LT. GOV HOCHUL & QUEENS BP SPEAK ABOUT UPGRADES TO DOWNTOWN JAMAICA ON JULY 12 ACROSS FROM RUFUS KING PARK OUTDOOR HOMELESS SHELTER JUST AS PARKS DEPT & NYPD WERE REMOVING HOMELESS – COINCIDENCE????

On July 12 in the morning, roving reporter “The Philster” was taking photos of Park Dept & NYPD who were removing the homeless encampment in the Rufus King Park garbage dump & outdoor homeless shelter (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/breaking-news-nyc-garbage-truck-nypd-come-to-filthy-rufus-king-park-to-clean-up-the-trash-and-the-human-homeless-trash/), while just across the street on the steps of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center at 153-10 Jamaica Ave, Lt. Gove Kathy Hochul and Queens BP were getting ready to blow smoke up everyone’s else and crow about wonderful Jamaica is and all the new upgrades that are taking place. Coincidence of these two events going on at the same time. OF COURSE NOT. This is the classic OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND. If we remove the homeless encampment before the bullshit elected officials hit the podium, then there is not a homeless encampment at Rufus King Park

Also this same day in the evening several blocks away at 150 St and Liberty, a mother of two heading to the subway from her church was robbed at gun point and brutally beaten and ganged raped by several Jamaica hood rats, three who were recently arrested and lived in a shitty group home on South Road behind York College (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/3-fucking-sub-human-hood-rats-arrested-julisses-ginel-brandon-walker-justin-williams-for-horrifying-rape-and-they-are-from-jamaica-living-in-a-group-home-and-this-community-wants-more-supportiv/), while on July 4th a hood rat opened fired at 3am at a Jamaica House party, not far from the downtown area, killing a mother of two and another individual, while injuring a 3rd (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/hiatus-is-over-for-the-time-being-now-back-to-the-bullshit-that-jamaica-and-this-city-has-to-offer-police-killing-holiday-shootings-killings-asshole-ruben-wills-and-other-nonsense/). AND in June, a hood rat, Joseph Gilbert, was arrested for kidnapping and pimping out a 15 year old girl for FOUR MONTHS at Rev. Floyd Flake’s Greater Allen Senior Residence on Merrick Blvd (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/11-days-the-flakes-and-greater-allen-church-have-made-no-comment-about-underage-girl-being-pimped-out-of-greater-allen-cathedral-senior-residence-for-four-months-plus-some-new-info-arises/), which by the way, the almighty Flake is a member of the Jamaica Now Leadership Council.

Up and Coming Jamaica, a community in crisis.

So while these limousine liberals, including Leroy Comrie were spilling out tons of bullshit, a crew was hurrying up removing the homeless encampment from the Rufus King Park Pavilion, which they all returned today and a mother of two was brutally gang raped that night several blocks away.

SOME FUCKING UPGRADES.

AND why didn’t this Color of Community run by Karen Clements, bring any of these issues to fold instead of being the typical media prop for these clowns. AND Clements, being a black female, should have jumped on this issue of a  15 year old black girl (one of many in the area) forced into prostitution. Communities of Color is no different from pretty much the rest of the local media, no balls, no spine and just a propaganda machine for these do nothing elected officials, never calling them out on their shit or bringing up the poor quality of life issue being ignored and holding these elected clowns accountable.

So when is the area going to get a REAL black owned media outlet or at least a black blogger to report on all the bullshit and nonsense in this majority black community. I mean since some folks like to say I am “racist” or always attacking Jamaica,  and criticizing the hypocritical black preachers and the do-nothing crooked black elected officials who are NOT serving the constituents, then step up to the fucking plate if you dare.

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From Communities of Color:

Lt Gov Announces Upcoming Upgrades to Downtown Jamaica

July 13, 2017
Lt Gov K. Hochul on the steps of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center

On a beautiful, hot and sunny day in front of the historic façade of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winning projects selected for the Jamaica Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

In August 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Downtown Jamaica was the winner of the $10 million DRI, a plan that looks to transform local neighborhoods into the next generation of communities.   The winner was selected as part of a competitive process by the state’s Economic Development Council.

