Political foundation of yonkers by Nusrat M. Jahan
At first, members of the City Council seemed willing to negotiate a settlement, but some of them bowed under public pressure, leading to a long and expensive legal battle.The city did not comply with Parts IV and VI of the remedial order. The city failed to propose sites for the public housing, and in November 1986, informed the District Court that it would not present a long-term plan in compliance with Part VI. The United States and the NAACP then moved for an adjudication of civil contempt and the imposition of coercive sanctions, but the District Court declined to take action. Henry Spallone, a popular Democrat, who was elected with 80 percent of the votes, denounced the housing project. He was fiery and opposed to court-order. Other Democrats like Charles Cola stated, “[t]his whole thing is a farce.” The council waited for Wasicsko s outrage but instead he stated, “[i]t is too early to tell whether the city will appeal.”Then he decided to go with the Supreme Court route. However, the lawyers for the city predicted that the Second Circuit Court would reject the initial appeal.
Nicholas Longo was a Republican senior councilman that was seen as savvy and powerful. Long a controversial figure in Yonkers politics, he is criticized by some who say he uses inflammatory tactics. Longo voted to approve a consent decree for a housing desegregation plan. He, like others received bullets in the mail and threats on his life. He quickly returned his vote and Longo stated the case was a, “national issue and we're putting together a grassroots movement to put the judiciary back in their place.” Longo claimed it was not issue of race but economics. The attitude of the Council Members is represented by Longo who stated, ''I'm here breaking my back and you're getting here on a free ride, and your free ride diminishes my property values and perhaps is going to make this a less safe place.'' A city buffeted by political turmoil, Yonkers residents were urged on by Longo and Spallone, both originally from the Bronx. Vowing to fight Judge Sand's order up to the Supreme Court, they were reelected as part of a coalition opposed to the new public housing that apparently controlled the new Council. It is true that judicial orders to legislators can raise constitutional problems involving legislative power. Some Supreme Court justices were concerned that judicial orders would disrupt the democratic process. However, the ploy that the Yonkers politicians had in mind to bar minorities from their city was not democratic in itself. By 1987, the city of Yonkers spent $15 million fighting off the case.
Young Mayor of a Conflicted City
During his inaugural address in 1988, Wasicsko stated that Yonkers would comply with Sand’s order, because “the law is the law”. Wasicsko did not say he agreed with the decision, but rather that he was doing what was best for the city to avoid fines that would bankrupt Yonkers. He also believed it was unfair to punish the homeowners of the present for the mistakes made by former political leaders. As soon as he made this public, his voting constituents lashed out against him calling him “young”, and “traitor” while threatening to impeach him. This would be the beginning to Wasicsko s one term mayoralty. To Judge Sand, the battle of Yonkers was about what was right. To Wasicsko it was about what was realistic. Wasicsko became convinced that the others councilmen were a more interested in saving their council seats than in saving their souls. Longo went all over local and national news station to express his displeasure with desegregation. He stated, ''I don't believe Yonkers is a racist city, I don't believe we participated in intentional segregation. Unfortunately, I wasn't the judge. Judges like Sand take the way the world ought to be and socially engineer it through court orders. People resent that. Yonkers today. Who knows tomorrow?'' A woman in a local restaurant ran up to him to give him $1,000 to support his “cause”.
Fernanda Santos, 3.
Department of Justice, "City of Yonkers Vs United States of America." http://www.justice.gov/osg/briefs/2000/0responses/2000-1497.resp.html.
 Lisa Belkin, 21.
 Ibid, 21.
 Dena Kleiman, "The Councilmen Who Are Blocking the Yonkers Housing Plan; Nicholas V. Longo." New York Times, August 31, 1988: 1
 Dena Kleiman, 2.
 Ibid, 2.
 Sara Rimer, "Our Towns; Metamorphosis Of a Mayor, And Its Cost,"2.
 "Conscience and Law in Yonkers." New York Times, October 7, 1989.
 Sara Rimer, 2.
 Lisa Belkin, 23.
 Lisa Belkin, 22.
 David Threadwell. "Housing Desegregation Opponents Celebrate Victory in Yonkers VoteAnd Its Cost." Los Angeles Times, November 10, 1989.
 Lisa Belkin, 36.
 Dena Kleiman, 1.