Arnold Glasman said it was the letter that topped it off.
Glasman, recently reelected as city councilman, told residents who attended the installation ceremony of the new council this week that he heard too many snide remarks during the campaign about his ethnic heritage. Glasman, who is half Latino and half Jewish, said he recently received an anonymous letter accusing him of “being Hispanic only every four years.”
Glasman, who is a lawyer, announced at the meeting that in honor of his mother, Nellie Alvarez, and in order to silence his critics, he was changing his name.
“From now on, I will be known as Arnold Alvarez-Glasman,” he said.
Glasman said he is not going to change his name legally but said his signature will change as well as the letterheads on all of his stationery at City Hall and at his law office.
“There is no real need to legally change my name,” Glasman said. “This is a matter of making the public aware of who I am.”
The move raised eyebrows among some who fear that Glasman may be perceived to be pandering to Latinos to gain support for future campaigns.
“Either the Hispanic community wants to claim you or they don’t,” one community observer said. “They don’t care about a name.”
“Just because I am on City Council doesn’t mean I lose my identity or background or culture,” Glasman said.