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I’m madder than a communist holding on to hope that the system that made Lennon and McCartney famous is bound for a comeback, only to realize that all the guys who moved here from Russia are now running for office the American way — and winning! — over the fact that writers and politicians today use passive language to get their point across instead of just coming out and saying what they mean in the in-your-face style of great communicators such as your’s truly.
Look, you all know that the English language is the linguistic embodiment of our national ethos — and that is that we are men and women of action. We actually do things. We take the bull by the horns. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps! So it will come as no surprise to you that whenever I pick up a copy of locally produced international broadsheets, I nearly throw up when I read all that stuff that beats around the bush instead of getting to the point.
Folks, it’s as if they are writing this stuff in Russian or some other passive language that don’t even have a way of saying people have things. You wanna know how they say “My sister has a dog” in Russian? It’s “At the sister’s, there is a dog.” And how about “It’s snowing outside.”? Simple: “Outside, there is snow.” It is ridiculous!
Thankfully, many Russians moved here and learned to speak actively like all Americans should, including my pal Mark Treyger, who just won a seat in the City Council.
Why am I talking up Treyger? Because I practically made him (and when I say “practically” I mean “not at all”).
But I have known Treyger since he was a young man. He entered District 21’s Project Learn’s Anti-Racism contest, which I’m proud to say was solely my brainchild. “Learn” stood for “Let’s End All Racism Now” and was the district’s premium showcase, done with all the fanfare and hullaballoo of the Oscars (Bensonhurst West End Community Council-style.)
Now let me set this straight from the get-go: it was entirely my idea and drive that got it going, but it would not have gotten no where without all the dedicated help from the teachers, staff, and supervisors of District 21 and those of Kingsborough Community College. However, to go back and thank every one that contributed to its success would take volumes. So I’ll take the credit for it, as I often do whenever I meet the parents on the streets who recall their child receiving a medal at my alma matters, Kingsborough Community College of Performing Arts.
So not only had I met the future councilman through this, but also worked with him for 10 years at Assemblyman Bill Colton’s office, where I used to work. The Bensonhurst West End Annual 44th Gala honored Mark Treyger as an outstanding community activist, before he became the president of the Progressive Democratic Club, before he became a teacher at New Utrecht High School, before he married his lovely bride and before he became a father to their baby boy. You would think with so many responsibilities, how does he do it? Well, here’s the story I dug up. (Literally. It’s one of my famous cut-and-pastes that drive my editor nuts).
Mark was the first member of his family to be born in the United States way back in 1982. His parents, sister, grandparents, uncles, and aunts all immigrated from the Ukraine. Mark grew up in Bensonhurst, where he attended PS 226 from pre-K to eighth grade, then attended Edward R. Murrow High School and followed his sister’s footsteps to Baruch College. His sociology professor approached him and asked if he was a member of any political organization — and thus began his political saga.
Mark transferred to Brooklyn College and majored in political science. He was president of the United Progressive Democratic Club and the group Revitalizing Our Community, which focused on youth giving back to the community.
Did I mention that not only is Mark dynamic, but always a gentleman, extremely likeable, and totally efficient? Imagine all those virtues in a politician. They should all strive for the standard that Mark has set! I would always introduce Mark at any of my BWECC! meetings as the future mayor of New York City. And apparently, he’s taken the first step towards it.
Incidentally, the week of Sept. 23, BWECC! will resume its Open Community Meetings at 2475 W. 16th St. and the first Wednesday on Oct. 2, our free ballroom dance classes will resume at Seth Low IS 96, 99 Avenue P. Call Joe Rizz, at (718) 232–2266, for details.
Screech at you next week!
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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