Lew Speaks Out
I was totally appalled by the number of letters by people claiming to be Ocean Park residents. I was called upon by a number of residents who knew me since childhood. They knew my family and some attended public school with me. They started to question the goings on at Ocean Park.
We started to question a local public official about homeless and mentally ill persons being accepted as tenants. One of the women who had written a letter was Frances Johnson who I knew for the past 13 years and with whom I thought I had great rapport. She was one of those who contacted me about getting involved in the St. John's Hospital situation and she asked me to help the tenants at Ocean Park.
I have always been from the school of thought that Rockaway is one. No matter where the district lines are, Rockaway is in one in my heart. We immediately notified State Senator Al Waldon, who I work for, who asked me to get involved. We attended a rally and a number of meetings to help the ongoing quality of life for the tenants of Ocean Park. This was not for political gain, since none of the tenants can vote for me. We do not understand the remark about being outside the loop when we were in the inner circle.
Frances Johnson is not a resident of Ocean Park. It appears that some of the names signed to the letters belong to people who moved out of Ocean Park and were not at the rally. I understand that Mr. Ed Williams feels that he was misquoted. If I received a phone call after the column was written, I would have extended an apology and made a correction.
I have given of my time to help the many seniors, disabled and youngsters who live in substandard conditions particularly since the May 15 firebombing. My heart goes out to the many tenants with whom I have a long standing relationship. At no time will this district leader ever turn his back on anyone needing assistance regardless of race, religion, political party or immigration status. When anyone needs me I am here.
There but for the grace of God go I. If you are jealous of me because I have a big heart and my tail says kick me because I care, I say tough toenails; united we stand, divided we fall. People who cause divisiveness and hatred do not help to improve the situation. Some of the spewed hatred is downright gutter tactics of jealous individuals. At no time are we frightened to take on any elected officials. We don't want to hear the excuse that they are rabble rouses, not the recognized tenants association, or that management couldn't speak to the concerned tenants because they are not part of the tenants league. I am sensitive and caring. That is why I do the things I do.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to Mr. Ed Williams who gave his own time to assist tenants because of his strong conviction and beliefs. We sometimes have to watch what is said on the record end off the record. There is much more serious business. It is time for people to put their swords down and stop being petty. Let's unite together to finish what we started, to help the tenants of Ocean Park.
LEW M. SIMON