"My opponent has AIDS".
Bubbling just beneath the surface of this year's campaign for Mayor in Hudson has been Mayor Hallenbeck's surrogates raising questions about my health due to my HIV+ status and trashing me for accessing disability benefits for which I am legally and legitimately qualified. Up until now, I had no indication that the Mayor was actually driving this.
I have just received the following email from an employee at Providence Hall, a building in the 2nd Ward for seniors and the disabled:
Just want to let you know that Hallenbeck has told a Schuyler Court resident that you have aids. The residents at Providence Hall told me he was here last night to speak and told them also that you have aids and that you are on disability. He also told them since he was a police officer years ago, that he got lots of information on you and that they would be shocked if they knew what you did. So he is spreading this crap. What a jerk he is.
I think he is a disgusting man and I just wanted to let you know what he is doing. My co worker heard about this and told him that she is not going to vote for him because he has no right to discuss information like that with other people. But he still seems to be spreading this information.
I am going to give him a piece of my mind also, believe me. Let me know if there is anything I can do.
I believe that the Mayor thinks that he can win this race by avoiding the issues and raising questions about my health and abilities. Having struggled for almost 25 years with HIV, life has, admittedly been extremely difficult at times, but with the help of my fellow HIV/AIDS activists, the miracle of science has brought my health to the point of stability. In the past year my HIV viral load has become undetectable and I am ready to take the next step in my life; serving the citizens of Hudson.
I do not see my health struggle as a disadvantage. To the contrary, I see it as something which enables me to see more clearly, the obstacles that others face. Hudson is an amalgamation of many things. We are a city facing new prosperity after a long decline. We are a city of rich and poor and of able bodied people along with the elderly, sick and differently abled. That is why I recently joined the board of the AIDS Council of Northeastern NY and why I have met with many of Hudson's service providers in many fields. To better understand what is working for Hudson's residents and what isn't. My experience and my search for solutions gives me insight into the struggles that many people face. Insight which, in my opinion, my opponent does not possess.
The people of Hudson will decide whether they believe that I am the better choice to lead the city.I ask Hudson residents to compare our plans for the city.
My agenda for Hudson can be found here.
To see Mr Hallenbeck's plan, it is all of twelve sentences, go here and click on "Priorities".
Rather than falling prey to the kind of negative innuendo characteristic of negative campaigning I ask the people of Hudson to notice which plan is detailed and specific. Notice which plan is more in line with the vision you have for Hudson. My plan includes redevelopment plans for our blighted neighborhoods to drive down property taxes, real solutions we can all support for our waterfront, green initiatives to reduce our energy use in municipal buildings and for residents, job training and education programs and more. The Mayor's includes justification for barring access to the North Bay and a plan to build a multi story parking garage on Columbia Street and not much else, all without any details.
I will be holding a town hall style meeting this Saturday Oct 26th at 2pm. The meeting will be held at the former Charles Williams School at North 3rd Street and Robinson Streets. The meeting will be co-moderated by Francesca Shanks, current editor at The Berkshire Eagle and former city editor of the Register-Star and Greg Mosley. It will follow the League of Women Voters format. The moderators will accept questions from citizens beginning at 1:45 pm.
Please join me and come with your questions.
Democratic candidate for Mayor