest rates, and with the highest deduction, the housing welfare benefit can be on the order of 15K-20K per year.

          as a condo owner, i personally benefit from the mortgage interest deduction. i can see arguments on both sides for it, but clearly it should be less regressive.

          and of course, it’s a huge subsidy for the housing industry.

          my point above was solely that upper middle class and rich people often benefit from social welfare spending, often more than poor people. but you never see complaints about this.

          • Leon says:

            The mortgage tax deduction is too entrenched to remove it – they could lower the max below $1 million, but not totally get rid of it. Too many people are too dependent on it to significantly impair it. I recently bought a home and stretched a bit more knowing that I will benefit from the deduction (even though I am not in the top bracket). Eliminating it would also depress home prices, and since for most home owners a significant portion of their net worth is tied up in their home, this would be very punitive.

            Additionally, for the truly rich, this is just a drop in the bucket – it is more of a benefit to the upper, upper middle class than the rich – do you think Donald Trump and his $30 million of taxes would notice the elimination of a $20k benefit? Unlikely. But a family making a few hundred thousand dollars a year with a mortgage bumping up against $1 million would. I know no one in NYCHA is shedding tears for these people, but they really aren’t the rich and powerful.

            A better example would be the cap on social security contributions – once income tops about $120k, you max out. Increasing or eliminating this cap would greatly strengthen the social security system in an equitable way. As people live longer and longer, this becomes increasingly important.

            • EricaC says:

              The cap makes it beneficial for the upper levels, but it is also a great benefit to anyone who has bought a house – including many middle class folks. That doesn’t change the fact that there are other benefits to rich people, and a lot of programs (e.g. Agricultural subsidies) that provide enormous unearned benefit to some who are busy declaiming against those who are recipients of welfare. But it is an example of how a program that does helps the middle class may also help the rich.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              i think we basically agree, though we could argue around the edges.

              and of course i agree with you about the SS cap. (the cap on the Medicare portion of FICA had been removed by ACA, but now the Republicans are trying to restore it as part of their health care “package.”) that is incredibly regressive.

              once again, my main point was simply to point out how what you call the “upper upper middle class” gets substantial welfare benefits, in many cases welfare benefits with more monetary value than the poor get. we see endless complaining about the poor and lower middle class and their benefits from Trumpites on these pages. I just want to point out their hypocrisy.

            • EricaC says:

              Bruce Bernstein, I agree with your fundamental point – if you count up the government funded benefits that accrue to the wealthy, they outstrip those that accrue to the poor, and states that are most opposed to government benefits for the poor accrue a disproportionate share of those benefits – but it is counterproductive to argue that the mortgage tax deduction is principally a benefit to the rich. It is not. The truly rich borrow far more than $1 million and get no deduction for the majority of that. The vast majority of those benefiting from the mortgage deduction are middle class – including lower middle class and old-fashioned middle class.

      • Fedup says:

        Yes, because allowing me to keep just a small bit more of the money I go to work and actually earn (in 60+ hours/week) is the same as handing out my hard-earned cash to others (via overpaid and inefficient government bureaucrats).

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          I’m sorry you have to work 60 hour weeks. no one should have to do that in fair society.

          however, let’s note that you receive your welfare benefit (the mortgage interest tax credit) through government employees processing it, in the same way that every other social welfare benefit is processed.

          Apparently you feel that welfare programs distributed through tax methods is more legit than welfare distributed in other ways. that is all you are saying. you’re getting a very large social welfare benefit (and probably others as well). is there some reason you want to deny this?

          • GG says:

            Come on Bruce. Now you are just being intellectually dishonest.

            Let me try to simplify this. One is EARNED and one is NOT. You are too smart to be making this argument. Your argument has some merit and then you extend it so far that it just sounds ridiculous.

            Homeowners getting a tax break on money they earned and invested is the same as getting free stuff for doing nothing?? got it

          • GG says:

            One more thing…No one should have to work 60 hrs? fair society? hahaha

            No offense but I don’t know where you are from or what business you used to work in but this is the norm for most hardworking people in this city.

