Perhaps you've always dreamed of being the lead singer in a rock band that regularly sells out sports arenas? Or maybe you've always wanted to be a double agent living a secret life, thwarting evildoers across the world? Or maybe you have slightly less grand aspirations, opting instead to be a bona fide member of the New York City Council?
Well, what's stopping you!
Or rather, what's stopping you from giving the impression that you are one of those things, or anything else that you can dream up for that matter? Seriously, do you even know how to use social media?
Or in the case of Hiram Monserrate, it's as simple as using an “@gmail.com” account.
Monserrate's ambition was (is) to be a member of the City Council, but to be fair, for him it wouldn't be a new experience, as he has held the post before, as well as a seat in the State Senate, which he was forced to vacate after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend.
Undeterred by his legal issues, Monserrate ran for his old State Senate seat in a 2010 special election, losing to then-assemblyman Jose Peralta by a wide margin. He immediately filed petitions to get on the ballot to fill the seat that was vacated by Peralta, but lost to Francisco Moya.
For about six years Monserrate laid low, partly while in prison on federal corruption charges regarding some misused City Council discretionary funding, but has been trying to make a comeback.
In 2016, he quietly announced a bid for district leader in the neighborhoods of Corona and East Elmhurst. The district leader post is a largely unheralded and unpaid position in both the Democratic and Republican parties, but it is widely viewed as a stepping stone for someone with larger political aspirations.
Or it's held by someone who has been unflinchingly loyal to the party of their choice, so in his own way Monserrate was sending a message to the Queens Democratic Party, who long ago abandoned him, that he was looking to get back into politics whether they supported him or not.
He eventually lost to George Dixon by a mere 57 votes, but Monserrate soon began to hold press conferences critical of the stalled Willets Point redevelopment plan, representing himself as a community leader.
He was especially critical of then-councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, touting his own leadership on the proposal while a member of the City Council.
So when Ferreras-Copeland announced she would not seek re-election, Monserrate seized on the opportunity. He challenged Assemblyman Francisco Moya in a September primary for the seat in a nasty, mudslinging campaign, but eventually lost with 44 percent of the vote to Moya's 55 percent.
One issue that became a factor during the campaign was the removal of a polling place at Lefrak City, a large housing development in the district where Monserrate appeared to have a base of support. The community challenged the decision by the Board of Elections, and while they were not returned in time for the primary, they were in place for the general election.
We knew in part because we received an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” announcing the reversal.
Councilman Monserrate! Are we missing something here? It's just like the old saying goes, “If you can't beat 'em, just set up an email account with their title and your last name and pretend like you have the job anyway!”
Given Monserrate's renewed interest in politics, we have a feeling we will be receiving an email sometime soon from “email@example.com” announcing his intention to run for the open Assembly seat that Moya is leaving behind.
But if you hear anything first, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.