Susannah Jacob is a writer and former assistant speechwriter for President Barack Obama. (October 2019)


‘We Have to Win Purple States’: An Interview with Michael Bennet

Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, on the primary campaign trail, Merrimack, New Hampshire, January 17, 2020

Susannah Jacob: Is this country and its democracy, with all their problems, too far gone? Michael Bennet: Donald Trump ran for president arguing, “I alone can fix it.” That’s what he claimed, and that’s exactly the opposite of how this is supposed to work. How it’s supposed to work is millions of us, as citizens of the United States, fulfill our responsibility to the republic in which we live and actually ride to the rescue, or, as Thomas Jefferson said, answer the fire bells at night. There’s no one else to do that in a democracy.

What Happened to the West Village?

Greenwich Village was once a locus for a succession of twentieth-century progressive movements fighting for workers’, women’s, civil, and gay rights. Its history is also that of longtime residents’ determined efforts to save it from the designs of new, wealthy neighbors and powerful landlords. Among the first New York neighborhoods to gentrify, the West Village has seen that change unfold more slowly but long predating the gentrification that is rapidly transforming parts of Brooklyn and northern Manhattan. “It’s difficult to say exactly when Greenwich Village gentrified. It didn’t happen in one fell swoop as it did for [other] parts of town,” Jeremiah Moss writes in his 2017 book, Vanishing New York. (Greenwich Village is an older name and larger category, understood to include parts of the Village east of Sixth Avenue.) And yet, the neighborhood has come to be seen as a harbinger of the city’s future.