According to the November 3, 2021, Times Union, the leadership of the Black Lives Matter group is “ecstatic” over the success of the Democratic candidates in the November city election.
A Grand Jury?
To their credit, they have successfully put the investigation into the death of Daryll Mount into play some eight years following the incident in which he sustained an injury that led to his death. Both James Montagnino, elected as Commissioner of Public Safety, and Ron Kim, elected as Mayor, have publicly committed to calling for Karen Heggen, the Saratoga County District Attorney, to convene a grand jury to investigate Mount’s death.
It is undeniable that the leaders of BLM’s dogged campaign to have the case reinvestigated has had an impact.
Of course, the District Attorney, Karen Heggen, can ignore all this.
Maybe we will finally find out why she apparently ignored the referrals from the New York State Attorney General to review Mount’s injury and death back in 2013.
An Unstable Alliance
An alliance based on a shared enemy is notoriously unstable.
Lexis Figuereo, Alexus Brown, and Samira Sangare attended the election-eve gathering of the Democrats and cheered the results.
The Democratic candidates had successfully gained their support during the campaigns.
A careful analysis of the Democrats they supported suggests that the honeymoon between these people may not last very long.
The following is from the November 3, 2021 article in the Foothills Business Daily:
Montagnino expects to draft a report ready for his first day as commissioner. In it, he plans to outline both what happened and what the various legal concerns may be. He admitted, that he will let people draw their own conclusions on who or what caused the death [JK:My emphasis], but he believes a full report is needed for a community discussion.Foothills Business Daily
Mr. Figuereo, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Sangare have made it crystal clear that as far as they are concerned, the police murdered Darryl Mount. How will they respond to a report by Mr. Montagnino if it fails to support their claim?
In another article, Mr. Montagnino floated that the composition of the police review board may be based on a pool of potential members similar to the selection from a jury pool.
I anticipate that Mr. Figuereo, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Sangare expect that activists such as themselves should be appointed to the civilian review board.
How will they respond if the method for selecting members of the board frustrates their expectations?
I find the BLM alliance with mayor-elect Ron Kim especially odd. In their fervor to defeat Republican Heidi Owen West, they have chosen to ignore the significance of the fact that Ron Kim served as Commissioner of Public Safety for two terms. Conspicuously absent during his tenure was any public discussion of issues of racism or misconduct in the police department.
Is it really plausible that somehow the police department was free of racism and excessive force during his terms but that somehow three years later under his successor, Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen, the department descended into bigotry and violence?
Overall it is clear that the leadership of BLM credits themselves for being a major factor in the success of the Democrats. That belief has led them to have high expectations about what they deserve from the new administration.
Mr. Figuereo told WAMC radio, “We are definitely looking for reciprocation, for sure. One hand washes the other.”
In the same article, Mr. Figuereo speculated that with the new commissioners that jobs might open up for members of his group.
He told WAMC, “There’s a lot of different positions that are going to be available. We would like them to be opened up to everybody, not just the normal people – Caucasians – of our community.”
It remains to be seen what will happen should the new City Council not meet BLM’s expectations.
It is hard to believe, given the bitter denunciation of the Saratoga Springs Police Department at the BLM demonstrations as being white supremacist murderers, that the recently elected candidates will not also eventually find themselves the targets of BLM’s anger.
17 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter Leadership Ecstatic Over City Election Results”
Usually unstated, but the local BLM leaders have absorbed a valuable lesson in civics. Bravo! And I am heartened by the fact that they would like jobs in our city government. It shows that they, like everyone else (the word ‘normal’ is regrettable) are willing to be invested in the system and strive for change within. Bravo x2!
It seems to me that the jury pool way of drafting CRB members is also entirely reasonable. But fret not. ‘Reciprocity’ deserves something better to reinforce it anyway.
Therefore I call for Mayor-elect Kim to choose from Mr. Figuereo, Ms. Brown, or Ms. Sangare when he appoints his Deputy. The two that are not chosen can be Deputy Commissioners of Public Safety, and Accounts. I join the BLM leaders in advocating that their support deserves the same type of Quid Pro Quo that fat cat white people implicitly get when they write a big check.
