City Council candidate for the 28th Councilmanic District, Albert Baldeo, condemning violence, and calling for unity amongst all Americans at the rally last Sunday.


City Council candidate for the Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale and Richmond Hill District, and prominent Attorney at Law Albert Baldeo condemned the recent brutal killing of Jagat Ram Balram, a Guyanese father who was beaten to death by a Mexican youth who had been drinking. His death received media attention. Balram's body was taken back to Guyana for cremation in accordance with his wishes. His death sparked outrage in the South Asian and Caribbean community of Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.

Speaking at a protest rally held outside the 102 precinct, which he jointly organized with community leader, Mr. Dilip Nath, who is running for the 24th City Council District, and who recently formed the New Americans against Hate Crimes Coalition, Baldeo called upon the District Attorney to institute the murder charge instead of the present manslaughter charge, "so that a strong message will be sent to those who engage in violent crimes, or any crime for that matter, that the long arm of the law will reach out and grasp them, and that punishment will fit the crime! This may not have been a hate crime per se, but it is a wanton and brutal act of taking another human's life. I condemn all violent acts."

Candidate Baldeo, who is assisting the family with legal matters, and who gives pro bono assistance in cases like these, has also filed a request for compensation with the Crime Victims Compensation Board, so that the family can get back on its feet upon their return from Guyana. Baldeo also condemned the recent attacks on a Sikh priest who was taunted and beaten in Richmond Hill, and the killing of Beharry, another Guyanese immigrant who was stabbed to death by a parolee out on early release.

"The City must review parolees cases in the interest of society, or be held negligent for early releases like these. Balram and Beharry were breadwinners and exemplary residents. No family in America should suffer like this. America is a nation of immigrants, just as how New York is a diverse community, and each group must respect each other, regardless of race, creed, or class. We must be our brother's and our sister's keeper. We must keep hope alive, build bridges and alliances with each other, and advocate common causes that benefits our community as a whole," Baldeo urged.

He also chastised the City's school system for failing in its duty to identify that the killer Roque was a troubled teenager who had a violent past, and have him treated. Had Roque's tendencies been taken seriously, as it should have been, Balram would still have been able to provide for his family today. Baldeo called upon teachers to identify students who need guidance, counseling and professional help, before it is too late. "Out teachers must actively supplement the role of parents, especially when parents are too busy to notice."

"As an attorney, if I am elected, I will pilot legislative changes to alleviate conditions in housing, medical care, education, public benefits, city services, transportation, police relations such as profiling and stereotyping, and other quality of life issues, and lobby Congress for appropriate reforms, for our entire community in District 28," Baldeo said. "I live and work here, and I will be here for everyone, because I can identify with issues which affect us. I will be meeting many businesses, alliances and community groups in Jamaica and Rochdale, so that I can highlight the problems which affect all of my fellow District 28 residents."

Baldeo also called for reforms to post 9/11 legislation, highlighting constitutional and human rights which were abrogated.


  AlbertBaldeoForCityCouncil.Com 2005