Dear Andrew,

It has been a long time since we talked. It was good to see you at the editorial board meeting of the Amsterdam News in early August, but besides that, we have not met to discuss issues affecting our community or your election runs since your run for governor against Carl McCall back in 2002. Andrew, that is eight long years ago, and much has changed; yet, much has stayed the same.

You have remained silent. You have met with no one. And I mean no one. You have not spoken to us or any other media outlets, for that matter. You seem to think that you are the golden child who cannot be touched, but I am afraid, my friend, you may be sorely mistaken.

The election for the governorship is mere weeks away. I am not sure if realize that. It appears your poll numbers are slipping faster than a tsunami going back out to sea. And this is against an opponent who has made racist and pornographic statements. In a normal year, that alone would have disqualified him.

You had a great lead that is slipping away because you are not addressing the fact that you are running for governor. Instead, you have used a Rose Garden strategy of sitting in your office, waiting to be coroneted rather than fighting to be elected.

When are you going to start this race?

This is not an easy win. You are now facing a well-financed multi-millionaire Republican teabagger who is willing to say or do anything to win. One thing I can assure you is that you cannot do this without the help of the Black community, and you will not get that help just for being a Cuomo. You need to earn our votes, our trust and our loyalty. At this point, you may be the lesser of two evils, but we do have other choices.

We have Charles Barron, who had continuously stood up for our community. Time and time again, he has been on the front lines, taking on the big questions and fighting for the rights of those who have been shoved aside.

Where have you been? Where have you been these last four years? Your ads say that you have been there for New York, but for which New York? Do you mean Black and Brown New York? Upstate New York? Rich New York? The answer to that question is not clear, and it really should be by this time.

You have proved nothing to us. You have showed us nothing that makes us want to stand strongly behind you. We feel as though all too often, you have taken us for granted and you have less than 40 days to turn this ship around.

The idea of Carl Paladino being governor of this state sickens me, but the question is, will he pay more attention to us than you have? I am hearing through the grapevine that he is courting Black voters–though my instincts tell me that there is little in his background, business or political that would give us any reason to believe in him.

But there is another alternative: Black voters may choose to simply stay home. It would not be first time that happened to a Cuomo. Your dad lost to Pataki because of a loss of Black support back in 1994–a campaign you were involved in.

We are hearing that your support from Black leadership is slowly and quietly dissipating. Those who had been squarely in your corner are now starting to move in other directions or their support of you is lackluster.

Andrew, this race is yours to lose, and if you do lose, there is no one to blame but yourself. You have hurt yourself within our communities because your voice has not been loud enough, and we wonder where you are. When are you going to come out and start fighting? Because you can’t win a fight unless you decide to show up. It is time to show up, or we are all may just stay home.

With Sincere Hope for Our State’s Future,

Elinor Tatum

Publisher and Editor in Chief