Letter to the editor by Ciro Poppiti III, the Register of Wills for New Castle County. Printed in The News Journal on August 8, 2012. Thank YOU Mr. Poppiti. I know your letter has helped many of us who are questioning why we stayed in tents for 9 months as well as the aftermath of our decision to end our protest camp.
“For the past nine months, I have been watching them. Or better put, they’ve been watching me.
My office in the Louis L. Redding City/Council Building directly faces Spencer Plaza, meaning that I have had a bird’s-eye view of Occupy Delaware.
Given their proximity, Occupy Delaware has been a frequent topic of conversation for the hundreds of people who have come into my office these past several months. Comments have ranged from the kind of reaction one has to seeing a celebrity in person (“Gee, I always wondered where they were located.”) to downright scorn (“I hope they’re freezing over there, the lazy bums.”). I cannot remember anyone being grateful for their presence. Because no one said “thank you.”
I think it is time I did.
I don’t agree with everything Occupy Delaware stands for nor do I agree with all of their protest tactics. I do, however, appreciate their anger.
For the better part of four months, I have been trying to help a hardworking soul with the foreclosure of his home. I have been bounced like a ping-pong ball, from attorneys to one bank, from that bank to another bank, from one department to another department to another department to another department.
It has only been within the past week I have actually spoken to the person who can actually help. I have the privilege of putting the word “esquire” after my name. I like to think that motivates people to call me back or respond to an email. I can only imagine the frustration of the average person trying to navigate these waters.
Every morning for the past nine months, Occupy Delaware has been in my face. They have reminded me that, as an elected official, I took an oath to protect the public trust. As such, I have an obligation to act with integrity and honesty, rather than gaming the system to my own benefit and to the benefit of those who can help me politically. Thank you, Occupy Delaware, for that wonderful reminder.
I was working at my office this past Sunday evening, occasionally looking up from my desk to see Occupy Delaware closing up shop. In their final act of protest, they came over to the City/County Building, and using chalk, they wrote on the sidewalk something to the effect that though they were leaving, they were still keeping a watchful eye on government. Literally, within minutes of their departure, a fierce storm blew over, washing their chalk warning away.
I want Occupy Delaware to know that I was watching, and I will remember.
Ciro Poppiti III is the Register of Wills for New Castle County.”