Ferrer Goes Home
Outside, it pouredminifloods swelled until the 4 train, drops fell from the rotunda ceiling into a trash bucket, and the latest Quinnipiac Poll had Ferrer losing 61-30 percent, which seems absurd but is still not good news for Freddy. Ferrer's campaign aides struggled to rev the crowd up when he entered, and tried to punctuate the speech with applause. In other words, it didn't seem like a day of boundless possibility for Ferrer. But the speech said otherwise. Ferrer laced his life story with references to MLK, RFK, "hope and opportunity." Now, said Ferrer, "is the time to raise our expectations." At one point he said:
There are people in this city, right now, working full-time jobs, trying to raise their kids, and earning less than $15,000 a year. We can all imagine what happens to a family if one of the children becomes seriously ill or some other tragedy occurs. And Mother Nature has made it clear to all of us what happens to that family if she is unkind. But what happens to that family if none of that happens? Do those children grow up with opportunities their parents didn't have? Maybe. Maybe not. . . . But it doesn't have to be that way. This is the greatest city in the world. And I do not believe we are condemned forever to be a city where opportunity is the birthright of some and a roll of the dice for others. We are better than that.
Freddy's words registered for Maurice Sanders, a second semester human services major from Harlem, whose mother is an administrative assistant at FIT, "really working hard and not getting the pay or recognition that she deserves" and dealing with "a lack of heat at night and having rats and roaches in the apartment and the landlord not doing nothing." Outside, however, a group of largely black and Latino students got into a heated debate over Ferrer's Diallo comments, and the fact that he didn't stop to chat with students in the audience.