2009-08-28 / Letters

Politicians Playing The Race Card

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the article that appeared in The Wave on August 21, 2009, in which Councilman Sanders discusses people dying on the eastern end of the peninsula because of the lack of lifeguards, and how he believes it's a race issue.

How can it be a race issue when Far Rockaway political representatives, including himself, are minorities? I am tired of fellow minorities using race as an excuse for their own failures! My condolences go out to the families of individuals who lost their lives in Far Rockaway this year. However, Councilman Sanders is failing to point out to the community that several of those deaths could have been avoided. Many of the swimmers who lost their lives were minorities, but they were also individuals who were swimming when lifeguards were not on duty or in areas that were not open to the public. Councilman Sanders's lack of addressing those issues is irresponsible! Instead, he wants to blame it on race! Hello! Isn't he supposed to advocate for the community and make sure that his fellow constituents have what they need? Isn't he supposed to take proactive measures to enhance the safety for constituents and visitors coming into our community? If I recall correctly, some of the swimmers that lost their lives were not Far Rockaway residents they were visitors from other communities.

When I first moved to Far Rockaway I sent Councilman Sanders and other Far Rockaway politicians letters regarding my concern about issues effecting the eastern end of the peninsula. My letters went unanswered by all Far Rockaway politicians! The only politician that responded to my concerns, was Betsy Gotbaum. And Ms. Gotbaum is not from Far Rockaway nor is she a minority! Believing in second chances, I recently e-mailed Councilman Sanders regarding a dangerous intersection on the eastern end of the peninsula and requested his help in the matter. That email was sent on May 8, 2009. I also took the time to contact three of his opponents, as well as Ms. Gotbaum, to express my concerns. Once again Ms. Gotbaum's office contacted me, and in addition to Ms. Gotbaum's office both Jacques Leandre and Marquez Claxton both personally contacted me about my concerns. No response was received from Fred Lewis, or from Councilman Sanders. I have never received a response from him or from anyone in his administration, and I doubt I ever will.

I am tired of politicians who develop amnesia once they are elected and who constantly ignore the concerns of the minority constituents who reside on the eastern end of the Peninsula. I am tired of politicians who play the race card during an election year in order to try to convince constituents that they care even though throughout their term(s) they ignored those very same constituents. If you care, you should listen and address the concerns of everyone even the concerns of constituents who may not be able to monetarily contribute to your campaign!

As for me, I want fewer fatalities and a better quality of life in the Rockaways, and I will not give my vote to Sanders or any politician who has ignored my concerns and the concerns of the eastern end. The only two candidates I am taking seriously for Councilman are Jacques Leandre and Marquez Claxton. As for Betsy Gotbaum, I have the utmost respect for her and her administration. They have always addressed my concerns more than any of the Far Rockaway politicians.

To Mr. Leandre and Mr. Claxton, I want to publicly thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to call me and to assure me that you care. I will keep you both in prayer and wish you the best in defeating Sanders. To my fellow Far Rockaway residents, especially those on the eastern end, vote wisely!


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