A  diverse gathering of community activists and leaders attended the Richmond Hill/Ozone Park Democratic Club meeting held at the Law Offices of its President and Founder, State senate candidate Albert Baldeo, who is the center of the middle row. Back row are, from L to R: Charles Persaud, Steve Behar-President of Dems for New Politics, Barry Singh,  State Committeeman Chet Szarejko, Costa Constantinides-Legislative Director of Councilwoman Darlene Mealy. Second row: Jeany Persaud-Parent Coordinator, Ahmed Shakir-Sect'y of Local 37, Albert Baldeo, Diane Allie, Mohinder Taneja. Front row: Anita Spencer, Crystal Stevens and Irene Cheung-community activists. 

The Ozone Park/Richmond Hill Democratic Club, under the leadership of Attorney Albert Baldeo, who narrowly missed ousting the 18 year incumbent Republican Serf Maltese last election by 1% of the vote, met last Monday at the Law Offices of the State senate candidate and community leader at 106-11 Liberty Avenue, Ozone Park. Baldeo said that foremost among the club’s aims and objectives is "to highlight and solve problems affecting our community."

Many parents criticized the revamped school bus plan, saying that it has caused widespread fear and loathing as hundreds of students were stranded and parents worried that their young children would not be safe on public transit. The plan eliminates dozens of routes and changes pick up times for tens of thousands of children. Some youngsters who once relied on school buses to get to class were instead given Metro-Cards to take buses and the subway.

A resolution, attached hereto, calling for an immediate solution to the transportation was signed by 40 members, who are petitioning Mayor Mike Bloomberg for "an immediate solution to the predatory dangers and severe inconvenience caused to our children," by this problem plagued bus transport system recently implemented by the Mayor. This resolution was also jointly signed by the New Americans Democratic Organization and the Queens County Progressive Democratic Club, headed by State Committeeman Chet Szarejko and Louis Marbach respectively.

"Our kids deserve better, and their safety has been callously ignored by the Mayor's administration, hence this resolution. I will be testifying before the City Council to speak on behalf of the many parents and children who are facing a crisis here, as we demand solutions," Baldeo said at the meeting, encouraging other parents to do likewise. Other issues dealt with included improving police relations in the community, and empowering new Americans by facilitating more immigrants to become citizens, and registering them to vote. “Our goal is to broaden the base of the Democratic party,” Baldeo said.

The Club also called for more funding to be given to our schools to ease overcrowding, and to provide more certified teachers, science labs, computers, and after school programs. Baldeo also said that he also hoped that universal pre-K will soon become a reality in New York state. The club members also condemned the alarming increase in McMansions being built, some of which are not in compliance with the city's building codes. Others complained about the air and noise pollution caused by air traffic at JFK's airport, in Howard Beach and Ozone Park. Baldeo announced that he had formed an alliance to combat air and noise pollution, and that studies are being conducted to determine the effect the toxic emissions have on the environs around the airport, and that he was asking any one who may have suffered injuries to contact him concerning his plan to bring a class action law suit on behalf of the community and environs.

Baldeo also announced that his office will be assisting crime victims to obtain crime victims compensation to assist them to get by, pending judicial compensation of their damages. Recently, Baldeo obtained the sum of $ 30,000 for the widow and son of Jagat Ram Balram, an immigrant who was killed by a drunken teenager who wantonly struck and killed him while he was returning home. He also announced that he will assist any person who has been harassed and victimized by the police by bringing complaints to the Civilian Complaints Review Board and Internal Affairs. "We are partners with law enforcement in our common fight against terrorists and criminals, but if police profiling and harassment continues, we will bring a class action lawsuit against the City, seeking injunctions and damages to restrain such callous and illegal behavior, which infringes on our constitutional rights. We do not want another Sean Bell tragedy in our community," Baldeo announced.

"We must be involved in our community affairs," Baldeo warned. "Democracy is not a spectator sport! Sitting on the fence is not an option. That is why I encourage anyone who desires assistance to contact my office, where I also offer free legal advice to any one who requires same."





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TO: Mayor Michael Bloomberg

WHEREAS, the present bus service for our kids demands immediate solutions and changes.  Our kids are being stranded, waiting in sub-freezing temperatures outside for long periods due to the re-routing.  Many children are being brought late to class, and are 1 to 2 hours late in getting home, 

AND WHEREAS, as a consequence, our tired and harassed kids are experiencing severe problems and setbacks in learning,

AND WHEREAS, they are easy targets for predators and other criminal elements, making this state of affairs very dangerous to the well being of our kids, parents and our community,

AND WHEREAS, to add insult to injury, parents are being told to "call 311" if our kids don't get home on time, which provides no meaningful solutions,

AND WHEREAS, the safety of our kids is being compromised on a daily basis, despite the fact that this should be of paramount concern to your administration,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT, by signing this petition below, we hereby demand your immediate attention and action to these problems, and will hold your administration accountable for the safety and well being of our children,

WE, the undersigned, all residents of New York City, having duly deliberated, do hereby agree on, and adopt and pass this resolution, and do solemnly request that our Mayor comply forthwith with this resolution, and give this matter the importance it demands and deserves immediately, and implement measures to prevent the recurrence thereof:

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