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Zoomers and boomers alike, vote for change

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to appeal to all of the residents of Saranac Lake as “that radical millennial,” as it seems as though there is a generational divide in this village board election. I desperately ask you today: Please use your vote to make this village a better place for us, for me and my friends, for your kids and grandkids and their friends. We millennials and zoomers are being forced out of this village because we can’t afford rent, because it doesn’t feel safe for people of color or LGBTQ people, because we are getting threatened and doxed by our mayor, and because we have a village board who are squinting at injustice, trying to wrap their heads around it, and then refusing to take action.

Many of our neighbors write in to state support for the incumbents but make no mention of what their actual platform or plan for the village is. Some of our neighbors have even written in about our socialist agenda to get rid of the police and increase taxes, and have made slanderous, unsubstantiated smears against candidates. These are myths and nothing more, and it’s a shame this paper claims to “check facts” while publishing unfounded lies. It’s fearmongering and red-baiting reminiscent of the McCarthy era. We don’t need tax increases; we need to take a responsible look at our village budget. Our current trustees have found funds for things like the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and Lexipol contracts; our village can become a better place without putting a greater financial burden of increased taxes on residents. I ask that the incumbents and red-baiting fearmongers stop spreading these lies.

It’s time for some new trustees — trustees who actually have a plan to address racism as a public health crisis through more than putting up signs for a month; trustees who have a plan to address the housing crisis for working people and not just middle- and upper-class white families, through a means accountable to the public rather than private real estate corporations; trustees who actually want to make Saranac Lake safe for people in marginalized communities and recognize that contracting with Lexipol LLC to draft police policies does exactly the opposite.

Speaking out against injustice is easy. Our trustees have (almost) all done that. Taking action against injustice is hard. Fred Balzac and Trevor Sussey have done that; our current trustees have not. In fact, they’ve done the opposite time and again. So I ask you to step out of your comfort zones (perhaps those of heterosexuality, class and/or whiteness) so we may all come together as a community and ask, “Are the candidates I’m considering people who I think will actually make this village a better place for all people, or just me and people like me?”

Erin Cass

Saranac Lake

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