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Clinton Dems celebrate Women’s History Month

By Christina Santucci

The Clinton Democratic Club commended Tuesday evening several females whose areas of expertise range from acting to poetry to advocacy as part of Women’s History Month.

The city’s 2014 youth poet laureate Ramya Ramana, Center for the Women of New York founder Ann Jawin, young actress Fatima Ptacek and Helen Kim, of the Korean American Family Service Center were recognized during the meeting at Trattoria 35 in Bayside.

Ramana wowed the crowd with a reading of her poem, “A Letter to My Future Daughter.”

“Never let the arched fingers of a man strangle around like a cane behind your collarbone,” the St. John’s University freshman recited.

Fatima, known for being the voice of Dora in the cartoon series “Dora the Explorer” and her role in “Curfew,” credited her mother, Lucia Ptacek, with emigrating from Ecuador about 20 years ago and working tirelessly to provide for her family. “Curfew” won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

“She is the light of my life,” the 13-year-old said. “She still manages to instill all of the really important things in me and I think she’s really the reason I am who I am today.”

And Jawin addressed sex trafficking and domestic violence.

“We have to impress upon the young ladies and the young women that they have to be self-sufficient,” she said. “They really don’t have many other resources and they get tricked into it.”

Kim spoke about the higher percentage of Koreans in New York City who are living below the poverty line as compared with the rest of the population and told attendees that of the calls that come in to the KAFSC, 70 percent relate to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Borough President Melinda Katz swore in the club’s new leadership.

Chuck Apelian took over the role of president from City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Whitestone). Marsha Khan was installed as vice president, Roxanne Carabos as secretary, Michael Serao as treasurer and Breeana Mulligan as media and public relations recording secretary.

Katz said she was celebrating her 20th year in public service, having first been elected in February 1994 to the state Assembly.

“Women in history, women in government, we’ve had a long haul,” Katz said. “Clearly we need to get elected, get ahead in government, but also bring folks up. We also need to elect, and this cannot be discounted, men who understand the trials that women go through to get elected.”

Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at timesledgerphotos@gmail.com by phone at 718-260-4589.

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