On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter
At its regular monthly meeting held on Sunday May 23, members of the Gateway Republican Club met to discuss Republican ideas and solutions to our community's problems. On the agenda was a presentation by local Republican activist, and fellow colleague, John McLoughlin who had refreshing ideas for a Republican agenda as we approach the year 2000. Stating that although we have twice elected a Republican to the city council, Rockaway has long been lamented as a one party town and McLoughlin urged local Republicans to band together to break the Democrat party dominated strong-hold.
According to McLoughlin and others, the problems we have been facing now and working hard to remedy, have been directly attributed to and inherited by the gerrymandering of our district. In theory, the concept of redistricting was initially to provide adequate representation for our diverse community. The result, however, has been detrimental to our common goals. Geographically separated from the mainland, our needs and interests are the same.
Redistricting caused constituencies on both sides to become weakened in their districts due to the fact that the bulk of constituents live on the mainland; therefore, causing a weaker voice for those who reside in both districts on the peninsula. Since the support and votes tend to be on the mainland, attention from our elected officials tends to go where the voters are. A vote in the Assembly will be taken again on redistricting as it comes up in the year 2001. Since the State Assembly is controlled by Democrats, it is likely that Rockaway will again be gerrymandered in order to tighten the Democratic strong-hold and further its political leverage. "We want to make a case that there be an end to gerrymandering and that Rockaway be represented again as a single unified voice", stated McLoughlin.
Also on the meeting's agenda was the introduction of the club's involvement with the building of a WWll monument memorializing those who fought and lost their lives on behalf of this country. The project is being co-chaired by actor and activist Tom Hanks and former presidential candidate Robert Dole. On the local level, Gateway Republican Club members will be soliciting businesses and local residents to contribute to this worthwhile cause.
Republican State Committeewoman Joann Ariola is expected to attend the club's June meeting to distribute applications for inspectors. Those who are interested are urged to attend this meeting which will be announced in this column.
*****The Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee held its monthly May meeting at which time new officers were elected. Michael A. Benn was installed as chairman, as was Owen Baxter as vice president, Thomas Touhey as treasurer; Edward Rice will continue as financial secretary, as will Beverly Baxter as recording secretary, and Rosemary Sullivan Murphy as corresponding secretary. For the first time in its history, a board of directors was elected and they are: Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Eugene Pasternak, Edward Shevlin, Barbara J. Morris, Rosemary Sullivan sr., Lew M. Simon, and John Murphy. Congratulations to all those who were elected. I look forward to working with you all.
*****My sincere condolences to Anne and the family members of Joe O'Connell. Owen and I will miss his presence, his wit, and his friendship.
*****I would like to extend a get well wish to Mrs. Joan Reilly from her son Michael.
*****As we are in bloom and in the midst of the Spring season, let us remember always Pat Brackley and the kindness of Jerry Dever.