Good evening, New York,
we’re there: the glitches in the architecture of this site are ironed out, the six-hundred-plus spam accounts nuked, we are ready, and this weekend, we start changing the conversation. Write Now New York is ready to launch.
Open enrollment starts Friday noon-ish, existing contributor accounts are already enabled to post to the front page, and we’ll of course add more functionality as we build this new Progressive online community for the Empire State. We expect it to be self-moderating; use basic common sense, and all will be well. The job of the editorial and admin team is not to moderate differences, edit your copy (though we will at need), or to point out the bloody obvious – no, the Klan is not welcome here, or the Tea Party, neither is any form of discrimination based on innate human characteristics, whatever they may be, nor for that matter are GOP members or talking points. In general, we’re all adults here (youth is of course delightedly welcome), let’s act accordingly. Sometimes, often, it’s better to listen than to lecture, to learn than to preach.
Make no mistake: this is an ambitious project, it will grow and change as time flows, steadily through calm or storm towards our common future. Technology can do much, but only so much; what makes any blog, any online medium for that matter, succeed or fail are the people it draws to itself, gives a voice, helps to hone that voice and give the means to ring forth, soft as a brook or in peals of thunder. Glittering prose is not a requirement; the truth of your story, any story from the heart or deep in your soul, is the most compelling written word of all. Tell the world your tragedies and triumphs, the story of you, that is all we ask. No clarion call springs forth full-born, complete and entire in itself like Aphrodite rising from the foam; give it time and be gentle with yourself.
Nor should anyone expect that what we’re doing here, on this site and more broadly in this state, will be a quick succession of panaceas, an effortless series of triumphs.
Simply, we face high odds and steep challenges. But we are New Yorkers, we can overcome them.
New York State’s leadership, most of its political class elected and not, has been deeply corrupted by vast, unaccountable and often enough permanent power. Power beyond challenge, secure in its secrets, its lies, in the immeasurable strength born of token elections in tailored districts, of three men in a locked room ruling the fate of millions as despotically as the Caesars.
It is a sickness, a state of mind, not the occasional crony hire or fat envelope filled with bills. They say power corrupts; the corruption suffocating this state is deeply entrenched, clothed in power, hidden behind walls of habit or indifference, even as its claws draw the living blood from our people and enfeeble the institutions of our government.
That must, and will, change. If it be elections, grassroots communities, is not for us to say, it is for you to decide and to do.
What we, this blog and the vast citizen movement beyond and behind it seek to change, to cure, to tear out by the roots if need be, is the underlying disease. If we can empower you to build your own resources, we will. If we are your dagger, we will relish the fight. It is time for our reality to meet our expectations, live up to our storied past and build the gleaming future we deserve; as free men and women, black and white, gay or straight; these not divisions, but common to our human soul, one people, one flesh and blood bound together by fate or choice. New Yorkers all who still dare to dream. Our pasts diverge, our future is and can only be one, and it is bright.
New York, our fabled Empire State, needs, hungers for a new birth of Freedom, of Equality, of Justice and Opportunity. It does not begin or end here on a mere blog, pixels in the ether carrying words of rage, of power, wisdom, solace or joy, the too-often unheard calls of the better angels of our nature. Let all these ring forth, words in all their unique power. Let them be heard.
We are Americans, proud New Yorkers, with a glorious past and a shining future. We want, we demand, a State as good, as generous, as mercurial, creative and brilliant as its people, drawn as we are from all God’s creation, born in all lands under the sun, worshiping many gods or none as we see fit, here in our vast, rich land sprawled from the white-capped waves of the broad Atlantic to the thunderous torrents of Niagara.
There is nothing we cannot do. Consider the battle joined.