A Hot Mic Apology

In Ted Coopman’s letter to the editor (online Letters, June 8), he attributes the statement “The olds prevail” made during the recent Jefferson Westside Neighbors election to Anya Dobrowolski. I am writing to correct the record and state that it was me who said that. It was not meant to be a public statement, rather was said as a joke to my bandmates in my living room. I was attending the meeting virtually to vote, but I also had band practice, so I was distracted and didn’t realize I had a hot mic.

I apologize for the ageism of my comment. I am especially sorry to the elders in my neighborhood who fill free pantries and fridges, allow unhoused people to sleep in peace, do not call the police and use their privilege to upend the status quo. I am honored to share a neighborhood with you.

Had I actually meant to make a public statement, I would have spoken about class rather than age. What I meant to say is that white property owners in this town hold every political office and own all the land and buildings, which is the definition of consolidation of power. They do not see how their self-interested decisions continue to impact renters, the unhoused, mentally ill and drug using people. They perpetuate the housing crisis, and the mass suffering that is occurring because of it. Instead of looking in a mirror at the systemic harm they are causing, they spend their time lashing out at those who stand up to them.

Erin Grady


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