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Ramblings From The Executive Director, Mel Tanzman

Okay its two days before Thanksgiving, I’m leaving at 1PM for the holiday, and I have tons of critical work to do. But the muse has struck me and I must write.
Here in Westchester, after 6 years under a conservative County Executive who happily gave up $30 Million in Federal Community Development Block Grants to show that we couldn’t be bullied into Fair Housing compliance by the Feds, a new era is beginning. State Senator George Latimer has overwhelmingly defeated Rob Astorino to become the new County Executive. I was pleasantly surprised and flattered when Mr. Latimer asked me to serve on his transition committee focusing on Social Services, the Human Rights Commission, The Office for People with Disabilities, and Senior Services. After the giddiness and air of self-importance set in, my bubble was burst when a staff member asked: “So how many people who rely on Governmental services are part of the Transition Team?” How could I be so removed from principles like: “Nothing about us without us” and “Piss On Pity”. Oh dear, had I been sucked into the liberal northeast belief that only enlightened, educated, and relatively privileged people know what’s best for the “Poor and Under trodden” ? Was I the elite intellectual snob so reviled in the heartland of America? So, now that I’ve beaten myself up adequately, let me atone for my sin of pride. Over the next month, I invite those who have ever felt marginalized and powerless to email me about your barriers, frustrations, and visions for a better County. Let’s play “If I ruled the World” (Well maybe just the County). For those who have great ideas to help the poor and needy but never lived it, with all due respect, been there and done that.
On another note……..
I just posted this on my personal facebook page:
As somebody who enjoys writing and writes well despite not always being grammatically correct, I recently fought back.
I dared to end a sentence with the word “with” and was accused of using a dangling participle. Hmm I asked just what a participle- she could not answer the question. So I looked it up on my handy dandy smart phone and found that a participle is a verb that is modified to be used as a noun or adjective (ie working woman). So just what is “with” and found it is a preposition- a word governing and usually preceding a noun-ie “I did it for him”.
So jubilant that I outsmarted the grammar police I must now ask “What did she do that for?” Whoops, is that a dangling preposition? Nope, a Librarian friend informed me that the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition is no longer held.
So what do these two apparently different thoughts have in common? Simply stated, don’t be too impressed with all your education- wisdom comes from many places. RESPECT THE IDEAS!
Happy Holidays Y’all

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