An Open Letter To Mayor Bloomberg

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    I go down to Zuccotti Park everyday to hang out with the young people there. Every so often when I’m not in the park, I read in the newspaper or see on TV that I’m part of the one percent and why I shouldn’t be there.

    I have never felt uncomfortable when I am there amongst the people, who I view as my peers, so the noise of the few distractors doesn’t bother me. There are some there who want to change the country completely, but almost all of the people simply want to create an equal playing field for a fairer democratic process in this country.

    I have learned that all of the people in the park or those who have participated in the demonstrations and marches want the legal bribery of our politicians to come to an immediate end.

    There is no one who knows this better than Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has never taken a nickle from any lobbyist, corporation or special interest to get elected or to influence his policies. Once in awhile, I hear someone say something negative about the Mayor, so I felt the need to write this short piece to him.

    Mayor Bloomberg, no matter what some protestors might say, you are not the enemy. Having $17 billion dollars doesn’t make you the enemy, just like Warren Buffett having money doesn’t make him the enemy. You are part of the 100 percent. If anyone suffers around the world, you recognize that we all suffer. Your unselfish philanthropic giving has improved lives all over the world.

    Although mayors across the country have struggled in dealing with the “Occupy” movement, you have done your best. Although I might disagree with some of the aggression from the police, your recent statements show the respect you have for the law and democracy.

    You said, “The protesters have a Constitutional right to demonstrate and have mostly been peaceful. You may not like it, but these people have generally obeyed the law.” You’re right, they have been mostly peaceful and respectful of the law. They want to make this country better, just like you and me.

    What makes you a powerful mayor is that you continue to prove what independence can do. Even you realize that corporate money and special interest money muddies the waters, so I encourage you to raise your voice about this issue. The nation will listen to you. If there is one request that the “occupiers” have, it’s that every politician lives up to the same standards that you live up to.

    I am asking you to resist to responding to the few bad apples in a crowd of some very smart, politically astute, patriotic young people. Although you made your money building the system that Wall Street uses, I know you recognize that it is more important to allow these young people the freedom to express their anger and frustration at some of your former customers. It may not make you very popular amongst your old friends, but it is the right thing to do. That independent leadership will show the world that New York is the cornerstone for diversity, democracy and freedom.

    -Russell Simmons

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