The projects that will be funded under the grant include a space for businesses, pedestrian plazas, infrastructure upgrades, support for dining options, increased broadband width and employment supports.

Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) will create a 10,000 square foot shared workspace for approximately 90 local entrepreneurs and independent professionals at the Moda Building.  The LIRR 159th Street underpass will be converted into a pedestrian gateway between York College and Downtown Jamaica.  The underpass will include vendor and event space, public art work and seating.  Pedestrian, lighting and the streetscape will be improved along Parsons Boulevard between Jamaica and Archer Avenues.  Jamaica’s broadband infrastructure, to support high speed delivery, will be strengthened.  There will be funds to invigorate nightlife and dining options as well as an incubator space for new food businesses.  Entrepreneurship training for low income residents to launch and grow their businesses and career preparation at Edison Career and Technical Education High School will help develop a qualified workforce.

“We still have a lot to do,” said Senator Leroy Comrie who delivered remarks at the announcement.  On his to-do list was the initiative to ensure that “promotional dollars” were in place guaranteeing that any development was adequately populated.

In addition to this grant, Downtown Jamaica’s is seeing the infusion of revitalization dollars from the Jamaica Now Action Plan.  Jamaica Now is a $153 million dollar investment from the City which will add upgrades to local parks, provide additional transit routes, redesigned store fronts and add new mixed income housing, retail stores and business incubator spaces.

Downtown Jamaica’s transit hub will be getting a boost as well with $8 million dollars in state allocated funds for upgrades to its transit hub.  The Jamaica transit hub is one of the city’s busiest transit centers hosting the E,J and Z trains, numerous bus lines, the LIRR and AirTrain to JFK.

JFK International Airport, which is located just minutes from Downtown Jamaica, will also be revived with an influx of funds.  Governor Cuomo announced $10 billion in funds last year to transform JFK and its connecting commuter links into a 21st Century airport redesign.

In addition, both the city and state have set goals that 30% of its awarded contracts should be allocated to Minority and Women Owned Businesses.

All this opportunity and redevelopment would seem a boom for local businesses and the area’s high unemployment rate, but challenges remain.  “Unemployment is high,” acknowledged Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in her opening remarks at the podium.  Along with the grant, Katz sited the Jamaica Now Plan and private funding as initiatives that can close the gaps.

But local businesses are challenged when it comes to working with the larger companies that are central in the revitalization of Downtown Jamaica.  Thomas Crater, owner of newspaper ‘The New York Page’, frequently expresses frustration at his attempts to connect with GJDC and York College for possible funding avenues.  It is a frustration shared by this news organization.  “It’s hard,” Crater reported that Hope Knight President GJDC of said of the challenge of working with area black media businesses due to having no money.  Knights’ resume includes as stint with the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone whose chief area, Harlem, has recently experienced revitalization.  Dr. Marcia Keizs, York College President, and Earl Simons, York College Director of Government and Community Relations were eager to set up a meeting, and receive proposals about types of partnerships.

Residents and community stakeholders who participated in the planning and provided recommendations for the Jamaica Now plan provided input stressing that it was vital any Downtown Jamaica revitalization touched the neighboring communities and include the main thoroughfares which connect the neighborhoods to Downtown Jamaica.  A few members of the Leadership Council of the Jamaica Now Initiative did not want to speak on the record of their concerns of the early efforts of the program.

York College President, Dr. Marcia Keizs, serves on Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council and has been credited with helping to secure the grant.  The council was designed as a shift in the state’s effort towards economic development which includes a community-based approach that harnesses local expertise.

For more information on the seven winning projects, click here.

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ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 29 ELECTION: COMMUNITY VOTERS FEEL SHADY DEALINGS BY COUNTY DEMOCRAT LEADERS

It is about time that Karen Clements of Communities of Color exposed this extremely crooked process in SE Queens that has been going on for decades. And it is some fine journalism.

