a Green Party member, I was both amused and angered by Tom
Leighton’s and Edmond Day’s letters to the editor [Sept. 5].
Mr. Leighton, as many may know, is attempting to start the
Marijuana “Reform” Party, a single-issue party whose goals
at this point seem to be the permission of medical marijuana
and hemp growing in New York state. It is obvious from his
letter that he is attempting to defend a middling position,
for the Greens already call for complete legalization of marijuana
use, decriminalization of other drugs, and complete repeal
of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. This is the problem with single-issue
parties: They are interest groups taken to getting votes.
Mr. Leighton and the MRP would seemingly allow continued arrests
and incarceration for marijuana usage as long as their (read:
middle and upper-class) doctors can write “prescriptions”
Single-issue parties like the MRP are explicitly against expanding
their issues to a theory of society’s ills and how to change
our world. The MRP will not speak out about revitalizing the
labor movement, about American and European imperialism, or
the fight for real social gains—for their main interest is
getting their single demand answered. They would then promptly
fade out of existence.
His economic-reform plans for New York simply include growing
hemp; he seems to have no understanding that if enough struggling
New York farmers grew hemp, then the saturation of the market
would cause a collapse of prices, leaving farmers in the same
boat as before. The MRP and Leighton can say nothing to the
hundreds of communities around New York who need real industry
On the other hand, Mr. Day’s arguments amount to nothing more
than the creation of a straw man via red-baiting! The Greens
are a party with members whose ideologies vary enormously;
we have many proud “pink” and “red” members, myself included.
We don’t hide this; in fact we celebrate that the American
left has a party once more that can hold so many disparate
ideas and people. The meat of his argument, though, is that
the Greens have no time to talk and thus are uninterested
in everyday people; he says this on the basis of witnessing
a leafleting of one event. Unfortunately, the Greens have
very little money or access to mass media, unlike his Republicans
or the Democrats, who not only get millions of dollars from
large corporations, allowing them to buy airtime, but are
usually given free publicity in the mass media. We don’t have
this luxury: The Greens are usually blacked out from the media
no matter what we do. Thus, every second we have to reach
a large audience (which we supposedly don’t care about) is
spent getting to as many of them as possible.
Treasurer, Albany County Green Party
read the letter to the editor by Jeremy Freedman [Sept. 5],
it makes one wonder why he points only to Arbor Hill. The
city of Albany has many areas like Arbor Hill. Hudson-Park,
the South End, etc. etc. Albany has lost population, and its
real estate market has lagged behind our neighbors. Freedman
correctly points out a fact that the neighborhoods have been
When I moved to Albany, the first place I visited was the
Albany Police Station on Central Avenue. I wanted to know
from the Police what was a good area. I was told there were
none in Albany and to look at Delmar.
Freedman is right on many points, but it’s not just African-American
neighborhoods. The creatures walking the streets and in their
cars with the loud noise (not to be confused with music) do
scare people who would want to live in our fair city and raise
children. We see constant drug dealing, muggings. Garbage
up and down the streets, practically everywhere one walks
(just walk Madison Avenue from Dove to Lark). What a scummy,
trash-strewn derelict gateway to our crown jewel, Washington
Park. Hooray for Mr. Freedman for sparking a heated debate.
Albany’s troubles need to be dealt with. People have to stop
blaming and start working. It is really scary how this city
has gone downhill.
want to express my sadness in learning that Erin Sullivan
has left the staff of Metroland.
While I was saddened, since I would no longer read her articles
and letters, I understand that her moving on goes not only
to her credit as an excellent writer, but to Metroland
itself for offering such a forum to writers like Erin and
many others that have passed through its doors.
I remember an article that Erin wrote a while ago that still
sticks in my mind: the time she did a ride-along with the
Albany Police Department. Her accurate portrayal of the emotions
and fears that accompany every police officer was felt through
her words. My heart was racing after I finished the article.
I am sure she will be missed by many, but with her leaving
is an opening to other opportunities and a chance for Erin
to touch others as she had touched us.
Erin Sullivan, formerly Metroland’s managing editor,
now is news editor at City Paper, Baltimore’s alternative
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