Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ken Thompson: About Last Night… And Tomorrow

My phone hasn’t stopped ringing today. People want to congratulate me on last night’s victory in the Brooklyn District Attorney primary election. But it wasn’t my victory. It was yours. And it was Ken Thompson’s.

I don’t take my endorsements lightly. I’m not interested in being a so-called “power broker.” That’s someone elses obsession. I am only interested in doing the right thing. When it came to the Brooklyn  DA’s race, the right thing for Brooklyn and my constituents was supporting Ken.
From the moment I met Ken, I liked him. We spoke about the issues and about who he was, and I said to myself, “This is a good man. Regardless of what happens in this election, I believe he’s the best man for the job.”

I must be honest: I believe that people who supported Charles Hynes in my community did so out of fear. That’s not the right way to do things. The correct approach is to stand up for what we believe in—and for the people we believe in—regardless of the consequences. That’s why I was the first elected official to take a stance on sexual abuse within our community, long before it was acceptable to even acknowledge the problem. To many, it still isn’t. People wanted my head. But that didn’t matter—right is right.

I knew that standing up for Ken Thompson wouldn’t be the most popular stance. An incumbent had not lost a DA race in our borough in over 100 years. Standing up for Ken had nothing to do with showing how many votes I could swing. It wasn’t about me or my ego. It was about our community.

Everyone agrees that Ken is a smart guy, a good man. I saw that every time we spoke, every time we discussed the issues and the imbalance of justice we’d seen here on too many occasions. And as I stood with Ken last night at his victory party, I saw something else, too. I already knew that his credentials were impeccable, but last night I watched how Ken thoughtfully treated his wife. I watched the tremendous respect that Ken showed toward his mother. These small things just added to the picture that I already had of our next DA: Ken Thompson is a mensch.

For those who have been fooled by rhetoric, I tell you your fears are in vain. Ken will be fair to the members of the Jewish community as Ken will be fair to the members of every community. I look forward to working with a District Attorney where we have an open door.

My job last night wasn’t to deliver an overwhelming majority of our community. The odds were too strong and the misinformation and rhetoric too great. My job was to help Ken get enough of our community to make a difference, and to do so by informing you of the facts. I’m proud of the stance I took. And I’m proud of those of you who like AMI Magazine took the bold and honest position of supporting Ken.

But it wasn’t my victory. It was yours. And it was Ken Thompson’s.

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