Greetings from the Executive Director of Save Our Tappan Zee, Inc., a legal NY not-for-profit corporation.
My name is Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA.
I'm a resident of Westchester County, New York, and (to avoid confusion) son of the late Port Chester attorney of the same name. You can google my name to learn more about me. For those who don't know, I'm the guy who started the petition to return the traditional Indian/Dutch Tappan Zee name to our new bridge. Rationale: History Matters.
Well, the cause is growing. But Albany doesn't appear to be listening as clearly as we had hoped: Albany is still trying to belittle our effort as a right-wing political charade that has little bipartisan support. The truth--as we all know--is that the Tappan Zee name means a lot to all New Yorkers: Republican, Democrat, Independent, and apolitical citizens as well.
The arguments that Albany & its supporters make in defense do not stand up:
1. "New Bridge, New Name". Negative. London Bridge in England was destroyed four times, and four times, it was rebuilt, and yet the traditional historical name always remained. A new name is not acceptable simply because the bridge was rebuilt. Here, history matters.
2. "There is a long tradition of renaming public structures after politicians". Well, the tradition is wrong, corrupt, and a waste of tax-payer money. With all due respect, the history of the Tappan Indians and the Dutch is far longer (and more important) than this terrible tradition of renaming public structures after politicians.
3. "Mario Cuomo had a profoundly positive effect on New York State." That very well may be true, but as an apolitical organization, we won't be getting into that issue. And that's precisely the point: it doesn't matter how much of an impact he had on our state, his name does not deserve to push aside the ever greater & historical Tappan Zee name.
In fact, after I read a recent biography of Mario Cuomo, I have to say, I have a lot of respect for him. I honestly think he would support our side of this controversy.
It is for these reasons that the board of directors and I have started this fundraising drive: to take our cause to the next level in the form of a not-for-profit. Your financial support will allow us to better organize and execute this fight.
SOLE APOLITICAL HISTORICAL PURPOSE:
Save Our Tappan Zee, Inc. has three missions, as on file with the NY Secretary of State:
1. PRIMARY PURPOSE: To preserve through any lawful means any history related to the Tappan Zee name, and what it represents to the citizens of the state of New York, to include landmarks, infrastructure, historical references, schools, buildings, etc.
2. SECONDARY PURPOSE: To raise money for (and eventually operate) a Tappan Zee/Tappan Zee Bridge museum that chronicles the history of the Tappan Indians and the Dutch in New York.
3. TERTIARY PURPOSE: If successful (and only if successful) in returning the historic Tappan Zee name to the bridge that rightfully deserves it, to assist other organizations fighting similar battles for apolitical historic reasons to preserve NY and/or American history, or to directly engage in such apolitical preservation efforts.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO:
* To raise money to pay for signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and more that say "Save Our Tappan Zee" to be placed in every city and town in New York State
* One of the advertisements will be a billboard in Albany(if possible), and also along the highways leading up to and near the Tappan Zee Bridge (if possible).
* To raise money to pay for part-time "county team leaders" and "city team leaders" to organize events and volunteers in various counties and cities, sharing the history of the Tappan Indians and the Dutch, the circumstances before us, and the importance of our cause with as many people as we can reach.
* To hire a part-time publicist to continually get the word out
* To put Executive Director Monroe Mann on a modest part-time executive director salary so that he can focus as much time and energy as is required to lead this effort.
* To legally form the company ($1000 to start the not-for-profit consisting of about $250 corporation fees, $750 IRS application fees, etc.--I will donate my legal services & acumen for free to the cause)
* And yes, to eventually start the creation of the museum, to share the Tappan Indian, Dutch, and Tappan Zee Bridge history with all.
Our ultimate goal is to raise $100,000--and that is totally possible. If just 4,000 of the petition signers contribute $25, we'll reach our goal. Or if 20,000 contribute $5 each.
NOTE: while we have applied for and should be eligible for federal tax exemption, I cannot make a guarantee that we will receive tax-exempt status. As such, please be aware that any donation would only be tax deductible if the IRS does indeed grant us tax-exempt status, a process that itself could take up to six months.
Thank you for your support!
Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM
Save Our Tappan Zee, Inc.