So some Jamaica residents are finally waking up to the fact that something extremely shady is going on in the electoral process in SE Queens where only the Democratic Machine backed Democrats get placed on the ballot, while many others get removed. Talk about voter suppression and an anti-democratic process. We have seen this happen over and over again, one of the most recent ones being the race for Senator where Leroy Comrie’s goons removed highly intelligent and Navy Vet Bernadette Semple from the ballot last year. Could you imagine a senate seat filled by an intelligent person and Veteran who served her country and knows the inside and outside of Washington. Instead we got lazy ghetto Humpty Dumpty.

I mean why not give people a choice of candidates and let them decide for themselves as opposed to elected officials (many crooked) making the decision of who gets on the ballot and who does not. I mean what happened to Democracy, it seems to not exist in Jamaica, one of the worst communities in Queens which has had major problems and quality of life issues for decades. Does one see a connection, I mean connect the dots folks and you can start with the most useless of elected officials, Leroy Comrie.

REMEMBER: The general election is November 10, 2015 for the seat in the Assembly District 29 previously held by crooked William Scarborough.  On the ballot is only one Democrat,  Alicia  Hyndman, the Democratic machine backed candidate and Republican Scherie Murray. But one can use your write-in-vote option to vote for Democrat Terry Ebony who was removed from the primary ballot by the crooked politicians in SE Queens led by Comrie and his goon, Archie Spigner.

After seeing that the Democrats have done a most awful job in governing the community of Jamaica, time to rethink voting along party lines and vote for Republican Scherie Murray. A vote for Hyndman is a vote for the same old shit that has turned Jamaica to shit for decades.

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From Communities of Color:

Upcoming Election Leaves Voters Voiceless and Choiceless

William Scarborough

Assemblyman William Scarborough, District 29, stepped down from his position after pleading guilty to state and federal felony charges of grand larceny in the misuse of travel funds over a four year period.  This November, the election to install a new Assembly member will take place.  Three ladies are vying for the seat.  Alicia Hyndman, Scherie Murray and Terryl Ebony are in a lackluster campaign that has left many residents disappointed with a shortage of candidates, crying ‘voter suppression’ and dismayed with a repeat of the same old thing from the same old guard.

After it was confirmed that Scarborough was stepping down, there was a buzz in the community that there would be many potential candidates tossing their hat into the ring.  The number was rumored to be upwards of 11 individuals that were going to try their luck.  Then, out of nowhere, one person emerged, Alicia Hyndman and with the full backing of all the Southeast Queens elected officials, all of whom are Democrats, in a collaborative endorsement effort.  In addition she has the backing of the Queens County Democratic Organization.

Hyndman is the former president of the Community Education Council for District 29.  While she is known in District education circles, she is not viewed as a strong community activist.  Educated and personable, the question on the minds of many residents is why this individual surfaced at the head of the line and received such significant support so enthusiastically and so early on.

In an interview, Congressman Gregory Meeks spoke about the consensus within SE Queens electeds to support one candidate.  “Sometimes in these races, you can get divided.  We thought it would be best for us to try to come together.  It wasn’t easy.  There was a long debate back and forth.  There were several great people that were potential candidates,” he said.  Meeks would not give the names of the other potential candidates under consideration.

Meeks spoke to some of the factors that led to the choice of Hyndman including her educational background and the opportunity to balance the ratio of male and female representation.  “One of the big issues we have in Southeast Queens is education and trying to make sure we do certain things for our young folks,” he said.

Hyndman

While unity is great, especially around key community issues, residents seem to be looking for choice.  “Where are all the candidates,” said a constituent in the District who asked to remain nameless.  “Is this the only choice we have?”

