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Mayor begins ‘productive conversation’ with Caribbean community

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With his eyes set on his re-election next year, Mayor Bill deBlasio has wasted no time in starting a “productive conversation” with Caribbean community leaders, small business owners and others in Brooklyn.

On Tuesday night, the Mayor attended a fundraising cocktail reception at Suede Restaurant on Clarendon Road in East Flatbush, owned by a St. Lucian family.

The event was organized by former New York City Council Member Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, the mayor’s former colleague in the City Council, with the trail-blazing Clarke’s daughter, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, as the honorary chair.

“We know victory comes through hard work, victory comes through preparation,” deBlasio told the enthusiastic reception, which included Cory Provost, district leader for the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn; Dr. Roy Hastick, president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and William Howard, president of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).

“No one every says change is easy or complete,” the mayor added. “But never listen to the doubting Thomases.”

He said reporters and others had expressed skepticism about the implementation of many of his policies and programs, such as universal Pre-K and an end to the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Stop and Frisk policies.

But deBlasio said: “Everything I told you came to past. Thank you for your support.”

The mayor reeled off a laundry list of achievements since assuming office 2 ½ years ago. These included free universal Pre-K; doubling the size of the After-School Program; freezing of rents; reduction of tenant eviction; a “safer city;” lead in immigration reform; creation of jobs throughout the city; and address of mental health issues.

DeBlasio also applauded Congresswoman Clarke for her recent stand on the sit-in in the US House of Representatives for gun control, saying that she and her colleague John Lewis “did something to break the back of the NRA [National Rifle Associatio­n].”

The congresswoman described the mayor as “a gentleman with a real passion for service,” then urged him to have a conversation with “a whole host of small business owners.”

“I want to salute our small business owners,” she said.

“Just touch him [the mayor],” intoned Clarke’s mother, as scores flocked around deBlasio.

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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