Richmond Hill, New York: On Saturday, November 16, 2019, over 150 residents packed Richi Rich Palace in Richmond Hill to get updates and to ask questions of Representative Gregory Meeks at a Queens Town Hall” organized by Richard David, a District Leader in Assembly District 31.
United States Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also participated and offered his perspective of the impeachment proceedings in Washington DC, and the 2020 Presidential elections. Several elected officials, including Senator Leroy Comrie, Assembly Members Vivian Cook, Alicia Hyndman, David Weprin, and Council Members Adrienne Adams and Donovan Richards, co-sponsored the event and participated.
Assembly Member Cathy Nolan and Council Member Helen Rosenthal also stopped by the Queens Town Hall. The event was in conjunction with almost two dozen nonprofit and community organizations from every part of Assembly District 31. Topics included Census 2020, gender-based violence, immigration, the impeachment hearing, de-colonizing education, importance of voting, redistricting, Diwali as a public-school holiday in New York City, and the upcoming elections for US President, Queens Borough President and an Assembly Member for District 31.
The event started with a recognition of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanakji, the founder of the Sikh religion. “We’re honored to host our community at Richi Rich Palace, as we observe this important anniversary for Sikhs in the neighborhood and around the world” said Jarnail Singh.
Representative Meeks, who is the Chair of the Queens County Democratic Organization, discussed reforms he plans to initiate for the party, clarified the role of District Leaders, and a planned Congressional Tour of Guyana. “I’m incredibly thankful to everyone who joined us on Saturday, and contributed to the rich discussion on the issues important to our community. I am always impressed by the great diversity our borough brings to our town halls, including the diversity of ideas and perspectives. Thanks to all the elected officials who came, and a special thanks to District Leader Richard David for organizing the event. I look forward to the next town hall” said Representative Meeks.
Senator Schumer spoke about the difficulties working with President Trump, who he said “has chosen to divide us. He has chosen to hurt New York”. He complained that House of Representatives has passed 218 bills that have not been brought to a vote in the Senate. If Democrats are elected to the majority in the Senate, he will prioritize health care reform, a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill with minority and small business set asides, address our affordable housing crisis and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Richard David, who went house to house getting thousands of signatures to become a District Leader, discussed the purpose of this town hall. “I wanted to bring people from all across this district to focus on what we can do together. There’s a whole lot we have in common including wanting more gifted and talented programs in our schools with after-school programming, property tax reform and access to affordable housing, and ways to help families and women confronted with violence” said David.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Hon. U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks, the Hon. Richard David, my colleagues in government and the numerous civic and community organizations that co-sponsored this critical community discussion,” said Senator Leroy Comrie. “As we edge towards 2020, we need to continue the dialogue where we can talk openly about the challenges we face, from immigration, to the Census to economic development and empowerment in our neighborhoods and beyond. Engaging our community early and often is the best and most strategic way to organize and galvanize residents on issues that matter most.”
“I am certain that many of my constituents, who also reside in Congressman Gregory Meeks’ district, will appreciate an opportunity to hear an update from Washington at the Southeast Queens Town Hall,” said Assemblyman David I. Weprin. “I am glad to be a co-sponsor of the Southeast Queens Town Hall and would like to thank Representative Meeks for holding this important event.”
“This was a great Town Hall coordinated by District Leader Richard David which included high level Democrats. We asked hard questions and got answers” said Lonnie Glover, who has served as President of the Spring-Gar Civic Association for over 12 years.
“Thank you to our Southeast Queens leaders and community organizations for their hard work and diligence in ensuring our communities (of color) are educated on not only on local issues but federal issues that affect us all. The event promoted a place of positive and thought-provoking dialogue. Congressman Meeks, Councilwoman Adams and District Leader David have always put their community first. This is what unity looks like” said Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, District 29.
“The event was very well attended, I’m very proud of Community Activist Richard David for bring together politicians from all different level of government in our community to listen to us and to update us on what’s happening locally and events as far as Guyana” said Romeo Hitlall of the Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park Lions Club.
“What is the role of a District Leader? I wanted to know, and I’m glad this was answered” said Fay Hill, who is a member of Community Board 13.
“The town hall meeting was informative; it gave us an opportunity to come together as a community. It’s one way to get accountability and transparency from our politicians at every level of government“ said Dilip Nath, President of New American Voters Association.