Alicia Purdy Pens Open Letter to NY Post After “A Sad Decline into Mayhem”

June 29, 2021, Albany, N.Y. — Albany Mayoral candidate Alicia Purdy penned an open letter to NY Post columnist Bob McManus in response to his May 24 article, “A Spate of Shootings Underscores Albany’s Sad Decline into Mayhem.”

In the article, McManus, a former writer for the Albany Times Union who was born and raised in Albany, decried the shootings that have traumatized Albany and, he wrote, “…cowardice calls the shots at City Hall [and] there is more of the same elsewhere in Albany.” McManus also spoke pointedly to the lack of police presence, the “impotent” attempts at Albany’s incumbent mayor and police chief at addressing violence in the city and, he wrote, “Albany is so small that its failures — its shamefully timid leadership and its absence of civic self-respect — is disproportionately obvious. And so it is that much more difficult to avoid when the bullets fly.”

In response to the article, Alicia Purdy issued this open letter to the editor:

Dear Editor, 

I was as much publicly dismayed as I was secretly delighted to be on the receiving end of the clipped tones that permeated the commentary by Bob Mc Manus in “A Spate of Shootings Underscores Albany’s Sad Decline into Mayhem”. The piece read like a heavy sigh timed with a disappointed shake of the head like a knowing lover whose ex had gotten pregnant by another while on the rebound. I couldn’t deny Bob’s words, as much as I wanted to defend our dear city of Albany, and, in an era where everyone is afraid to speak up, someone had to say it: Currently, it sucks to be us.

I am campaigning for Mayor of Albany against our Democrat incumbent, Kathy Sheehan, who is not living her best life at the moment. [She was recently openly insulted by her own party with an all-time abysmal turnout in the Dem primary] I am running on both the Republican and Conservative lines, which has drawn equal parts fascination and mockery, from people so institutionalized by 100 years of single-party rule in our city that they cannot comprehend a candidate who could step onto the stage and throw a punch that lands, in their defense.

Bob was, sadly, accurate that “traumatized locals…have come by their fears honestly.” Indeed, we are all wrestling with fear as we drive down the street to pick up Chinese food downtown and hope a stray bullet from a disenfranchised youth doesn’t lodge in our throats. It’s a real, very palatable state of being in Albany. It is not popular to criticize Kathy’s use of social gatherings, photo ops, BBQ’s and her spending on pet projects to silently beg people to love her because the narrative in Albany is that she is well liked, well connected and is surrounded by a cackle of loyalist Tories who will go for the jugular on Twitter, which is, apparently, more terrifying to some than shots fired- but I’ve never been one to worry about popularity- and that is why Bob is my new hero.

What now, though, Bob? I am the one swimming against the “very strong tide” you mentioned, running for Mayor because I believe in our Albany and while I am willing to press on and very capable of swimming strong, I’ll admit I have been disappointed in the lackluster response of Republicans in power across the state who have a monumental stake in my win and should be pouring into its assurance with reckless abandon. Have we become too accustomed to losing? Albany is the capital city of the greatest state in America (despite Cuomo’s best attempts to dismantle it with those big hands) and I believe it is not too late for us. I believe Albany can become the greatest small city in America. I am confident and informed that our current Mayor is terrified of the clear and present danger presented by Alicia Purdy, “The People’s Mayor”, the Un-Kathy and, perhaps for the first time in 100 years, the divine-right absolutism of Albany’s ruling class will see its demise.

We all know that bullets fly for a number of reasons, and I won’t pretend a new Mayor will solve every problem we face- but, indeed, a new Mayor is the first and most important step. Four more years of Sheehan’s flaccid, pandering, reactive, performative leadership could be a literal death knell for some of us- our economy, our residents and our law enforcement alike. Albany truly wants peace, but we suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, in love with our captor so deeply that peace, to us, is simply a day without being chained under the bed or absent another beating. Local liberal media is terrified to whisper my name in case Kathy catches wind. Local conservative media is scared to love me in case I break their hearts. Yet, I am the strongest contender for transformation this city has ever seen. I have come to set Albany free- Will anyone step up to help? Many have, but many more remain in hiding or are still asleep or cannot envision a historic win in Albany. Where are our heroes? Where is the Cavalry? I am the crack in the dam. My win is a win for not only the city of Albany, but also for the state and, dare I say, the nation.

Thank you, Bob, for your words, as sad as I was at their accuracy. There is work to be done, but I know that Albany is ready. The question is: Do they know it? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂


~Alicia Purdy

P.S. As a young journalist with a burgeoning career, I once aspired to write for the Times Union until I decided that getting paid bupkis to write PR puff pieces for the Democratic party was not resume-worthy. I’ve repeatedly attempted to get them to stop sending the paper to me for free, however, in their defense, they do burn up nicely and without too much ash in the firepit.


Read the original NY Post article here.

Contact Alicia via email at:

Published by Alicia Purdy

Alicia Purdy is an independent, multi-media journalist with an M.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Broadcasting. Learn more at:

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