2000-05-20 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Malcolm Smith chose to have his swearing in ceremony at St. Catherine of Sienna Church where he is a parishioner. Malcolm graduated from that school.

Father John Amann, pastor of St. Catherine, gave the welcoming remarks. He looks forward to Malcolm continuing his career of community service as a state senator. The Rev. Charles Norris from the Southeast Queens Clergy offered the opening prayer. Michael "Lavias" Williams delighted everyone with his musical rendition of the song, which is the title of his new C.D. He is a very talented musician. Everyone enjoyed his artistic performance.

Many people from different areas of the state came to support Malcolm.
Senator Charles Schumer noted that Malcolm is a strong and decent man from an outstanding community. They have a reputation for sending excellent representatives to Albany, City Hall and Washington. He complimented Malcolm's supportive family. He felt that this ceremony fulfills the American dream. The Public Advocate, Mark Green, commented that Malcolm brings brilliance and zeal to the Senate office. He compared Malcolm to Abraham Lincoln who always had a steel fist and a velvet glove. Comptroller Alan Hevesi finds that Malcolm is very bright and deeply caring. In fact, he endorses him for re-election next November. Ms. Eleanor Freyer, who was Malcolm's sixth grade teacher, told of an eager, involved and attentive student in her class. She taught him and his classmates the lessons of black history. She is very proud of his success.

Malcolm Smith is a graduate of Fordham University. Some of his friends from school shared their experiences. Devereaux Cannick, Esq., noted that as a student Malcolm identified the needs of the students at Fordham and worked to achieve the goals that met their needs. He knows that Malcolm will serve with dignity, courage and compassion. Robert C. Hill jr., a Wall Street executive, who also went to Fordham, finds that Malcolm is a pillar of strength, honorable, a courageous leader, and is confident in his resolve to achieve his goals. He has a strong moral and ethical character. He informed us that Malcolm's nickname is Rock.

Malcolm's political mother is Ms. Mary Jones. She elaborated on Malcolm's 20-years of active community service. Among other involvement's she noted that he was the director of People to People and the president of the Jamaica Chapter of the NAACP. Working in conjunction with community leaders from the Neighborhood Housing Service, Brooklyn Union Gas, Queens Urban
League and Andrew Jackson High School, Malcolm and his colleagues refinished a house and gave it to a deserving family. Malcolm also helped the Neighborhood Housing Service to purchase a new building for its headquarters. Today, they are working from these new facilities.

Carl Johnson from the Black Theatre Council praised Malcolm's persistence. Malcolm worked with
them to develop and promote their artistic and creative endeavors. Malcolm Smith served as the chairperson of the area Policy Board 12 for 10 years. James Worthy and Ken Chapman thanked Malcolm for his innovative leadership. They noted that he could disagree with you without being disagreeable. They proudly saluted Malcolm for making a difference in many lives.

Congressional leaders applauded Malcolm. Congressman Gregory Meeks feels that the community is lucky to have a wonderful representative like Malcolm. He will make the community better for everyone. This is the time when we need someone with energy, experience, and courage. Congressman Anthony Weiner remarked that by electing Malcolm we are rewarding someone who has a record of working hard in his community. Congressman Weiner feels very fortunate to have an ally to work with in government as capable as Malcolm Smith.

City Council members praised Malcolm. Councilman Archie Spigner found that Malcolm has touched all the bases. He is intelligent and hardworking. He majored in economics at Fordham University and is a fiscal conservative. Time, patience and perseverance are his mottoes and are the qualities that have made him successful. He brought greetings from Dora Young, the vice chair of the Queens County Democratic Organization, and Councilwoman Juanita Watkins.

The Conservative Party endorsed Malcolm Smith in his election. Queens County Conservative Chairperson Thomas Long noted that Malcolm has expressed a strong interest in making this world a better place. He commented that Malcolm remembers those who have gone before us and have made a difference in our lives. This will be a key ingredient in his success.

A wonderful highlight of the event has hearing the inspirational and
motivational words of Julian Malcolm Smith, the Senator's son. He gave a
thank you prayer from the family. He asked God to give strength to his
family, his friends and all those who worked hard to elect his father.
Julian's words motivated everyone. He is definitely a leader with an
excellent future.

Malcolm's business partners Joann Flowers and Al Green find Malcolm to have integrity and humility. He is able to maintain a delightful sense of
humor. His is a person with a purpose. He enjoys serving his community.

Senator Malcolm Smith thanked his parents who were watching from Heaven. He stressed that we need to go back to basics with our children. He noted that his journey to the Senate had been a long one. He did receive 90-percent of the vote in his special election. He takes that trust very seriously. He is the first in his district to receive the endorsement of
four parties: Democrat, Republican, Conservative and the Green Party. In
the Senate he has been appointed to the judiciary committee, the economic development committee, the alcohol committee, the civil service and pension committee, the environmental committee, and the veterans and military affairs committee. Malcolm Smith expressed a strong commitment to our community. He will work to serve each constituent.

Best wishes to Malcolm and his family as they embark on a new road. I look forward to working with him.



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