Repeatedly heard over recent days have been words of pain.
A proven rogue white police offìcer sadistically killed George Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes. His unjust death has moved so many people to call for change:
“It’s time to stand up and say get your knee off our necks.” “The line has been drawn in the sand.” “Black lives matter.” “ I can’t breathe.” “I want systemic change.”
These words are being heard around the world. It asks the question: “What does it mean to be a human being?”
My heart was heavy and filled with heartache as I watched the looters wreak havoc in our city. I felt disgusted as looters broke into stores stealing merchandise.
But I was proud to see massive peaceful protests beginning in Minneapolis and moving across our country, and then the world. People of different races and ethnicities have stood together to demand change. Part of that change is getting to know people who may be different than ourselves.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote about just that in their hit song “Getting to Know You,” from “The King and I.” We share more similarities than differences and getting to know others is a step in the right direction.
Time will tell if this movement will alter policy and culture, but one thing is certain: change is needed. Black men should not be afraid of those who are meant to protect them, but often act without accountability. There must be equal education for all children, no matter what race. The same goes for healthcare.
We are a great people and we will persevere through this difficult time. But not without change. The massive justified anger must be heard and our government must respond.
Our dignity is on trial. We need to decide what kind of country we want to live in.
Suozzi earned our vote
There are a few people in the political world who have made a decision to serve and not just enjoy the benefits of their position.
Many remember former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, who was a dedicated public servant who put more shovels in the ground and created more projects than any other borough president in the history of Queens.
Why I love Tom Suozzi, who is running for re-election for Congress, is that I feel he’s made from the same cloth as Claire and is a true public servant. Coming from Glen Cove on Long Island as a political leader — both as mayor of Glen Cove, then as Nassau County executive — he knew little about Queens. But he is a fast learner and has become a great friend and leader to the northeast Queens communities that he serves.
While Tom was a Nassau County man, he reached out and embraced the people of Queens when he first ran for Congress. He came and conquered the hearts and minds of his would-be constituents in Queens, won the election, and has stayed involved over his many years of service to us.
As we navigate the coronavirus pandemic, I’m glad that he has a seat at the table on the White House’s Opening Up America Again Congressional Group. He is the only Democrat from the New York delegation and one of only 10 Democrats in the nation to serve on the task force.
These are the most challenging times I have ever seen, and with Tom representing us, I know we have a man who devoted his whole life to public service and who cares about the citizens he serves.
His peers have recognized his integrity, energy and passion, which has earned him spots on several committees dedicated to helping people. We need him to continue his work.
He received an A+ rating from the Queens Presidents’ Co-op and Condo Council (PCCC) in May for his work on behalf of the co-op community and the 70,000 units of co-op housing represented by the organization. During the coronavirus pandemic, Suozzi has led several efforts to fight for co-ops and condos throughout his district.
A frequent visitor to his constituents in Queens, he was on the streets of Bayside and Little Neck last week handing out thousands of much-needed PPE to residents.
As former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O’Neill said many years ago, “all politics is local.” Tom personifies that. He knows the importance of being seen and heard and he uses his power for the good of his constituents. To put it simply: he gets it. He has served us well and deserves to be re-elected.
With the chaos of all the recent protests in the wake of the disgraceful police-involved killing of George Floyd, now — more than ever — is the time to use our power as citizens and vote!
Make sure your voice is heard and vote, whether you do it by mail or in person!
Just do it!