The one challenger willing to oppose Hyndman and vie to be the party’s choice is Terryl Ebony.  Ebony is a youth leader, author and life coach who was quickly removed from the ballot in a court challenge headed by District Leader Archie Spigner.  Although court challenges are a normal part of an election, this challenge had some crying foul as it seemed that ‘county’ was at work, again.

County is a reference to the Queens County Democrat Party.  This group is known to have a strong influence in elections as it is connected to the party’s voters and elected officials whom it has helped get into office.  Its support helps win elections.  That is a good thing when one wants a party to succeed.  However, many believe that County does not have the needs of the Southeast Queens voter as a priority.  It is viewed as governed and controlled by North Queens and is dominated by elected officials like Congressman Joseph Crowley and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.  Many believe that aligning with County means making deals with elected officials that represent white interests.

In response to the direct question about lack of choice; “the other candidate was kicked off the ballot by the same machine that is supporting this candidate.  So why not give other people a chance”, Congressman Meek’s response was.  “Everybody should have a chance.  You also have to understand what the rules of the games are.  You have to play by the rules.  There is a reason that process is in place to make sure that people are doing what they are supposed to do.”

Is Hyndman doing what she is supposed to do in the race? Hyndman has been making the rounds of the community on the arm of Senator Leroy Comrie.  Comrie is one of the better known and likeable of the electeds.  This alliance gives Hyndman an advantage and a leadership position without having to work independently to garner favor and respect from constituents.  Beware.  There is caution in alliances.

The SE Queens electeds backing Hyndman represents a political union that has represented the community for decades.  This long history might be great if residents felt the community was excelling as a result.  Instead there is a feeling of the same old guard doing the same old thing.  Where is the change and new ideas and energy from the youth?  Additionally, Comrie, being the last elected and with strong support from outside the community, is most closely associated with County.  Hyndman has been known to refer to Comrie as her ‘boss’.  Not a good sign.

EbonyTerryl Ebony is continuing in her election bid and her campaign continues on as a write in candidate.  Although she has very little chance of winning (write in candidates don’t fare well on Election Day), that has not dampened her zeal or effort.  To her credit, she is optimistic about her chances.

But this is Ebony’s first run and, while she has some salient points about the fact that people are tired of the same old politics and the community’s right to decide, she is still a novice when it comes to politics and her platform is not compelling enough to ensure success.  Better education, affordable housing and economic development will be her focus if she attains office.  She is passionate about ‘raise the age’ which looks to increase the age of criminal responsibility.  Ebony also wants residents to be more educated in politics and to create sustainable businesses.  Her success will lie in getting residents more engaged in the process while connecting that with her platform regarding disenfranchisement through lack of choice.

But when the best option in a race which is a Democratic Party stronghold is the Republican candidate, clearly there is a problem.

Scherie Murray is currently the elected State Committee Woman and District Leader.  She has worked in the community on issues including the plight of veterans and has made a few attempts at higher elected office.  She is polished and knowledgeable about current issues, policies and the workings of the legislature which gives her all the qualifications of a great candidate.  But she is a Republican.

MurrayThe symbol of today’s Republican Party is that of an old, white, conservative man.  It is anti-Obama and anti-Black.  As such, her candidacy may be too bitter a pill to swallow for voters to cross the party line to vote for her.  Conversely, that she is a Republican in a Democratic stronghold, does count for something.  And it does symbolize change.  But is it too much of a change?

In an interview Murray spoke about her party, her constituents and why she should get the vote.

“My party precedes me here in Southeast Queens,” she admits.  “The party has been demonized mainly by local legislators.  People who are in office and when they come back and give reports to the community it is often ‘Republicans this and Republicans that’ and that is why we are not getting anything done.”

However, Murray believes she has been effective.  While individuals may not see an effort by the Republican Party to penetrate this district or put forth an urban agenda, Murray believes her work represents the Republican effort in the area.  “Since I’ve been elected, I’ve been active, engaging, building at a grass roots level.”

