Letter to the editor submitted by Alexandra Bergstein, April 28, 2018
I am writing to add my voice to Sarah Littman’s excellent response to Laura Gladstone’s excoriating letter to the Editor about Livvy Floren. Regardless of Ms. Gladstone’s views on policy, the manner in which she attacks Ms. Floren personally is disturbing.
Gladstone accuses Floren of subverting the Constitution, embracing tyranny and overstaying her welcome as a legislator. Each of these claims is unfounded and unkind. And in totality they suggest that Gladstone has an agenda beyond the policy she claims to be defending. The facts are that Representative Floren is a person of impeccable character who has devoted years to public service on behalf of our community. Any attack on her character is an attack on us all.
I believe Livvy Floren is an outstanding legislator who consistently votes her conscience and adheres to a set of core principles. Many of these principles – Common Sense Gun Laws, Environmental Conservation and Women’s Health – were once part of the official Republican Party platform. To her great credit, Ms. Floren steadfastly defends these ideals, even as her Party abandons them. She is a values-based leader who models integrity and fortitude. Now it’s our turn to model that for her.
The real question to ask is: who will speak up in defense of Ms. Floren? I would be so pleased to see our local leaders submit a letter attesting to their colleague’s character and condemning personal attacks in general.
In January of this year, Ms. Gladstone described herself to me in an email as a proud “Trumpian.” In the last few months we have seen her use Trumpian tactics of publicly insulting and intimidating people with whom she disagrees.
Such behavior poisons our civil discourse and shames our community. In Greenwich, we pride ourselves on respectful discourse, regardless of our differences. I applaud Ms. Floren for her service, wisdom and courage to stay true to principles, despite a tidal wave of pressure. And I hope the rest of us can unite as reasonable people to defend both Floren and our community from all acts of vitriol and intimidation.