Today’s mail just arrived and lo and behold there was a lovely Happy Passover card in the mail from none other than my local Assemblyman, Lloyd Levine.
Inside was a beautiful four-color picture Lloyd took himself at the Sea of Galilee in 2006, according to the caption. And facing it, the lovely sentiment: “Peace and best wishes to you and yours on Passover”…Below that it said: Assembly Lloyd Levine/Candidate for State Senate. The cover states in the postmark Lloyd Levine for Senate and at the bottom is the proper identifier: Paid for by Friends of Lloyd Levine ID #1278106.
I guess Lloyd, as I had suspected previously, is Jewish. And I guess he or his friends have possession of a mailing list that presumes I too am Jewish.
So my question is what does being Jewish have to do with whether I vote in the Democratic primary for the 23rd Senate District for Levine or for his opponent, Assemblywoman Fran Pavley.
I don’t know whether Pavley is Jewish or not (I think not) or whether either candidate will be participating in seders tonight when the holiday begins. I honestly don’t care but I do have strong feelings about race, gender, religion politics. They offend me.
What I care about is the character and integrity of the candidate and whether they are open and honest about what they believe in and are willing to bend their beliefs in the face of political realities to support policies that make life better for society as a whole.
I haven’t decided yet which candidate I’ll vote for. Both are very liberal and very much party-line voters in the Assembly. Neither boasts of being endorsed by any Jewish organizations, although Pavley seems to have more personal endorsements of Jewish politicians, if people’s religion can be identified by their names, the same presumption that has me on Levine’s Jewish mailing list.
Instead of wishing me Happy Passover, I wish Lloyd would have sent me a mailer saying he would stop voting for higher taxes and more spending, that he would support legislation to create competitive districts that brought more moderates of both parties into office and that he would put the common good ahead of ideology, partisanship and personal advancement.
I must be dreaming. Perhaps it’s the good feeling that comes with these holy days celebrating the Jewish struggle for freedom that has me hoping for politicians who work first and foremost to create healthy economic climates for hard-working people, good schools that serve the children, safer streets, better public transportation systems and all the other basic needs of a modern community.
In any case, Happy Passover to you too, Lloyd, and to everyone who celebrates this holiday.