The challenge with the Republican Party is that it does not support issues that are key to African Americans and have been behind recent efforts of voter suppression.  Republican candidates and elected officials in areas surrounding Southern Queens support legislation and policies that don’t reflect an urban agenda.  Initiatives like ban the box, an effort to rid job applications of the ‘convicted of a crime’ question, for example are not supported by the party and several Republican politicians have pushed back against Black Lives Matter protesters.  Murray addressed her stand as a Republican.

“You cannot associate one individual with another just because of a party.  That’s not how it works.  If that is how it works, then we would associate all the corruption in Southeast Queens with all of the current legislators and we don’t do that”.

“Our constituents are different,” she said of candidate Joseph Concannon who is running for Council District 23 formerly held by Mark Weprin.  Concannon represents an anti-urban agenda and was used representatively to demonstrate the Republican stance.

“I vote for the people and not for the party,” said Murray.  “It’s the district issues that I will take to Albany.  Everything I talk about is for the benefit of the 29th District.   My issues are the community’s issues.  I’m not putting out an agenda that I feel would be better for the community I’m putting out an agenda that the community feels is better for the community.”

When addressing why voters should cross the party line in their vote, Murray sited voter suppression as the main reason, pointing to the lack of choice of candidates representing the Democratic Primary.

“There is no voter suppression when it comes to [the Republican Party] fielding candidates [for President].  That should be looked at to say we can do that locally here.  There are no opportunities [locally] for persons who want to be leaders and who want to become elected officials if you are not a part of a certain niche group within the local legislative group.  If our democracy is based on someone handpicking who is now going to be out legislator I don’t think that does a service to us as a community.  Especially when you have long standing community members who may be tapped but wouldn’t be tapped because they are not a member of that core group.  This race speaks in volumes in a community that wants change and that can actually get change by electing me.”

Her most persuasive argument for crossing the line reflects what the community is hoping it gets in their next leader.

“I am the only leader in the race, elected in a leadership role.  No one is telling me what to do, no one is telling me what to say.  I’ve gotten here on my own accord.  I think that speaks in volumes to me as a candidate and the type of leader I would be.”

The general election is November 10, 2015.  Both Hyndman and Murray are unopposed in their primary bids.§ (photos k.clements)

 

MAJOR VOTER SUPPRESSION IN JAMAICA/SOUTHEAST QUEENS & WHERE IS THE MEDIA

Terryl Ebony De Mendonca running against Alicia Hyndman in the September Democratic election for 29th District State Assembly seat is having her ballot petition challenged by the crooked Democratic Machine and the crooked Southeast Dems.

Big time voter suppression is and has been taking place in Jamaica & Southeast Queens (and many other places) for some time now and I am not talking about the voter suppression that most are familiar with and done by Republicans. I am  not talking about trying to stop people and especially people of color from voting by strict ID laws, taking away certain hours, like early voting, etc. No, I am talking about a bigger type of voter suppression by the Democratic machine, keeping candidates off the ballot especially when they are running against the Democratic machine’s backed candidate in a corrupt way to always keep their folks in power.

It happened recently with Navy Vet & Washington Cyber Expert, Bernadette Semple, when she ran against the Democratic machine backed Leroy Comrie for the Senate seat in the last election. It happened back in 2009 when Councilman Ruben Wills and his crew tossed from the ballot, candidate Allan Jennings. You can read about this and Will’s physical altercation with Jennings at http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-city-council-candidate-ruben-wills-throws-punch-rival-board-elections-office-article-1.398612. YEP, Wills is a low-class thug, not much different from some of the Jamaica residents. Wills also tried this maneuver with candidate Nicole Paultre Bells, fiance of slain Sean Bell. In both cases,  Wills was backed by the corrupt Democratic machine. But in a twist of irony, in 2008 Wills himself was tossed off the ballot in by machine backed Congressman Gregory Meeks when Wills ran against him.

