Thursday, April 7, 2022

Meeks wants sacrifices for Ukraine: What about constituents in his district?

December 12th Movement International    Secretariat    

456 Nostrand Avenue - Brooklyn, NY 11216                                                     (718) 398-1766                                             (718) 230-5273 fax 



CONTACT: Roger Wareham (718) 398-1766

Please see the following Op-Ed on Queens Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks which appeared in the March 31st New York Amsterdam News.

Meeks wants sacrifices for Ukraine: What about constituents in his district?

Dear Congressman Meeks,

We the constituents of the 5th Congressional District, heard with disbelief your call on us  to “Make sacrifices for democracy in lending support to Ukraine.” Our district’s poverty index states that 17% of district residents live below the federal poverty level, one in seven adults over 17 are unemployed, and over half of the residents spend more than 30% of their monthly gross income on rent. The infrastructure is so badly in need of repair that a catastrophic sewer back up took months to repair. And we suffer from foreclosures at a rate double that of the national average. Southeast Queens has been the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis with the communities of Jamaica, South Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, the Rockaways and Broad Channel topping the hardest affected in the entire nation.

This could be the single greatest loss of Black wealth in NYC history. Congressman Meeks, you haven’t called on the 1% to make sacrifices to get rid of student debt, which weighs down your constituents so we can’t afford to buy a home and must even delay starting a family. Black Women are disproportionally burdened with this cost and owe 22 percent more than the average student debt of white women. You haven’t called on the 1% to contribute towards reducing homelessness in Southeast Queens, the neighborhood you represent. The homelessness statistics are that there are 3,177 individuals living in shelters in Jamaica/Hollis,  1,697 individuals in Queens Village, and 625 individuals in Rockaway/Broad Channel. 

You haven’t made real estate interests pledge to make sacrifice of space in their holdings to house the homeless, or reduce their profits to create lower density housing rather than massive developments which change the character of the neighborhood. Your call to us to sacrifice for a war in the Ukraine shows the same condescending attitude as when you supported Senator Hillary Clinton after voters in your district voted 98% for then Senator Barack Obama. You said then that you knew better and as a delegate would be backing Hillary Clinton anyway.

Congressman, have you made any personal sacrifice as we suffer from skyrocketing gas prices, food shortages and a housing crisis?

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