Lifetimes offer longtime propositions and redemption is on the list of those overtures. A person’s standing in society rises and falls—and vice versa—over a long period due to changes in attitude and environment.
One of the characters during the 1960s who could have been viewed in such a prism was Newark, NJ mayor Hugh Addonizio. The World War II hero served in the U.S. House of Representatives for thirteen years, representing a district in which he was called by some, “the colored people’s congressman.” Addonizio hired a popular African American woman in his Congressional district office in Newark, and befriended an African American man who later became the councilman in the district. These two affiliations brought a large measure of affection from black voters who came out in droves to support Addonizio when he beat the incumbent Mayor Leo Carlin in 1962 and 1966.
No sooner than Addonizio took office he allegedly became enamored with the money he could make as public servant, once reportedly saying, “There’s no money in Washington, but you can make a million bucks as mayor of Newark.” Crookedness was rampant during his eight years as mayor of the city with a majority black population, police brutality was at an all-time high and Newark was viewed as the country’s worst city in K-12 education and housing. In fact, the city’s administration was so unscrupulous that when Addonizio was convicted of corruption charges in 1970, the presiding judge said “he delivered the city into the hands of organized crime.”
If you delve into the lives of many elected officials, you will probably find longtime propositions that mirror Hugh Addonizio. There is a large measure of shame in that estimation.
MARC CURTIS LITTLE BLOG/Please leave a comment at www.marclittlewrites.com