Recently, I had the privilege of walking aside some Independence Party candidates and elected officials in some of the most culturally diverse parades in the city and nation.
My first Queens parade was the Ecuadorian Independence Parade on Northern Boulevard starting in Woodside and ending in beautiful Jackson Heights. The parade was sponsored by the influential and active Ecuadorian Civic Association.
We got into the history of their War of Independence fought from 1820 to 1822 against Spanish colonial rule over the lands known as the Royal Audience of Quito, which eventually emerged as the modern Republic of Ecuador.
It was a good feeling walking up Northern Boulevard with my new Ecuadorian buddies yelling out “Viva Ecuador, Viva Independence.” Thomas Jefferson’s last words where “Independence Forever.”
I expect my new parade buddies to open some kind of active Independence Club. If they do, their Ecuadorian Spirit of Independence Club will become a major player in borough wide politics. And it will be my honor to assist them – Viva Independence style.
The Dominican Day Parade was my next festive parade. I walked up Fifth Avenue sandwiched between my old friend labor leader Norman Seabrook’s Correction Officers and the Spanish Firefighters Association with their sirens blaring. My ears are still ringing.
Our Independence Party candidate’s parade contingent was well received by Dominican Parade revelers. I observed politicians kissing babies, posing for photos with their constituents, and doing press interviews with the extensive Latino news media.
One politician I was impressed with was Assemblymember Adam Clayton Powell, who worked both sides of the Fifth Avenue parade route with a large festive contingent wearing his brightly colored Dominican national flag inspired hats, T-shirts and flags. Powell is aggressively pursuing Congressmember Charles Rangle’s Harlem seat, which was once held by his beloved father, the late Reverend Adam Clayton Powell.
The Assemblymember is hosting a town hall meeting on August 24 at the LaGuardia House in Harlem to educate Primary Day voters about how to use the new electronic voting machines. If Powell defeats Rangle on Primary Day, expect him to vindicate and renew his father’s legacy.
Michael N. Niebauer is President/CEO of Spindoctor Inc. media & advocacy company, founder of the Independence Party of Queens County Organization and QPTV Producer of “The Independent,” a live cable TV talk show on Time Warner, RCN and Verizon Vios Cable Systems.