2009-03-13 / Letters

Dirty Politics In The Community

Dear Editor,

I co-started a not-for-profit community employment center to aid Rockaway residents seeking employment in construction approximately fourand a-half years ago. This community resource was intended to ensure that the people of Rockaway received a fair share of the jobs that the economic development was going to bring. I've had a rude awakening since then. I've been labeled a troublemaker, rabblerouser, etc. The sad fact is those that have labeled me are the elected officials, their staffs, most of the clergy, even some of the police officers in the community. Nevertheless, I've continued against all odds placing some of the disadvantaged men in our community on some of the projects that come to the Rockaways, at my detriment.

What I've come to realize is that there is a cabal of people that benefit from the misery of the poor, disadvantaged, excluded men in our community. One of them is Ed Williams. He is, or was, working as Congressman Meeks' representative for Rockaway. This is the type of person that the elected officials use to insulate themselves from the dirt that they do. I must say that although he is not the only one on this peninsula, he should be under indictment for all that he has done to date. Several individuals that worked for him under his coalition named Committee on Contract Compliance are facing racketeering and extortion charges by the state. It is strange that his employees find themselves incarcerated; fighting charges that, he, the Director of the committee should be facing. I say this because I've dealt with some of the same contractors that he's dealt with, and know first hand that he used his affiliation with Gregory Meeks, as well as his affiliation with the NAACP, to solicit monies from local contractors currying favors from his cohorts in elected office. In fact, it is my belief that his affiliation with Gregory Meeks, as well as Phillip Goldfetter, Mayor Bloomberg's representative for the Rockaways, is the reason he is not fighting those same charges. In other words, I believe his partners in crime are insulated because of the lack of Public Integrity Oversight. These people have and will continue their criminal enterprise as long as the community keeps their mouths shut. If the Public Integrity units of the city and state scrutinize the Arverne by the Sea project, they (Meeks, James Sanders, Malcolm Smith) and others including the mayor would at the least be removed from office, and at best be incarcerated. There was a Community Board Agreement (CBA) for that project that we continue to inquire about. It (the CBA) mysteriously cannot be found on paper: I've made inquiries to the Mayor's office, his Queens rep., planning board 14, all of the elected officials on the west end of the peninsula to no avail. The only recourse left is to begin investigating the whereabouts of this secret document; and if necessary reach out to the new Attorney General, Eric Holder in Washington, DC with the hope that there is some justice in this nation.

It is my hope that The Wave is not embroiled in the dirty politics of this community, for the local paper is one of the main sources for the people of the Rockaway community. The people of the community need to know that the paper will print the truth no matter who is caught up in these webs of deceit.

ALEX WRIGHT

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