If there was one thing we could be thankful about regarding COVID-19, it was that amid the pandemic, the robocalls had virtually disappeared, going from an average of more than 20 per day to one or none per day. New York got its numbers down, and the robocalls are back with a vengeance. Once again, we’re averaging at least 20 per day, and no one seems to be doing anything about it. This has to stop — it’s an invasion of our privacy.
Thank you, mystery highway sign writers
Some mysterious people, staffed on the fringes of Islip or the concrete floes of Queens, have influence that stretches across the spine of Long Island, straddling the Long Island Expressway and tickling the Grand Central Parkway. They predict the weather with near-perfect accuracy, herald roadblocks and traffic disasters alike, and warn drivers of the dangers of vehicular movement. They are the narrator, arbiter of my circumstance and foreteller of conflict. Their overhead, electronic messages are never more than three lines long, but my appreciation of their work spills beyond this page and onto the open road.
Science sought in 1st Congressional District
As an LGBTQ+ activist, I am aware of my community’s intersectional nature. This addresses both identity, such as race, gender, citizenship status and socioeconomic positioning, as well as today’s many pressing issues such as the environment, health care, and every area of life COVID-19 has affected. The underlying factor connecting all these issues is scientific research, whether it be environmental sciences, validating the work of medical professionals, uplifting the research of sociologists and anthropologists on marginalized and oppressed communities, or providing concrete substance against the spread of disinformation. Federal agencies need qualified people, in leadership and on staff, who can provide the scientific expertise to address our nation’s greatest problems.
With the upcoming election, we need to hear candidates say how they would ensure that scientists are protected from political interference. I ask all candidates running for our state’s 1st Congressional District — Nancy Goroff and Rep. Lee Zeldin — to share how they will restore science to government decision-making and ensure a strong federal scientific workforce.
Editor’s note: The writer is community liaison and policy coordinator for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network).