            In fact, 60 hrs sounds pretty good to most of the young professionals trying to make it in this city. I don’t know ANYBODY (that isn’t living off of a trust fund) that works less than this, regardless of the industry. In a city like NYC or SF the cost of living (taxes!) has become so out control people don’t have a choice.

            Well, they have a choice. They can not live there….or try another more “fair” profession. You have obviously never worked a 20 hr shift in an emergency room or worked on a trial that was ongoing for a few weeks. Head down to Wall St. or Madison Ave. and see how many hours they are working.

            My point is you seem surprised by this where I think most of us see this as the norm. This is the price of admission to life in the big city. At least those of us who take pride in supporting ourselves and our own families. Like grown men and women should do.

        • EricaC says:

          Yes, I work well more than 60 hours per week as well. The cleaning lady in my office, who earns a whole lot less than I do (probably you too) works more than 80. Meanwhile, her husband (who used to work that way) is now completely disabled due to a stroke; she has no one to help her care for him. She takes care of him herself when she gets home. I can only imagine his state.

          Hours worked does not equate to wealth for everyone, nor does it necessarily equate to great worth. As one of my clients likes to say, if your work is worth that much, you don’t have to work more than 40 hours a week.

    18. JP says:

      I votes for Mel in the last election becUae I believes him to be the most qualified and I appreciated his positions. When she won,I figured Helen would be fine too. I was very wrong. So I am thrillednthat Mel is running again.
      I consider Mel to be a true public servant, not someone who is really only looking out for themselves and their ambitions. ( I am looking at you Bill DiBlasio.)

    19. UWS Dad4 Change says:

      Even on the UWS, GOP zealots rely on “alternative facts” and name calling to distract from their weak, emasculated arguments. The zoning issue was about Math not Melanin. But trying to have an intelligent discussion with the ignorant is a waste of time. On to the issue.

      Helen Rosenthal is the most divisive force on the Upper West Side. She takes credit for the work of others. hold events just to collect email addresses and serves the interest of her rich friends while giving the rest of the community both middle fingers.

      Under her non leadership, dozens of small businesses have closed, unbridled development soars with no contribution to public infrastructure, the homeless are back in droves, like the Larry Houge days and the community is divided and angry.

      I believe she won, three years ago, ONLY because people thought they were voting for LINDA ROSENTHAL. Well, we won’t make that mistake again.

      Mr. Wymore offers a history of cooperation, community activism, a balanced view on development and most of all TRUST.

      Don’t believe me? Go to one of Helen’s events and try to ask her a tough question. She’ll spin around like a top and then spurt out some pre-packaged rhetoric that distracts from the answer she doesn’t have.

      Her buddy Dolla Bill broke the law but can’t be arrested because the lawyer gave the green light? LOL

      #SayHellNo2Helen on Sept 12th and retire her from public dis-service.

      • robtoo says:

        Please, please, please ANYONE but Helen Rosenthal. She is a complete disaster.

        • Hell no to Queen HR says:

          She’s a travesty. But nothing compared to how she would be if she wins a second term and isn’t worried about getting reelected. Can you imagine her unbridled revenge taking on the UWS?

          I think it is best to vote in someone new who will be up for reelection for another term. They will need to listen to their constituents.

    20. Cato says:

      Given the important role the City Council plays in public education, would it really be too much to ask to have a City Council representative who has sent his or her children to the public schools?

      Helen Rosenthal carefully avoided the subject during the last election, but the information I have seen is that she and her banker husband sent their children to private schools.

      This article states that Mel Wymore’s kids went to Fieldston, another expensive private school.

      I voted for Wymore in the last election as presenting the best experience of all candidates, and given the choice between Wymore and Rosenthal would likely do the same in the upcoming election. But couldn’t, and shouldn’t, our neighborhood be represented by someone who has actually invested personally in our critical public school system, rather than someone of substantial wealth whose only connection to the school system is a sense of noblesse oblige?

      When will someone who is truly representative of the community seek to represent the community?

      • EricaC says:

        My kids are in private schools, and I do think I still have a valid interest in the management and performance of the public schools – but I agree with you on this. I do not see how someone who has not dealt with the public schools can understand the issues, both positive and negative.

