As an Hispanic woman who fled Fidel Castro's brutal communist dictatorship in Cuba in the 1960s, I find it appalling that the attorney for the city of Rochester would label The Rochester Voice as a communist digital daily.
As a child I was forced to wear the uniform of the communist regime to school. I hated it.
My father, who was a policeman for the Batista government, was jailed by the Castro regime.
The Rochester Voice is the antithesis of communism. It was created to fill a need that Rochester desperately needed: the independent digital daily bends a knee to no government entity.
It is the antithesis of the so-called Rochester Post, which is nothing more than a governmental-run, taxpayer funded city lip service.
So to have City Attorney Terence O'Rourke call Rochester Voice editor Harrison Thorp and one of his readers "comrades" is the worst insult to them, personally, to myself and to The Rochester Voice.
My family fled to America to escape the persecution we faced in Cuba.
Now it appears The Rochester Voice is being persecuted by the City of Rochester, seeking to hamstring our little digital daily from covering all things local, including what city government is up to.
And speaking of socialism and communism, look at what the city of Rochester is funding with your tax dollars: workforce housing, government run day care and government outreach programs for homeless drug addicts, formerly the realm of nonprofits.
City leaders like Mayor Paul Callaghan, City Manager Katie Ambrose, DPW chief Peter Nourse, Economic Development Director Mike Scala and O'Rourke routinely ignore The Rochester Voice request for comment on various stories that the public cares deeply about.
Scala and former city manager Blaine Cox have publicly mocked The Rochester Voice and now O'Rourke is doing much the same.
The city of Rochester is trying to rewrite the state's Right to Know laws and has filed an appeal in Merrimack Superior Court to try get a judge to agree that "citizen" means "citizen of New Hampshire" seeking to strip The Rochester Voice of its right to get government documents. This is a direct attack on our Freedom of the Press guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The Rochester Voice is domiciled in Maine and the city is using this as a cudgel to refuse digital Right to Know requests.
Make no mistake about it. The public's right to know about what government is up to is on the line.
Sad to say, but to me it feels more like Cuba under Fidel Castro than the country I came to to escape communism 60 years ago.