I further advocate that Mr. Figuereo, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Sangare openly declare their candidacy for these positions as soon as possible, so that the Mayor-elect and Commissioner-elects will have the proper amount of time to fully consider their applications, and the consequences of their decision(s).
Arthur has chosen the “sarcasm font”, but his adroit ramblings stir the imagination.
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What I find most interesting – or perhaps concerning – about this past election is the fact that the majority of the candidates voted in are pro-charter change. In 2020, Saratoga Works helped to successfully defeat the 2020 charter change proposal by a substantial margin by purely educating the public on the dangers of the charter change proposal.
This past election was riddled with personal attacks on both sides of the aisle and it was not helpful. It was a complete distraction from one of the most important issues from just one year ago – the most important legal document of our city that defines the structure, function and powers of our local government and should be every voters’ priority as it has a direct impact on our daily life.
The self-proclaimed “Defenders of Democracy” are the very same people who were attempting to bring an appointed (not elected) City Manager with Wards to the neighborhoods of our city. This would have significantly suppressed the power of an individual’s vote, increased layers of bureaucracy, and sowed seeds of division between our neighborhoods.
Right now, you can cast your vote for 100% (5/5) of those governing us and running our city. Under the 2020 proposal, you would have only been able to vote for 25% (2/8) – your Wardsperson (who you would have been completely reliant upon) and the Mayor. The vast expense of the new charter was another issue altogether – but it would not have been cheaper.
Personally, I favor the commission form of government. Are there areas that could be updated? Sure. But if the 2020 version of charter change is any reflection of what the elected leaders will attempt to do while in office, it certainly gives me pause.
While Saratoga voters may have been influenced by the messaging in this election particular cycle, and did not remember the major local election issue of charter change just one year ago, I hope that their memories do not fail them when and if charter change becomes an issue.
Because of our form of government, not only can you vote 100% of the members of City Council in, you can also vote them out.
I look forward to giving our elected officials the chance that they deserve to show their skill set, moral code, and customer service.
Our current charter works. Saratoga still Works.
Co-chair of Saratoga Works
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Karen Heggen is a Republican?
So I’m trying to understand exactly what BLM did in this last election to get Dems elected that merits any kind of special treatment. Lex and Samira like most BLMers don’t even live in Saratoga so couldn’t even vote for them. I didn’t see any public endorsement of those candidates by BLM, nor letters to the editor by any of them nor did they appear in any campaign materials endorsing Dems. And they certainly didn’t make any big financial contributions. I’m not even aware of any social media campaign to elect Dems that they put on but I may have missed that. And if they did even that why weren’t they able to elect Shaun Wiggins? But again most don’t even live in Saratoga and so are not eligible to vote here.
On a different note, why is BLM wasting their time with Kim et al.? If they really want an investigation of the Darryl Mount case they should be focusing on Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen since she is the one who actually has the power to do this.
BTW for a lot of city jobs applicants must be city residents. The once thriving black community in Saratoga Springs no longer exists. Only 25 members remain active in the Frederick Allen Black Elks. Saratoga is no longer the ethnically and economically diverse community it once was. Ironically the city is now dominated by a white privileged “woke” population that bemoans the absence of what they have contributed to diminishing.
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“Ironically the city is now dominated by a white privileged “woke” population that bemoans the absence of what they have contributed to diminishing.”
I haven’t been here as long as some commenters, but wasn’t the city largely run by Republicans for some time? To act as if the city’s current diversity, or lack thereof, is directly attributable to the current population seems a bit of an oversimplification. There remains a huge lack of housing options that are affordable, in part due to decades of land use decisions made by elected officials (of both parties) that favor the affluent, meaning the city skews wealthier/whiter as a result of the racial wealth gap. Even if more residents are “woke”, which I’m guessing you mean as the recognition of the role systemic and institutional racism has played in the history of America, taking steps to improve diversity and inclusion isn’t like a light switch that can be turned on or off at a moment’s notice.
