“During elections, I sometimes thought of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Although far too conservative and nationalistic for my taste, he dealt brilliantly with the issue of human courage in his writings. In The First Circle, Solzhenitsyn describes how the protagonist, a scientist sentenced to a laboratory facility in the Gulag, is confronted with a moral dilemma. If the prisoner is willing to collaborate with the authorities, he will get better rations, extra clothing, more comforts. If he refuses and cannot be bought, if there is no material thing that is dearer to him than his conscience, then he is free.”—Elizabeth Holtzman, Who Said It Would Be Easy?
Elizabeth Holtzman’s record of public service did indeed dwarf that of Bill de Blasio—whose abysmal poll numbers resulted in his dropping out of the US Congressional race in New York’s 10th District—with Holtzman now being endorsed by New York’s Daily News as well as by me.
As previously noted—Holtzman would bring to the office years of outstanding accomplishment as a member of the US House of Representatives (four terms from 1972-1981, youngest woman ever elected to Congress), as NYC Comptroller, and as Kings County/Brooklyn District Attorney.
During the time Liz Holtzman served as Brooklyn DA, she was instrumental in paving the way for domestic violence legislation—agreeing in 1985 to be keynote speaker at the first-ever benefit in Manhattan for battered women’s shelters, an event I chaired.
Some weeks after the event, Holtzman drafted the following letter to the New York Times —which I co-signed.