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Remember Me

To the Editor:

While Metroland has long misrepresented the hard work of Albany’s real inner-city leaders, your annual Year in Review edition [Jan. 4] reached a new low when it took an unfair swipe at the late Albany police detective Kenneth Wilcox. Sadly you went out of your way to smear Wilcox although he can no longer defend himself or his actions. That is wrong.

You also claimed that people have “forgotten” the work I did with residents of Arbor Hill, West Hill and Sheridan Hollow during my 12 years on the Albany Common Council. Even though selective amnesia may be a problem in the lily-white world the Metroland staff calls home, nothing is further from the truth for inner-city families.

Together we won many victories during my tenure, such as garnering additional funding for youth and senior programs, building a new Arbor Hill Community Center, paving a record number of streets, putting the city’s Boxing Center in West Hill, getting the Arbor Hill Redevelopment Project started, and fighting for fairer property assessments to help reduce the cost of housing. Many in my community will long remember how we joined together to battle an entrenched political establishment that has built an apartheid-style wall of separation along Central Avenue.

Every day you can see the impact of this double standard along Lark Street as parking meters flourish in the predominantly African-American area north of the “Avenue” while they are nowhere to be seen in the elite territory just a few blocks south. I introduced legislation to end this economic discrimination and, every time an inner-city resident puts a quarter in a parking meter, they have good reason to remember it.

Whenever questions arise about the Albany Police Department, my community also has reason to remember that I was the councilman who had the courage and independence to propose legislation to prohibit local cops from using racial profiling on our streets. These issues may not be important to a weekly publication that’s spent years making money off the local sex trade. But unlike the biased elitists and racists at Metroland, the people living on my side of Central Avenue haven’t forgotten.

Michael L. Brown



Editor’s reply:

The two items in our Year in Review edition that referenced the tragic death of Kenneth Wilcox were not intended to smear him in any way (and were factually accurate). Rather, they were written to revisit and criticize the police department’s bullying of the Times Union for its reporting of the story, and also to point out that it was not the year’s only example of Albany police officers consuming alcohol before reporting to work.

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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419 Madison Ave., Albany, NY 12210


fax: 463-3726

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