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There was a fundraiser yesterday for the Frederick Allen Lodge. WNYT covered it, and they provide a link to a gofundme account set up by a Skidmore College student to help the Black Elks club:
Thanks to the Dizzy Chicken, who provided some delicious food for the event. I ate well yesterday.
I’m impressed with the student who wrote about the Lodge in his Skidmore paper and set up the account. I hope young Black activists continue making a difference, despite the sarcasm and laughter of older White people here who consider themselves liberals.
I notice in the WNYT report, a woman who grew up in Saratoga recalls that Blacks weren’t welcome in most of its restaurants back in the day. I’m glad that’s no longer the case. What we need now is more affordable housing for young people of all races.
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From the city’s standard APPLICATION FOR EXAMINATION and/or EMPLOYMENT as published by the Saratoga Springs Civil Service Commission:
“Candidates must meet the Residency Requirements as stated on the examination or vacancy announcement. You must complete the following to determine if you meet these Residency Requirements. If there is no Residency Requirement listed on the announcement, you do not have to complete this section.”
I’m on SSCSC mailing list and most, if not all, of the vacancy announcements issued in the past few years have not have a residency requirement. Here’s a typical example for the position of Senior Clerk at the Fire Department:
Back in “the day” a city employee was required to live in Saratoga Springs. I believe it is no longer a requirement.
The worst kept secret is that Moran, Kim, Hicks and Millis sat the BLM youngsters down and gave them reasons to mellow out and cool their jets. We can not only guess as to their motivation but also to their method. It worked.
But now the agreed to cooling off time period is over and this deal has expired. Watch them turn quickly on this new Council. Snap. Early March at the latest.
There are a plurality of identity groups within the Democratic and Republican parties. My personal view is that the Democratic party has a more diverse set of groups within its structure. There are lots of groups that overlap between parties, and policies intersect as well. Identity group politics and the manner in which pandering takes place is a waste of time.
If you remove personal descriptors from behavioral observations, you can start to really understand some things:
“Lexis Figuero, a black man from Ballston Spa, was seen on Saturday evening smoking a large joint in public prior to getting on the bullhorn, leading a large crowd of people in the middle of busy streets in Saratoga Springs, disrupting traffic, and chanting ‘Suck my D…’, for about an hour.”
“The biological entity imbibed a mild hallucinogen via his respiratory tract, then proceeded to make verbal utterances and lead a group of other biological entities in formation through the streets of Saratoga Springs without a parade permit and in violation of New York State traffic regulations.”
The gender and racial political game is a canard. Expressed values and behavior is a complex function of genetic predisposition, parental upbringing, and cultural milieu and is much more important that outward physical appearance.
Years ago, in the depths of antique book stores, one might find ‘Practical Gunsmithing’ next to David Gelenter’s ‘Mirror Worlds’…
This BLM group resembles the ‘Borg’ from Star Trek more than any kind of group that promotes individual expression of value.
Group behavior to contain and marginalize.
Here are some demonstrators in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The confederate flag next to the “keep America great” signs, etc.
Tucler Carlson is in spin cycle. He loves to stir the pot, yet he has faithful fans who actually believe every falsehood. Ratings are meaningless when a FOX commentator lies to his fans.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Regarding the esteemed Mr. Henry’s characterization of my font as ‘sarcastic,’ I can only grant partial credit. In fact, my font is ‘devil’s advocate’ – which does have a component of tongue-in-cheek, making it appear similar to sarcasm.
In fact, the major component of my comment is ‘put your money where your mouth is.’ In this connection, I find this article summary (below) quite relevant. Note the 12/3 deadline. I await announcements of interest, and the ‘open process’ as it plays out.
OPEN CALL FOR SPRINGS’ DEPUTY POSITIONS
Candidates for deputy positions, part of the incoming Saratoga Spring City Council, can already apply, and the four Democrats who won mayor and three council seats have set a Dec. 3 deadline for interested candidates, the Daily Gazette says. Salaries for the positions are $80,818 a year plus benefits, and the four Democrats-elect are pledging an open process for candidates.