FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2016
Contact: Paul Newell
Statement from Paul Newell on the sentencing of Sheldon Silver
Today, the era of Sheldon Silver is over. A federal judge sentenced Silver to serve 12 years in prison for fraud, extortion and money laundering. While this is a sad day for Lower Manhattan and a sad day for New York, it also presents an opportunity for change.
Now the real work of ending Albany’s culture of corruption can begin. Our goal should be not to purge a few bad actors, but to end it – for good. Political graft like that which Silver was convicted of is not just a personal failure; it impoverishes us all. The costs of corruption are higher rents, higher taxes, underfunded schools, and crumbling subways.
Fortunately, we have a rare opportunity for real change. The convictions of Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver mean that for the first time in a generation, we have a chance to build an Albany that listens to everyday New Yorkers. In Lower Manhattan and across New York State, people are ready for a new kind of leadership. Our neighborhoods need real infrastructure investment, stronger tenant protections, more and better schools, and an honest voice in Albany.
We will never get there with a politics dominated by big money and political bosses, be they Glenwood Management, Sheldon Silver, or Joe Crowley. Lower Manhattan and the state of New York can and must do better than that.
And on September 13th, we will. I am running for New York State Assembly to bring our neighborhoods’ voice to Albany – and to fight for an Albany that can hear us.
Paul Newell is a community organizer, tenant activist and lifelong resident of the Lower Manhattan. A leading voice for ethics reform in Albany, Newell has been the elected Democratic District Leader for the 65th Assembly District since 2009. In 2008, Newell ran a spirited challenger's campaign for the Assembly seat, winning the endorsements of The New York Times, The Daily News, the New York Post and many others. More information on Paul Newell can be found at NewellNYC.org.