A Long Way To Walk

20 May 2019

Editorial Page

Utica Observer-Dispatch

221 Oriskany Plaza

Utica, NY  13501

Dear Editors:

Now that Election Day is here and it will not be seen as a controversial issue to handle during the race, there is something we need to discuss.  The placement of polling places in a School District race as opposed to the locations for a “regular municipal” race is just, well, weird.


The reason I did not want to bring this up during the race is that the issue would have been politicized and no real solution would have been filed.  It is clear that those who designed the School District polling place map have a “resentment” against people of color, immigrants, and the physically disabled.  


You need not look any further than the Ward 1 Precinct 1 polling place situated at Donovan School.  On average, this is a full 1.6 miles further away than it is during a regular race.


It cannot be said enough: there is an element still hanging around our school system that people find out about and it keeps them away.  Instead of just accepting the element, we should be using social media to point out the element’s efforts whenever it attempts to do anything.  If we stay strong, the element will be forced to relent and our school system shall reach its true potential. In the meantime, some people will just be happier that they can vote closer to home.


Robert T. Oliveira

2 Kennedy Plaza, Unit 1205

Utica, NY  13502




For The Mommy In Your Life

If my guess is right, you just put the kids to bed.  Well that’s true provided they aren’t little Cowboys or Giants fans.  For the record, it may not be the final time you put them to bed with all the last minute requests for water and one more trip to the bathroom.  However, things have started to quiet at your house and you have begun to think about the week ahead.


The day I want you to give a little extra time to is Tuesday.  Primary Day here in the 22nd District.  You just showing up makes a huge difference.  How can that be??  Let me bore you with a little bit of math.


There are 9 Precincts in the 22nd District.  Most “political observers” think this is a 220 vote race.  Literally 25 votes per precinct.  You can vote from Noon until 9 in the evening.  That is 9 hours of voting.  Doing some quick division, 35 votes divided by 9 hours is literally 3 votes an hour.  2000 people are eligible but only 3 votes per hour will make the decision.


In order for me to win, I need it to be at least a 300 vote race.  I would love a 600 vote race but that’s a bit much to ask for.  At 300 votes, that’s 34 votes for precinct or 4 votes per hour.  That’s right, 1 vote per hour in every precinct could be the difference between electing a real Democrat, me, and electing my opponent who has shown little allegiance to any principles resembling those of our Party for 40 years.


Want to know why things never seem to change around here??  This is why.  2000 people could make a decision.  Only 10% of them do and you get what you always get: a whole lot of nothing.


That’s why I need you to think about Tuesday.  I need you to make a commitment tonight that you’re going to try to vote.  Probably after work, maybe before dinner.  At 4 votes an hour or so, you won’t be in line too long.  Of course if you get to the polls and there are lines, that’s probably good news for me.


I know, some kids are a tad too little to bring with you or a tad too energetic after school.  I know finding someone to watch them for those 15 minutes could be a pain.  I also know if you don’t, the Utica they grow up in could be a lot like the Utica we have now.  I know you want better than that.


Make no mistake, thanks to the County Executive and the Mayor, a lot of investment is coming our way.  However, we still have to manage all of that effectively.  Otherwise, it’s Nano all over again.


The difference between the Downtown Hospital and the U District being awesome and the Downtown Hospital and the U District being Nano could be that 1 vote per hour.  With that much at stake, I have to request that you find someone to watch the kids for fifteen minutes and come out and vote for me.


I promise it will be time well spent.