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Move 9/11 primary date, says councilman

A borough City Councilmember has taken steps to ensure that the memory of those killed on September 11, 2001 would not be overshadowed by politics this year. Looking ahead at the calendar to see that this year’s primary lands on September 11, 2007, City Councilmember Lew Fidler has submitted a resolution calling on Albany to reschedule this year’s primary to another date. “It could be rescheduled a week or two later, as long as he doesn’t run afoul of the Jewish holidays,” Fidler told this paper a day after he submitted the resolutions to his colleagues in the City Council. While no one has a chance to sponsor the bill, Fidler said that he has already received support from several members of the Brooklyn delegation, including Borough Park City Councilmember Simcha Felder, who chairs the committee assigned to review his proposal. “On one level, one can do no more to celebrate the survival of our democracy by holding an election on September 11,” Fidler said. “But doing so would clearly take away attention from the appropriate memorials and the solemn occasions that are conducted on that day.” “I don’t want to say that I can’t go to a September 11 memorial because I have to man the polls or worry about getting Smith elected to judge,” he said. “I think that will cheapen the event.” This would be the first time that Primary Day would be held on September 11 since 2001, when over 3,000 people perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Many city residents were on their way to vote when the attack occurred. The primary was ultimately suspended and rescheduled. “Though not an official holiday, [September 11] has become a day for remembrance of the lives lost and the bravery shown on that fateful day,” the resolution states. “Voting is an essential exercise of democracy and should be reserved for a day that is not a day of remembrance and morning for many New Yorkers.” Even if the resolution passes, the ultimate decision to reschedule primary day lies with the state legislature.

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