Aspire To Inspire
I write in regards to your editorial, “A Matter of Competing Rights” printed in the November 4, 2011 edition of The Wave.
First and foremost, the youth of the Rockaway Youth Task Force need not engage in jumping on the bandwagon or use the “Occupy” term to describe what is clearly a just and worthy cause of addressing the ills that plague our community and, in particular, our youth. The only legitimate use of the occupy term should be to “occupy the minds” of our youth with more educational and vocational teachings.
Second, we need to “occupy the time of our youth” with positive and constructive activities including educational, social, cultural and recreational activities and the teaching of proper and positive communication skills that lend themselves to enhancing their daily living skills.
Third, we need to “occupy the minds and thoughts” of the community’s stakeholders: all eight peninsula elected officials, clergy, educators, civic leaders, police officials, health professionals, youth leaders and those who claim to be community leaders and have them convene a meeting immediately to develop and coordinate a comprehensive youth service plan for the Rockaways.
Fourth, the ills of Rockaway must be addressed by the entire community and be “occupied by Black, White, Latino and Asian alike,” not just as stated in the Wave article “… hood will not be safe until black politicians convince black teens that guns are not the answer.” We must all be involved! We are all being affected by this issue from one end of the peninsula to the other.
Ultimately, we all know that “charity begins at home.” We need to “occupy the households” of our residents with services including employment opportunities that will enable them to share in the so-called American Dream.
Finally, we must Aspire to Inspire before we Expire. We must stop pointing the finger, lay down our petty issues and work towards a better Rockaway. We saved Peninsula Hospital so now, let’s use that same energy to save our youth and our community.
FREDERICK A. LEWIS II