Aug 14, 2014

The People's Candidate

In the late 1970's, neighbors would gather in the market on 9th Street to complain and receive consolation from the woman behind the cash register. Emma was a neighborhood institution. A native Allentonian, she had gone through school with mayor for life Joe Dadonna, and knew everybody at City Hall. More important, she wasn't shy about speaking out. What concerned the long time neighbors back then was a plan to create a Historical District, by a few newcomers.

What concerned Emma wasn't so much the concept, but the proposed size of the district, sixteen square blocks. The planners unfortunately all wanted their homes included, and they lived in an area spread out from Hall Street to 12th, Linden to Liberty.* Shoving property restrictions down the throats of thousands of people who lived in the neighborhood for generations didn't seem right to Emma. As the battle to establish the district became more pitched, Emma began referring to it as the Hysterical District.
Emma eventually lost the battle, but won the hearts of thousands of Allentonians. Emma Tropiano would be elected to City Council beginning in 1986, and would serve four terms. In 1993 she lost the Democratic Primary for Mayor by ONE (1) vote.

Her common sense votes and positions became easy fodder for ridicule. Bashed for opposing fluoridation, our clean water advocates now question the wisdom of that additive. Although every founding member of the Historical District moved away over the years, Emma continued to live on 9th Street, one block up from the store. In the mid 1990's, disgusted by the deterioration of the streetscape, she proposed banning household furniture from front porches. Her proposal was labeled as racist against those who could not afford proper lawn furniture. Today, SWEEP officers issue tickets for sofas on the porch.

Being blunt in the era of political correctness cost Emma. Although a tireless advocate for thousands of Allentown residents of all color, many people who never knew her, now read that she was a bigot. They don't know who called on her for help. They don't know who knocked on her door everyday for assistance. They don't know who approached her at diners and luncheonettes all over Allentown for decades. We who knew her remember, and we remember the truth about a caring woman.

* Because the designated Historical District was too large, it has failed, to this day, to create the atmosphere envisioned by the long gone founders. Perhaps had they listened to, instead of ridiculing, the plain spoken shopkeeper, they would have created a smaller critical mass of like thinking homeowners, who then could have expanded the area.

photo from Morning Call Archives

UPDATE: I wrote the post above in 2010, it last appeared in September of 2013.  I helped Emma's campaign in 1998,  when she ran for state representative in the Democratic Primary against Jennifer Mann.

1 comment:

Nys Cof said...

Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable & Growing


New York – July 2014 -- Over 4,600 professionals (including 366 dentists and 568 MD’s) urge that fluoridation be stopped because science shows fluoridation is ineffective and harmful. See statement: http://www.fluoridealert.org/researchers/professionals-statement/text/

Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It's really obsolete.”


Fluoridation is an "unacceptable risk," says Public Health Professor Niyi Awofeso (Public Health Ethics, August 2012). He writes, "There is insufficient ethical justification for artificial water fluoridation" because no evidence supports the assertion that artificial fluoridation reduces social disparities in cavity incidence, fluoridation’s effectiveness is questionable, potential adverse effects of fluoride, such as hypothyroidism and bone fractures, have been reported in scholarly journals and fluoridation chemicals are contaminated with lead, arsenic and mercury.

In 2006, a National Research Council expert panel published a fluoride report which revealed that fluoride, even at low doses added to water supplies, can be especially harmful to the thyroid gland, kidney patients, babies, seniors and people who drink high amounts of water. They also revealed critical fluoride safety studies have never been done and studies linking fluoride to cancer and lower IQ are plausible.

EPA lists fluoride as having “Substantial Evidence of Developmental Neurotoxicity.”

Over 100 animal and 45+ human studies link fluoride to brain deficits. Thirty-eight human studies now link fluoride to lowered IQ, some at levels considered safe in the US. See: http://www.fluoridealert.org/articles/iq-facts/

Fluoride is one of 213 known brain-toxic chemicals that may lower the intelligence of generations of children, reports renowned physician and 30-year brain researcher, Dr. Phillipe Grandjean in his new book, “Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development,” (2013)
Instead of spreading less tooth decay across the land, fluoridation spread dental fluorosis (fluoride-discolored teeth) into every nook and cranny of America. Even though the CDC reports up to 60% of adolescents are afflicted with dental fluorosis, 51% of them have cavities.