Now it is happening again in the September race to fill crooked William Scarborough’s 29th State Assembly seat, since he will be sitting in prison due to corruption. Again the Jamaica/Southeast Queens dirty Democrats and the Democratic machine, who are backing candidate Alicia Hyndman are trying to block Terryl De Mendonca and keep her off the ballot through this form of voter suppression.

Interesting note on De Mendonca, since we have such short attention spans. Back in June of 2013, the New York Times did a story during the time that almost every Jamaica/Southeast Queens politician was getting into some kind of trouble and being investigated and several black politicians, including, the now in prison, former Senator Malcolm Smith, were crying some foolish conspiracy of going after politicians just because they were black. They actually  held a forum on this nonsense at the Black Spectrum Theatre in Roy Wilkins Park. In the article ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/nyregion/as-minority-officials-are-caught-up-in-scandals-some-see-a-conspiracy.html), Terryl De Mendonca, the founder of a Queens nonprofit group called the Misunderstood Youth Development Center, said suggestions of a conspiracy amounted to an effort to make excuses.

“I feel as though we’re not taking responsibility,” Ms. De Mendonca said. “I feel as though we’re blaming the media, we’re blaming the police, we’re blaming the white man — we’re blaming everybody else except for ourselves.”

Also in that same article, Hettie V. Powell, a lawyer from Queens who ran for City Council against Ruben Wills in the last election (and did not win), echoed that viewpoint, saying, “When you do something and you get caught, it’s not a conspiracy.”

Boy, talk about a threat to the crooked good ole boys club of Jamaica/Southeast Queens. Of course the Democratic machine and Jamaica politicians do not want to see De Mendonca on the ballot. She speaks truth and talks about accountability and taking responsibility for one’s own actions, something that Jamaica politicians and some in the black community do not want to hear, including some of the preachers of God folks.

BUT, my big thing on this issue of VOTER SUPPRESSION, where is the media. So far on this De Mendonca story only Queens Chronicle has covered this (http://www.qchron.com/editions/eastern/ballot-challenge-in-the-th-ad-dem-primary/article_8e75979b-df8a-5025-a490-4e349f616ae6.html#.Vbzx3EX5cY8.gmail), but where in the bigger picture are all the media on this extremely important topic which is dismantling our democratic principles along with gerrymandering, manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class. WHERE. I mean this happens all the times in Jamaica, I mean where is the media, like Karen Clements Communities of Color. This is an extremely important issue, especially in this corrupt community of color and where are your Karen. Where are all the media outlets on this issue. On the payroll and in the pockets of the machine, I would say.

As long as we all sit quiet, especially in the church run community of color like Jamaica, this bullshit will continue, the powers to be will dictate who will be on the ballot and the idiot residents will continue putting in the same old bullshit, like Ruben Wills, a thug with a history of physical altercations and child support issues as opposed to a smart educated attorney like Hettie Powell or an obese useless Leroy Comrie as opposed to a highly intelligent and highly educated person like Bernadette Semple.

Think folks, as usual you are being bamboozled and anymore it is easy as a South Jamaica hooker strung out on crack.

KAREN CLEMENTS OF COMMUNITIES OF COLOR WINS CITATION OF HONOR FROM USELESS BOROUGH PRESIDENT KATZ- HAS CLEMENTS SOLD HER JOURNALISM SOUL TO THE POWERS TO BE

How can one be an objective journalist, especially when it comes to many of our useless and corrupt elected officials and issues, when one of these officials bestows an award on you. Case in point, Karen Clements of Clements Communication (Communities of Color) was presented a citation of honor by another in a long line line of useless female Queens Borough Presidents, Melinda Katz, she of the talk out of the side of her mouth and ass saying how great Queens is while at the very same time doing very little to help improve it and especially Jamaica, which she seems to have jumped on that “Jamaica bandwagon” of the next big thing, while completely and blatantly ignoring plenty of quality of life issues that both myself and Community Advocate Pamela Hazel have brought to her attention since she entered office. But enough about useless Katz.

