2013-09-06 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

He Wants Your Vote
By Ricardo Brown

The Rockaways, once a striving community filled with recreation and relaxation activities, is now concerned about its ability to sustain the health care needs of its residents, recreational activities for the youth, seniors jobs and the crumbling conditions of its affordable housing. The apathy worsened after the effects of Super Storm Sandy.

Throughout my campaign I have met with residents across the Peninsula. Some parents, like Brianna who has a nine year old child, is concerned that parents like her might not have any hospital nearby to take their children should St John’s Episcopal Hospital close. Brianna clearly stated that “it would be a travesty should a child have an asthma attack and the parent has to take the child miles away because of the closure of St. John’s Hospital”. This is a matter of life or death and our elected officials are not giving it enough attention. We have already lost Peninsula

Hospital and now to lose St. Johns, it would be crippling to the delivery of health and emergency care. This planned closure needs to be stopped.

I am an advocate for increased activities for the youth which in turn would result in more jobs and after school programs. Over the Labor Day weekend, while out at the “Stop the Violence” game, I was able to speak to residents and volunteers concerned about the positive sustainability of the community. One of these residents was Marilyn, a long term resident of the Peninsula who said that, “there is a need for increased positive activities and recreation for the youth so that they don’t end up getting into trouble. The city should fund these activities without delay.” Tim said that “something as simple as a bowling alley venue and a movie theater would provide residents of all ages something to do while creating jobs.”

Since Super Storm Sandy the devastation and lack of resources towards rebuilding the lives of the residents of the Peninsula has been absent. Longtime resident Carolyn and her husband Denis are still living in a shelter nearly a year since Super Storm Sandy left them homeless. “To this day, there has been no plan to relocate me into a decent home where my family can live a peaceful and enjoyable life.” The City is paying thousands of dollars to these hotels and motels for emergency shelter instead of restoring the living conditions of Far Rockaway residents.

I have been a long time resident of the district and am a business leader, a certified public accountant by trade. I am a member of the NYS Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. I have helped many residents of the district with matters concerning taxes, credit restoration, mortgage foreclosure, jobs, revitalization of business and business resources.

In 2007, I, along with Everly Brown, a local realtor who is running for Borough President, Bonty Defoe, Junta Williams and others helped form a grass roots organization on Farmers Boulevard to support Barack Obama for President.

After the Obama campaign, I helped the Economic Opportunity Commission create 250 summer youth jobs for two consecutive years, plus 48 support staff jobs for 18 months in spite of the steep decline in the economy. We were able to write grant proposals and budget resources, to solicit over $3.5 million in stimulus funds. “We need a leader in the City Council with the intensity and capacity like this” said Henry Campaign Manager. Go out and vote on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

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