In 1619 the first documented slaves landed in the British Colony of Jamestown, from Angola. As we commemorate the 400 years of history since that fateful day, we remember that our nation and its wealth were built through forced labor and the very existence of Black men and women.
It is ironic that as this country celebrates its democracy, the Black community is still fighting for equal rights, justice and freedom.
I have attended many public hearings over the past several months in the Village of Spring Valley and the Town of Ramapo. I must admit that the Hillcrest CUPON has been the driving force in bringing the overdevelopment issue to the forefront.
I am saddened that most of the communities of color are not engaged in this fight, even as we watch our pleasant Village of Spring Valley become a crowded city of three-story, multi-dense housing. The changes brought on by greedy developers and politicians have resulted in the displacement in the village of Blacks from the Diaspora. The new housing that is being built is not affordable for the current residents of the Village, and, quite frankly, is not offered to people of color.
SPRING VALLEY-WAKE UP! TOWN OF RAMAPO-WAKE UP!
It seems that people of color are being pitted against each other. The developers and landlords are doing whatever they can to make the most money off the backs of people of color by exploiting the vulnerabilities of low income and undocumented residents.
It’s time that we really look at who is supporting our ability to live where we want to live, and who is protecting our environment, addressing traffic congestion, protecting our water supply etc. We need to stop supporting elected officials who cater to one segment of the population over another.
Remember Avon Gardens?
We can never achieve equality when the Planning, Zoning, and the Governing Boards are so unbalanced because those who have the ability to appoint members from all parts of the community choose to appoint only those with developer and landlord interests.
History has shown that when people of color unify, we can win. We are a proud people and we take special pride in our many civil rights victories that have benefited all Americans.
The only tool we have is our Vote! We must get registered and vote for the right candidates, not candidates that you know are not supporting your community. History has shown us that we must unify to win. We have done it over the years, and I know we can do it now if we take it seriously enough. We must stop taking the crumbs that are being offered to a few and look to the good of the whole.
Our fight is not only for us today, it’s for the future of our children.
We finally have EARLY VOTING beginning with the November 5, 2019 election.
There are 9 days of Early Voting beginning on October 26, 1920, through November 3, 2019. Early voting will be in the held in the Towns of Ramapo, Clarkstown, Haverstraw and Orangetown. Specific schedule information is on the Rockland County Board of Elections website. Early Voting provides more opportunities to vote, rather than waiting for Election Day to vote. Please take advantage and exercise your duty and right as an American Citizen and VOTE!
If we fail to take individual responsibility, then as a whole we all lose!
This fight belongs to everyone, not a few. If you can’t speak, or attend meetings, you must vote for those that will do it for you!