“It will be no contest,” is one of the lines Muhammad Ali used to describe how his skills were superior to his opponent’s and the phrase comes to mind as we contemplate the upcoming race for the 18th senate District now held by State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
All politicians expect to be challenged, after all, it’s part of their job description, but the challenge of the senator by Councilwoman Tracey Boyland has an air of poignancy about it. Is it self-delusion, can she really believe she’s a better choice? Is it political desperation, what with her term being up and a politician without an office, is what’s called “unemployed.” Or is it the cynicism of wanting to be an opponent of someone with rich enemies?
Whatever the reason, Councilwoman Boyland has picked the wrong opponent. Our Time Press endorses State Senator Montgomery not only because she has stood on principled ground against the Atlantic Yards proposal, but because she has consistently supported and sponsored important legislation and work in the district. She has sponsored legislation to change New York’s licensing guidelines so that the formerly incarcerated can find work. “Barbering and cosmetology are two of the occupations for which training is offered in prison,” Montgomery noted. “Men and women transitioning from prison to community life should be allowed to pursue the profession(s) for which they were trained and to contribute to society as law-abiding, taxpaying citizens.” This legislation has passed both Houses and needs only the governor’s signature to become law.
Senator Montgomery has sponsored legislation declaring that incarcerated women who are pregnant deserve to be unshackled during labor and delivery. Senator’s motion to move the bill from the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections was denied by a majority vote, but she stood on the principle and she was correct.
Stating that “America’s history is incomplete without the telling of the torturous African slave trade, the vestiges of slavery and racism, and the triumphs of African-Americans,” State Senator Velmanette Montgomery co-sponsored the bill that created the 19-member Amistad Commission with responsibility for reviewing statewide school curricula regarding slavery in America. For these and many other reasons, the senator deserves to be returned to office.