"There was a meeting of Community Board 5 tonight and I signed up to speak. Because I am not a good off-the-cuff speaker, I typed out my comments prior to the meeting. This is what I said:
'Yesterday morning I was at work when I received several frantic phone calls from neighbors who live across the street from St. Saviour’s Church. I was told that workers were cutting down the healthy 150+ year old trees, thereby killing the newly hatched birds living on the property. It’s very upsetting to hear your elderly neighbors, who lived their entire lives across the street from that green space, getting choked up over witnessing the destruction and being completely powerless to do anything to stop it. I called Councilman Tony Avella’s office and they worked tirelessly all day yesterday and today trying to get the developer to stop the demolition of the trees. I found out that our local councilman, Dennis Gallagher, was not only aware of the plan to cut the trees down but that he was the one who suggested the idea to spite us in response to our rally to save the church property. After work, I went down to the site to survey the damage, and the entire southwestern corner of the property had been cleared. The oldest tree which had stood in front of the entrance to the church for more than a century and a half was cut up and laying in the street. If Councilman Gallagher thinks this will stop the Juniper Park Civic Association and me from fighting to save this property, he is sadly mistaken.
We don’t need an investigation or a trial to determine if Dennis Gallagher is a rapist. It’s obvious that Councilman Gallagher rapes every one of his constituents on a daily basis by selling out our community and our history to developers. Thank you.'
The second I said the word "rapist", the Glendale crowd, led by yet another Crowley, shouted me down. Now, I didn't accuse Dennis of raping a woman. If they had allowed me to finish, they would have realized that I was accusing him of raping the community. That's political commentary, which, correct me if I am wrong, is protected speech under the First Amendment. Yet, there were board members screaming, "Innocent until proven guilty!" And they wonder why their neighborhood looks the way it does. The people who were upset were more offended by my use of the word "rapist" to describe Gallagher than they were about the damage to the trees at St. Saviour's!
The worst part of the incident was Chairman Vincent Arcuri telling me that I was out of order and pulling the microphone away from me mid-sentence. This was not a private meeting, but a public forum, and I had the right to speak my mind in the three minutes allotted regardless of whether or not people on the board agreed with me. At the end of the meeting, the audience erupted in applause and I received positive feedback from attendees and board members. None of the cowards who shouted at me had the nerve to approach me and defend Gallagher in a one-on-one conversation.
This incident is being reported to the borough president. The community board is supposed to serve the people of the community, not pledge blind allegiance to elected officials.
Thank you, QC. You're probably the only one who will report the truth.
Chair, JPCA Committee to Save St. Saviour's"