Over the years, it has been my policy not to respond to comments made by Howie Schwach. Only once in the past eight years have I broken my policy. On that occasion, I was hospitalized when Mr. Schwach took the opportunity to write a particularly biased and potentially divisive comment about my failure to attend a community event. He had not checked his facts then, and his careless inattention to facts is still evident.
Once again, Howard Schwach has put his pen to paper before putting his brain in gear. Schwach wrote that I voted to repeal the commuter tax; that is blatantly untrue and shows a lack of knowledge and a degree of ignorance that is astounding even for Howard Schwach. The repeal of the commuter tax was voted in Albany, New York. That vote occurred in the tow houses of the State Legislature. I am a member of the New York City Council. I cast my votes at City Hall, which is located in Manhattan.
As for my personal decision to no longer purchase Estee Lauder Cosmetics, that is indeed an economic reality. Ron Lauder, the conservative Republican who spearheaded the term limits referendum, financed that campaign almost entirely with money from the Estee Lauder Cosmetics empire. For me and some of my colleagues it is not economically feasible to spend money on products in order for the profit to be used in campaigns against us.
Schwach calls it childish. I call it good business sense. As for Schwach’s penchant for name-calling, he only serves to prove the point that those who have nothing substantive to say resort to name calling.
Schwach’s concern about the school system suffering if I return to teaching would be laughable if it were not such a serious matter. If the school system has survived Howard Schwach, I’m sure Juanita Watkins would be an asset in the classroom. But have no fear Howie, the request for me to consider a return to teaching is at the college level.
Lastly, let me set the record straight. During the eight years I have been a member of the New York City Council, Howard Schwach has never, ever, interviewed me on any subject. His comments are all based on second or third hand information, or perhaps he has secret source a little bird, who whispers information into his ear.
JUANITA E. WATKINS