I am writing to voice my disdain with what I see as a new fad being used as a self-promotional tool amongst politicians who, quite often, are seeking higher office throughout this city and state. This new fad we are witnessing is the multitude of “State of the State” and “State of the City” addresses.
While I have no problem with the governor, mayors and heads of municipalities giving addresses, the issue I have is that many elected officials have seen the attention that these speeches have received and have decided that hosting their own spin-off events would be a politically expedient way of patting themselves on the back while touting their ideas and achievements.
Recently, in New York City, we have seen the city council speaker, city comptroller and borough presidents all host their own addresses. It is ridiculous and a complete waste of time and money to set up these events.
I rarely applaud our federal politicians for setting an example, but neither the speaker of the House nor the Senate majority leader have their own State of the Union addresses following the president’s. I am sure many of our senatorial and congressional representatives would love to speak on behalf of the Union but it is simply not their place. In the same way it is not appropriate for the council speaker, comptroller or any other elected official to speak on behalf of the city.
The shameless self-promotion and grandstanding needs to end. Our city and state face great challenges that deserve our undivided attention. All these self aggrandizing speeches really only serve to beg the question that with all of these great ideas and accomplishments by these politicians, why do we still face such serious problems?