Gloves On Gloves Off # 2 on “Main Street vs Wall Street”, Immigration, Isolation and the New Political Class

Mayor Richard Thomas
3 min readApr 26, 2020

Gloves On Gloves Off # 2 on “Main Street vs Wall Street”, Immigration, Isolation and the New Political Class. Hosts Mayor Richard Thomas and Firehouse Father Gassie discuss: (1) coronavirus impacts on immigration; (2) opening the economy with shut borders; (3) who is getting bailed out or thrown out; (4) why a rent freeze is necessary; (5) gives props to Goldman Sachs for supporting Small Business lending; (5) and examines the need for government systems to support a bold economic revival.

Father Gassie and Mayor Thomas touched upon the past and future of Memorial Field. They called for grass over artificial turf and highlighted how Mayor Thomas’ plan to fix the facility was $10 million under the new $29 million effort. They questioned why Mount Vernon was held back from fixing its park for so long and the obvious answer remains dirty politics. Politics so putrid that an extra $2 million tax dollars is being spent cleaning up an illegal dumping schemes that hurt the public yet no action was taken against those responsible for the dumping in the first place. Mayor Thomas said, “Yet they attack me for cleaning up the mess and putting Mount Vernon in position to build a Billion Dollar economy with thousands of jobs in one section of town at Memorial Field, Target, and Hutch Park.”

They look back on the steps taken to create a critical mass of restaurants and “Mom & Pop Shops” to cultivate a new culture of community driven events to support the growth of tourism in Mount Vernon. For example, the 2017 food festival at Memorial Field and subsequent Mount Vernon Restaurant Weeks. These insights are important because it details the process of creating a new destination where you “make things and make things happen.” It also highlights how the hard lessons can be learned and replicated so other places can explore new ideas by applying different approaches to make their communities safe to live and desirable to do business.

Transformation takes time and is often misunderstood. Mayor Thomas provides various examples of how his government was very much like a start-up government and how he followed Mayor David Dinkins wisdom of putting skin in the game by partnering with un-traditional allies to make quality of life better. The drive to reclaim Times Square from crime and grime required boatloads of Police, Public Works and Parks Department over-time dollars to demonstrate to the world that a new, safe, fun, Times Square was real and worth the visit. The same practice was underway in Mount Vernon; however, it was on an accelerated path due to Mayor Thomas’ policy innovations that placed the city on a path to leap-frog the region.

As businesses seek to re-open after being shut down by the #CoronaVirus for eight weeks, they will have to do a similar “start from scratch” exercise where they must develop new plans, processes, and establish new performance metrics under new public health mandates. This is why it is important for local governments to tell the banks to lend liberally to local businesses and help them cover new sanitary costs for the new order of things. While most local economies largely depend on the sales of $7 hamburgers and $4 beers, no economy will be able to restart if their local government fails to timely administer Building permits or fears using all fiscal tools to jump-start true economic engines of growth.

Father Gassie declared that there are those that will try to rewrite Mount Vernon’s history and overlook the great work done under the Thomas era and spoke on how the community knows the election was stolen from Mayor Thomas like it was from Prime Minister Michael Manley.

In the next Gloves On Gloves Off, Mayor Thomas and Father Gassie will make suggestions on what businesses ought to consider as they move to re-open and get America back on its feet.

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Mayor Richard Thomas

At 33, Richard Thomas is the youngest Mayor in Mount Vernon history! (2016–2019) Facebook: