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Local Leaders Comment on Attempted Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

uscapitol

The storming of the capitol on Wednesday January 6, 2021 spurred comments from our local leaders. Newly elected Congressman Jamaal Bowman witnessed the breach firsthand, and is calling for Trump to be removed from office. See below. Also find comments from State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, County Exectuive George Latimer and Rabbi Jonathan Blake.

Congressman Jamaal Bowman

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is safe and secure following the breach of the Capitol today by white supremacist extremists incited by President Trump and called for Trump’s immediate removal from office.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in. Myself and my staff are safe and sheltering,” Bowman said. “What we saw today was an attempted coup, fueled by white supremacy and a fascist in the White House—the logical extension of our failure to reconcile our history. This IS America. As a start, we must remove Trump from office immediately. Then we must get to work to pursue a mission of truth and reconciliation with our country’s racist and violent past and present.”

JamaalBowmanBowman will vote to certify the results of the Electoral College and Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in the election. He joins Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) in calling for the expulsion of the Republican members of Congress who incited the attack on the Capitol and calls for impeachment proceedings against President Trump for his open sedition.

State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin

Dear Scarsdale Community,

What started out as a day of hope, confirming the vote count for our new, democratically elected President, has now shockingly descended into ugliness and sadness. The peaceful transition of power is a cornerstone of our democracy and country. The rioters who have stormed the Capitol are criminals who have no regard for democracy. They do not represent America. I have faith in this country. In two weeks we will have a new president, and I have every hope that the new administration will heal this divide. It must happen. We will get through this.
Amy R Paulin

These rioters have tried to damage and upend our democracy today but we will not let them. We must turn a corner so that we instead thrive on peace, justice and love for each other. In that way we can heal and make this country a better place. As your elected leader I will always represent every member of our community so that we can all contribute to society in a positive way and live under an ethos of justice and love.

County Executive George Latimer

“We’ve all watched television this afternoon with some sense of horror about the attack at the Capitol that has happened when a large group of individuals stormed the Senate and House of Representatives. They marched inside into the chambers and disrupted the work of both houses as they seek to complete the electoral process of the Electoral College. I had to remind myself, and all of us, that this is a nation of law - not of men. We set rules and standards for a reason - and we pride ourselves as nation on following those rules because it gives equal opportunity for all and an equal sense of responsibility we have to each other as fellow residents and citizens.

Latimer“In the history of this nation, no matter how much conflict we have had - and there is conflict built in every day in the halls of government - we never go from disagreements as fellow Americans to inciting violence or expecting that a mob can control a legislative body in order to impose its will outside of its legislative structures.

“We have the right to free speech and the right to free assembly but you don’t have the right to impose you will, which you perceive to be the truth, upon all the rest of Americans because you feel so strongly about it. We all feel strongly about the things we believe in but we don’t go beyond that in the world of violence to impose that.

“We have a situation that represents today what is culmination of a number of years where we have broken down the proper barriers that protect us as a democracy. We have existed for over 250 years as a democracy, but no democracy has existed indefinitely. Totalitarianism always knocks. It’s always easier to rule completely if one man rules the whole nation, without a need for messy debate.

“You have that in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran – and we don’t want the here in the United States of America. It is time for our fellow Americans to understand that the election process has played out and has given us a new President and a new Congress. In two years time, if individuals are dissatisfied with Congress, they get a chance to change the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate – in 4 years they can change the President and the Congress again. And they have that opportunity at the state and local level all throughout. That’s the American system. Mob-ocracy is not the American system. I know that today people who are Democrats and Republicans will join voices to decry what happened in today in Washington. Let this be a reminder we have a civic responsibility to not only vote but to uphold the basics of our democratic society. Or else, as Ben Franklin said ‘it’s democracy only if we can keep it.’”

rabbiBlakeRabbi Jonathan Blake

Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel used to say: on three things does the world stand: "On justice, on truth and on peace, as it is said: 'Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates' (Zechariah 8:16)."

As I compose this message at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, I, like many of you, are watching, with alarm, the scene unfolding in our nation's capital. Let us here affirm our Jewish tradition's wisdom: Rabban Gamaliel understood that civil society must rest on shared, civic commitments to Justice, Truth, and Peace. Without these, the world as we know it cannot stand.

I join you in anxiously watching this precarious situation unfold, and we will continue to monitor these disconcerting developments. As we do, let us draw strength and solidarity from the knowledge that, no matter our political party or preferences, we all care deeply about our country. Let us draw confidence from the knowledge that, no matter how we, as Reform Jews, individually understand and practice our faith, we all can draw strength, solace, and unity from the wellspring of timeless Jewish values.

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