Guyanese urged to vote in New York election

Dear Editor,

This Tuesday is Voting Day in New York – General election to choose the office holder for Mayor and a host of other City-wide offices as well as for City Council members. Polls open at 6:00 A.M and close at 9:00 P.M.  Every Guyanese New Yorker is urged to come out and vote – be part of the democratic process to choose who will be your Mayor, Public Advocate, City Comptroller, Council Representative, etc.  If not, others will choose the representative for you.

For the Mayoral race, polls show Democrat Bill DeBlasio ahead of Republican Joe Lhota 65% to 26%. The Richmond Hill community held a fundraiser for DeBlasio raising some $170K at a dinner last Sunday.  The banquet was graced by DeBlasio’s wife, an African American of Bajan extraction. Many Indo-Caribbean and South Asians came out to support the Mayoral candidate and his wife. It was also graced by Una Clarke, the former City Council member who facilitated the event. The greater Richmond Hill community recognizes the importance of the Mayoral race and came out to support DeBlasio with their deep pockets hoping he will service the community. Richmond Hill donated tens of thousands of dollars every year to politicians from outside the community but none of them had done anything for the area. The Italian and Irish politicians from the area have attempted to provide some service.

Several prominent community leaders and organizations have endorsed DeBlasio including the Richmond Hill Democratic Club led by Guyanese Kawal Totaram whose group also hosted a number of Mayoral candidates. DeBlasio has promised to address the issue of immigration which is paramount to the Caribbean presence in New York.

In the Richmond Hill extended area, the election for Councilman is deemed crucial for the large Caribbean American and South Asian American presence.  Eric Ulrich, an Irish Republican, is defending his seat against the Democratic challenger. Ulrich has served the community well doling out a lot of funds to community groups over the last six years and deserves another term. Ulrich has never shied away from addressing important causes for the Caribbean community. Ulrich is an extraordinary leader who has all the qualities of leadership to take on the challenges facing the Richmond Hill area. He has courted Caribbean voters and reached out to them.

Guyanese and other Caribbean people cannot afford to be left out of the election. They constitute an important chunk of voters in the city. They make up a small percentage of the electorate but they are enough to tip the balance in close races, if they come out to vote especially in Queens where close races are expected. Caribbean people must vote and make a wise choice on the candidates of each office best positioned to further their interests regardless of party affiliation.

So come out and join (volunteer for) an election team like what I am doing through my teachers’ union in support of a candidate!

 Yours faithfully,

Vishnu Bisram

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