2008-08-01 / Letters

It Is Time For Change Richards For '08

Dear Editor,

For the past month, I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of people while petitioning to be on the Democratic ballot in the upcoming September 9 primary. Yet, I found it odd that only one out of every 30 people actually knew who their assemblyperson was and what role an assemblyperson played in their community. This is a sign that is time for a change of leadership.

For nearly a month I woke up at 5 a.m. to petition at the Mott Avenue train stations. There I witnessed single mothers, the elderly, and the disabled struggle up the "stairs to heaven" to head to their destination. It is absurd that the MTA continues to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing access to disabled persons. Our state official has failed to address this matter, which the late Assemblywoman Cynthia Jenkins fought so hard to address. This is why it is definitely time for a change.

Over the past few months we have lost countless children, not only to senseless acts of violence, but the revolving door of the criminal justice system. Many people I spoke with attribute this to the lack of jobs, innovative programming, and extra curricular activities for the youth on the peninsula. How can we expect our youth not to loiter in front of their buildings when there isn't even a bowling alley, movie theater, or video arcade where they can spend their time? The truth is that our current leadership has failed to confront this issue in good faith. All we have heard is silence. Young people in Queens have seen little reason to vote over the last decade - yet if they did, adequate resources would be coming in by the boatloads to ensure that services were being provided. It is certainly time for a change.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over thinking you're going to get different results. The truth is that we have continued to pull the lever of mediocrity when we have entered the voting booth. Today is a new day. Today we say it is time for new leadership. It is time to fight those who terrorize our community. It is time to fight for senior citizens who must climb the "stairway to heaven" on Mott Avenue every morning. We need new ideas, new action, and a new outcome. Today it is time for change, and this is why I'm running for the NYS Assembly.

DONOVAN RICHARDS

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