Crystal Dropped The Ball

2009 will  certainly be remembered as a significant year for voting. Leaps in voter registrations were recorded throughout the nation as this country was poised for an historical Presidential election. The ability to vote had a new importance. Voting is one way for a citizen to help create a mandate for elected officials to follow.

Politicians at all levels encouraged their constituents to register, vote and be counted. Elected officials organized and mobilized the citizens they represented.  Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples of the 141st Assembly District was one of many elected officials collaborating in the movement to increase voter participation.

Consequently, it is not unreasonable to expect our elected officials to lead by example. It is not unreasonable to expect our elected officials to participate and to vote on legislation. Voting is part of their job description.

On Tuesday, May 12, The New York State Assembly passed the Marriage Equality legislation. Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples was in attendance but chose not to vote.  Instead, she walked out of the chambers as reported by Outcome: Buffalo’s Gay Newspaper.

I support the Marriage Equality legislation. I am disappointed in Ms. Peoples because she didn’t vote in favor of the legislation. Her district has a lot of LGBT constituents. However, I am more disappointed because she avoided voting altogether. On Tuesday, by walking out of chambers, she exhibited the very behavior that she encouraged her constituents against. She did not lead by example.

Assemblymember Peoples’ apathy and inaction was a disservice not just to the 141st district  she represents but also to the leadership role she shares with other members of the Assembly. She didn’t even roll the dice because she thought it would come up “snake eyes” in the Senate.

Politicians are not always going to make decisions and pass legislation that coincide with our individual beliefs. Understood. However when we vote people into office it is with the expectation that they will do something, at least vote on legislation. To show up in attendance yet not vote is the equivalent of doing nothing.

Her Assembly biography states her motto as “the quality of your life is the purpose of my politics”. What purpose is served by not voting at all? Shouldn’t quality of life be worth a vote yea or nay?

Ms. Peoples has had a long and successful career. She is known for going to bat for the people she serves. Her lack of participation is uncharacteristic.

If Ms. Peoples’ “people” in the 141st district  mimic the same behavior and  don’t show up to the polls next election, her outcome could be different.

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3 Comments

  1. […] Sharon Bailey writes about it here. […]

  2. GREAT!!!! Even if you don’t agree your voice should be heard. I’d rather know where you stand then no nothing at all.

  3. Bravo! I agree completely with you, Sharon. Ms. Peoples’ decision to not vote one way or the other is just pure cowardice. Whatever pressure she may have been under from churches or other groups opposed to this legislation is NO excuse not to DO HER DAMN JOB. If she was under that much pressure, then worst case, she should have voted against “no” and put that vote on record for her constituents to judge as they see fit. Instead, she took the coward’s route. Shame on you, Ms. Peoples. Ye shall reap what ye sow.


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