2009-10-09 / Letters

Racist Comments Were Misconstrued

Dear Editor,

I am responding to a letter to the editor published in the Wave, concerning myself and comments I made at a CB#14 meeting September 14. I was accused by the writer, who was not at the meeting, of making a comment that was racist and sexist about Section 8 recipients living in Rockaway. If the person who informed the writer took what I said to be racist and sexist, even if I didn't mention race or intend to imply anything racial or anything general about women, I apologize. I should have used a better choice of words to express what I wanted to say. I also should have noted that I was speaking on behalf of the concerns voiced during our civic meeting. It has been suggested that we reach out to these few Section 8 families who live in the houses built by private developers that couldn't be sold, and have a neighborly dialogue with them to overcome problems and offer help or information about services available in Rockaway. We will consider this approach.

I have had a good reputation in my community and in Rockaway for over 40 years. I relate to people without any racial bias. I have been president of the Frank Avenue Civic Association for many years. For the information of the writer who implied there was a bias to my comments, he should be made aware that our civic association is multi-cultural made up of over 90% identifying as non-white and over 60% women. We meet with the purpose of improving the quality of life in our community.

The letter writer mentioned that Rockaway was changing the way it is. That many feel the change is for the better. We in the Edgemere Urban Renewal Area agree with that impression. The people in our civic association have a vision of that improvement continuing. We are organized and determined to see the recognized success of the Edgemere Urban Renewal project continue. There are plans by the city to put more affordable homes for working families on the empty land in the Renewal Area that is zoned R4 so that we will have the environment to accommodate the new homes.

The much needed multi-cultural working families will help stabilize the community. They will provide the much needed economic clout to attract the needed stores and commercial enterprises to provide jobs in our community. The Frank Avenue Civic Association looks forward to this future for Edgemere.

I invite the writer of the letter "Time for New Leaders" to come to a Frank Avenue Civic Association meeting and meet me and meet some of the new and upcoming leaders that attend.

STEVE COOPER

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