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Vincentians contest Council seat in Brooklyn

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Two Vincentians are among 11 candidates vying for a City Council seat in next Tuesday’s Democratic Party Primary in Brooklyn.

Despite the very crowded field, Royston “Uncle Roy” Antoine and Moreen King told Caribbean Life, in exclusive interviews, that they both stand a strong chance of winning the Primary in the 41st Council District.

That district encompasses Crown Heights, Bushwick, East Flatbush, Bedford Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill and Brownsville.

“It is the people of my community who have paved the way and inspired me to make the venture into politics to fight for them, especially the poor, the underprivileged and the disenfranc­hised,” said Antoine, a clothing store owner on Pitkins Avenue in Brooklyn, who migrated to New York in May 1973, stating that, in a population of 170,000 in the district, about 21,710 are unemployed.

He said, with such high unemployment, many residents are on “some form of public assistance.”

Antoine also said the district is plagued by high drug use; female-headed, single-parent households; and chronic health problems.

He said District 41 ranks “close to the bottom of the pile when it comes to health disparities, outcomes and how much health-related resources that the community receives.

“From unacceptably high levels of HIV/AIDS to a spiraling out of control diabetes, juvenile asthma, alcoholism, hypertension, cancers of all kinds and other opportunistic diseases, the health care picture in our community is very bleak,” said Antoine in expressing alarm.

“When elected, I will fight for this community,” he added. “I will demand that we get our fair share of healthcare resources. I will develop programs to strengthen and bring quality, affordable healthcare to all residents. I will attack poverty by providing more employment by having a stronger level of participation from our business community.”

In addition, he said he will advocate for the “strengthen­ing of family intervention programs, counseling that help families in crises, and recommend curative therapies for offenders.”

Antoine said he will also “get more community law enforcement assembling,” and do “whatever it takes to create a better, stronger and more respectfully community.”

“I will win this election [hands down],” he said confidently.

King, too, expressed confidence about being triumphant on Tuesday, disclosing that she found out that Antoine was in the race after she had registered as a candidate.

“I believe I have a fair shot, as I know I will serve the community well,” said King, who migrated to New York in 1988 and owns a daycare business in the district.

“I am running because we need new and different leadership,” she added. “I am running due to the numerous issues that plague my community, and we need strong leaders who will advocate to gain resources.

“I am extremely vested in my community, and I know that I can bring about the necessary changes to enhance and uplift the people in my district in order to make my community vibrant,” continued King, stating that she will address issues such as early childhood and youth education; strong families; housing; immigration; senior citizens; and healthcare.

She said she is already making a difference in the community by creating jobs; ensuring “a safe haven and strong educational foundation for hundreds of children;” and advocating for small businesses and “numerous families.”

“I get things done!” King declared.

Updated 12:01 pm, September 21, 2017
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