NEW YORK, NY -- Today marks the 9th anniversary of September 11th and New York's "9/11 Memorial" license plate is still being blocked. Why?
Since 2006, countless letters and phone calls to our highest elected officials, including Governors Pataki, Spitzer, Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg, in support of the approval of the "9/11 Memorial" license plate have all fallen on deaf ears over the past four years. Why? Important questions need to be asked and answered.
Why did former New York Governor George Pataki veto the "9/11 Remembrance License Plate" bill on July 26, 2006, just weeks before the 5th anniversary of September 11? (Jay Jochnowitz, "Governor's veto stops '9/11' license plate bill," Albany Times Union, July 28, 2006.)
Why did Governor Eliot Spitzer, through his spokeswoman, Jennifer Givner, say that "the state will not act [to approve 9/11 plates]" (Joie Tyrrell, "New push for 9/11 plates, Newsday, December 7, 2007) while two months later his administration approved a new "Super Bowl License Plate" for the Giants?
Why are Governor David Paterson and his DMV Commissioner David Swarts still defending a DMV moratorium issued on August 2, 2004, blocking all new custom plates including the "9/11" plate, while his administration also recently approved a new "World Series Champion" tag for the Yankees in 2009?
And why has Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City and the Chairman of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center, not responded to a March 9th letter to him concerning this shameful violation of "freedom of speech" in New York by all three governors? At least 18 other states from California to New Jersey have all approved "9/11" plates to memorialize the victims and heroes of September 11th while our politicians have blocked the "9/11" plate in New York.
Why? Because these prominent political leaders all know that the 2004 DMV moratorium on all new license plates was deliberately issued to block the approval of New York's pro-adoption "Choose Life" License Plate. The plate's sponsor, The Children First Foundation, is a pro-adoption, charitable organization that promotes adoption as a positive choice for unwanted pregnancies and newborns. CFF met all of the DMV's criteria when it applied for a custom plate to support adoption efforts back in 2001.
Twenty-five other states have approved "Choose Life" plates with bi-partisan support. These states are promoting "freedom of speech" as well as tolerance and respect for diversity in their respective states. Sadly, in New York, political correctness is still firmly entrenched and "freedom of speech" is not for all.
Surprisingly, however, Mayor Bloomberg recently defended freedom of speech for all saying that "[t}he First Amendment protects everybody, and you can't say that we're going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement." Even former Governor Pataki defended freedom of speech for all in a heated discussion on MSNBC with Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post stating: "I think it's an incredible violation of our freedom of speech if you think that by expressing an opinion that differs from yours somehow, it is in any way treating people as second-class citizens." Now they need to practice what they preach. It's time to approve the "Choose Life" and "9/11" plates in New York.
On this ninth anniversary, please call Governor Paterson at (518) 474-8390 and Mayor Bloomberg at (212) NEW-YORK and respectfully request that the DMV's moratorium on all new custom license plates be lifted, that the federal lawsuit be settled, and that the "Choose Life" License Plate and the "9/11 Remembrance Plate" be approved without further delay.
Please also sign the National Petition for the NY "Choose Life" License Plate at www.nychoose-life.org.