District and Community Leader Albert Baldeo led a strong and unified coalition of residents living in Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Ozone Park and testified before the NYC Districting Commission, which will draw new City Council Districts based on the new Census figures for the next 10 years. They dominated a packed public hearing in the Flushing Library auditorium last Tuesday.
Guyanese Americans complained that they have been deprived of fair and effective representation due to the division of the area into several federal, state and city districts, leaving them fragmented and marginalized. All of the speakers complained about the common problems-home foreclosures; closure of hospitals; medical centers and schools; kids being subjected to filthy, overcrowded trailer parks and locker rooms for classrooms, spiraling unemployment; increased taxes and the cost of living, and the lack of government services and funding. They also threatened legal action for breaches of the NYC Charter and the Voting Rights Act.
Albert Baldeo summarized the case best when he said, “If you still harbor pause, just attend the Phagwah Parade which ushers in the spring, and you will see the hundreds of thousands of these ignored minorities who participate in one of the largest parades in the entire USA. Or visit JFK Airport Arrivals or Resorts World and you will be convinced as to who constitute the critical mass in Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. You cannot suppress, divide and rule us any longer.”
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