Readers Write: GN mayoral race damages village unity

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I’ve spent the past 17 years of my life in Great Neck. I grew up here, learned how to ride a bike on the streets here, and though I may not attend the local public high school, I very deeply feel a connection to my fellow neighbors and villagers.

What this recent municipal election has done to our village is devastating. Great Neck is a village of ethnic diversity and unique cultures. We embrace our roots and look to the future at the same time. So when local politics get in the way of this, it’s difficult not to be frustrated and upset.

I belong to Great Neck’s Persian Jewish community. It is a community that I have a deep connection to and I am frequently involved in community programs.

Let me make something very clear: We do not despise other ethnic groups and cultures in our village. We do not hold hatred in our hearts against those who are not part of our community. Videos and stories of specific individuals saying awful and disgusting things are not an accurate representation of our community as a whole. We do not consider those individuals a part of us.

These elections have brought out the worst in all of us. Both sides got caught up in the heat of the moment, and we’ve forgotten what it was all about. Both candidates had the best intentions. Both parties wanted the best for the village. Our goals were one and the same. The means to achieve such goals are the only thing that differs.

Please, my fellow villagers, I plead with you to accept my apologies on behalf of all of us. We do not wish to go on like this. Division is the worst thing for our village. Do not look at us as removed from the rest of you or as a separate, insulated group. We are one village. We share the same streets and our children play in the same parks. We hold the same values and enjoy local events together. Let’s put away our differences, forget about the hurtful comments and start fresh. Great Neck strong!

Jeremy Bassali

Great Neck

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