        • UWS Dad4 Change says:

          The first step is to acknowledge the lack of knowledge or sensibility. Rosenthal – lacks that humility or acknowledgment. She once stood in a room full of public school parents and said “Why am I the only one in the room who can see the importance of diversity in public education?” This while she approved a plan that give six blocks of her rich friends new access to one of the best schools on the island. She’s just WORNG for the UWS!

          • Anon1 says:

            UWS Dad4 Change – I’ll take it one step further. I was in a room full of people, both for and against the Upper West Side rezoning. Our esteemed councilwoman stated that “anyone against the move (of PS452) and the rezoning is against diversity.” Really…So every parent who stood up and spoke at meeting after meeting laying out specific reasons against the plan are racist (some may have been).

            I was at another meeting where the councilwoman was asked if she would take a stand for (or against the rezoning). She told the assembled parents that zoning is something that should only be decided by the parents and that politicians should stay out of it. Yet the minute the CEC comes out with its plan, she shows up at meetings and starts holding forums at the private schools to speak about the virtues of the plan.

            I’m ready for a change.

          • Anon says:

            Remember that! It was classic!

      • Boo to CEC3 says:

        Their is always Kim Watkins and Joe Fiordiliso. How well did that work out for anyone besides them?

    21. UWS_lifer says:

      Before I forget I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to the Westside Rag and all their employees for providing all of us with a forum like this to discuss all of these issues in our neighborhood. I truly appreciate it.

      Whether we agree with each other or not the exchange of all kinds of crazy ideas (i’m looking at you UWSHebrew…just teasing) is critical to the health of our society and the great subculture that we are all a part of…Upper West Siders.

      Anyway, I’m sure everyone else here feels the same way but I just realized that someone should probably say it. Why not, right?:)

      So thanks y’all. Keep up the great work!

    22. Utah Sullivan says:

      I witnessed a disgusting scene today. Helen Rosenthal takes herself to Jimmy Breslin’s funeral. Fair enough she used Ronnie Eldridge to get into an office she had and while Jimmy had a thing or two to say about Helen’s ability, Jimmy had a thing or two to say about pretty much everyone. But on the way out she made a beeline for Mel Wymore and started screaming at him. It was so inappropriate it made me ashamed to have been in the same congregation with Helen. Really! Even our Governor set aside politics to honor the man to whom he grew up next door. Jeez! If someone reading this knows Helen, tell her she needs to get a grip. She’s done a crappy job, she’s ignored her constituents, she refuses to live up to the standard Gail Brewer set and now going to be challenged. Good riddance! And show some respect in church.

      • Tobin Frost says:

        This is outrageous, Helen shows no respect for the dead and the things Jimmy fought for all his life. I expect that kind of behavior from Donald Trump but not our City Council representative. This is a democracy, and if she can’t stand being challenged or act respectfully at a funeral, then she should find a job with the Trump administration. What a disgrace.

    23. John Creasy says:

      Just read the comment about Helen Rosenthal’s public behavior at Jimmy Breslin’s funeral, and I heard what she said was a lot worse. This is the same person cosponsoring the Anti Hate Forum, but has no problem saying awful things to a person at a funeral? Clearly she is not fit for office. I wonder if there were children nearby who overheard what she said to Mel Wymore? What a poor example for them, especially if they were relatives of Jimmy and Ronnie. Such poor judgement!

      • UWS Concerned says:

        Helen Rosenthal was a NO SHOW at the Hate Crime forum. The first person to ask a question, questioned Rosenthal as an appropriate example for the community saying she has already shown her willingness to inject race, unneccesarily, for her own political purposes. The man also mentioned the Albany incident involving HR’s buddy Alcantara who created a racial ruckus on the floor of the state legislature using the N word recklessly to create a distraction. He asked how the community could be served if elected officials are not setting the right example? Mark Levine dodged the question and tried to say the question wasn’t relevant but the crowd dis-agreed. Democracts here seem to stick together no matter how some of them stink! The empty seat at the event spoke volumes about Rosenthals commitment to communities of color and other affected by hate.