Greenwich Native Defends “New York Values”

The following was contributed by Greenwich native Sarah Ito

A man from Texas by the name of Ted Cruz has decided to speak for all of us. Unfortunately, he forgot to ask my opinion.

Mr. Cruz states “Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and focus on money and the media.” I must wonder if this also applies to Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi Nelson Cruz, formerly of JP Morgan and currently heading a division of Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Cruz may wish to acquaint himself with the late Abe Zelmanowitz, proud New Yorker, who worked for Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the World Trade Center. On September 11, instead of saving himself, he stayed behind with his quadriplegic co-worker Ed Beyea, who was unable to flee, after sending Mr. Beyea’a aide to safety. President George W. Bush later honored Mr. Zelmanowitz for his ultimate sacrifice.

Mr. Cruz may wish to acquaint himself with the late police officer Moira Smith, thirty-eight years old at the time of her death, who repeatedly rushed into the World Trade Center to assist escaping workers, until she herself could not escape. She left behind her husband and two year old daughter, as well as those she saved.

Mr. Cruz may wish to acquaint himself with the actress Amy Ting, (Miss WonTon, 2001; 9/11 Hotel, 2008; Hotel Ground Zero, 2009) and daughter of immigrants, who, while working at the Marriott Hotel on September 11, experienced the horror of the South Tower collapsing on top of her building. After digging herself out, she regrouped and enlisted in the United States Air Force.

In fact, in the days and weeks following September 11, thousands of New Yorkers left behind jobs, careers, college, families and enlisted in the military. Mr. Cruz, able-bodied, young, of military age, did not.

Mr. Cruz does not grasp that there are no “New York values.” We embrace and support American values, without regard to race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, place of origin and economic status.

When it mattered most, New Yorkers gave most. Didn’t someone once point out that there is no greater love?


Sarah Ito is the author of Growing Up Greenwich: A Tale of Wealth, Race, Sex and Change, and a Few Good Nuns