The issue here  is how can Karen Clements be trusted to write objectively about Katz or any other elected leader if she is now beholden to Melinda Katz. How can she be trusted to write straight and narrow articles about the poor leadership in Queens Borough Hall and especially in our own community of Jamaica, where useless and corrupt go hand in hand with the clowns of the Jamaica political system. This is the equivalent of useless community boards, especially Jamaica’s Community Board 12, since the Borough President hand picks 5 folks and the city council picks the others. How can the community board truly address any issues when they are just puppets of the problem, useless and corrupt elected officials. Now is seems that a journalist, Karen Clements, might just be having her strings pulled too.

For shame Karen, you should have told Katz to shove that award up her skinny white ass. You should be questioning why she is doing so little in regards to quality of life issues in Jamaica, like the illegal truck driving issue, which she said 6 months ago that she was going to look into, but has not done so, all the time talking about the potential of Jamaica.

Now you are part of the problem Ms. Clements, not the solution. You have been bought. Communities of Color………….more like Communities of Fools.

 

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 Melinda Katz 

 Image result for crap journalism
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BP KATZ HOSTS CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH Outstanding community members and talented college scholarship winners were recognized

 

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz hosted a celebration of Black History Month last night (Monday, February 23) in the Faculty Dining Room of York College, located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica.

“Black History Month gives us an opportunity to learn about and reflect upon the many achievements African Americans have made in a diverse array of important fields, including science and technology, arts and culture and politics and government” Borough President Katz said. “The celebration of Black History Month helps ensure that these achievements are appropriately recognized and celebrated and reminds us all about the importance of respecting people of all races and ethnicities, because all of us have dignity as human beings and deserve the right to be able to pursue our dreams and contribute to society to the best of our abilities.”

Several distinguished African Americans were presented with Citations of Honor during the event, including Ramon Cameron of Project Hope – New Direction, Karen Clements of Clements Communications Inc., Diamond Craig of Purposely Pretty, Andrew Jackson of the Langston Hughes Library, Dr. Selena Rodgers of York College and artist and teacher Charles Tilly.

A number of exceptional organizations also received honors during the celebration, including The Door Restaurant, The Order of the Feather Fraternity, K.E.Y.A. Dance Company and the Rosedale Jets.

“I am very proud to honor these distinguished individuals and organizations who have done so much to make The World’s Borough such a wonderful place to live, work and visit,” the Borough President said.

In addition to presenting the Citations of Honor, Borough President Katz also presented eight high school seniors with college scholarships of $1,000 each. The scholarship winners are Queens residents who entered and won Borough President Katz’s African American Heritage Scholarship Competition. Students in the competition were judged on their academic and civic achievement and on the quality of their written submissions as to what Black History Month means to them.

The winning students are Anu Alalade of Queens Gateway H.S., Keli Almonte of Hillcrest H.S., Asoromchukwu Animalu of Francis Lewis H.S., Matthew Loyd of Thomas Edison CTE H.S., Asia Matthews of York College Academy, Diamond Moody of Townsend Harris H.S., Azana Newman of Hillcrest H.S. and Mekai Ruddock of York College Academy.

The scholarships are being funded by Citibank, JetBlue, Con Edison, Cricket Wireless and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Additional financial support for last night’s event was provided by the Jamaica YMCA and the Queens Youth & Senior Funding Corp.

Borough President Katz commended her African American Heritage Committee for coordinating the planning of last night’s celebration. The committee is comprised of community leaders who feel strongly about the importance of honoring the past, while also looking to the future.

The Borough President’s African American Heritage Committee includes committee chair Andrew Jackson along with Pastor John Boyd of New Greater Bethel Ministries, Bill Briggs of the Youth & Tennis Academy, Cedric Dew of the Jamaica YMCA, Marc A. Haken of Community Board 8, Khaair Morrisono of V.O.Y.C.E., Harbachan Singh of Community Board 8 & the Queens General Assembly, Roslin V. Spigner of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Tiffany Williams, of Y Roads.