by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Just wanted to make sure you heard the good news and are in a celebratory mode, like I am!!
My dear sister/friend, Latrice Monique Walker just walked over Darlene Mealy, soon to be former City Council Representative, and has retained her seat as Assemblymember for the 55th District of Brownsville.
To those who want to be politically correct – ooops!!! But I’m partisan press, so I reserve the right to be glad if I choose to!! And just in case you think it’s a fluke – especially those who predicted that the seniors would not vote for Ms. Walker, she won by a history making 75% vote to Mealy’s 25%. If that isn’t a vote of confidence in Walker’s policies, nothing is.
So Kudos and Congratulations to Latrice- Keep up the wonderful work – your love and devotion to Brownsville has not gone unnoticed or unrewarded.
NYS Assembly – District 55 – Democrat
Latrice Walker- 75%4,153 Votes – Incumbent
Darlene Mealy- 25%1,420 Votes – Challenger
Latrice Walker is was born and raised in Brownsville. It has always been her primary concern – so much so, that rather than move to more lucrative environs after she passed the bar, she remained not far from where she originally grew up.
A product of New York City public schools, she received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Purchase College, and later, a law degree from Pace University. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2007.
As a young, African American female barrister, there weren’t many demands for her service. However, she started her career in entertainment law, and then later moved into public service, as Counsel to Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke who backed her on her bid to become Assemblymember after the previous incumbent was indicted for fraud.
In addition to Clarke, she also had the support of Public Advocate Letitia James and Congress Member Hakeem Jeffries, and former City Council member Una Clarke – and apparently nearly the entire community of Brownsville.
Her district includes Ocean-Hill Brownsville, portions of East New York and East Flatbush, Bushwick, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, but she is known and respected throughout Brooklyn.
In a pre-election interview, Latrice Walker (and Mealy) was asked to respond to the following question that was posed to her from a local Brooklyn Publication :
“Brownsville and the 55th Assembly District is one of the most economically impoverished districts in the city. What have you done in your tenure as a lawmaker and what do you intend to do further to help the plight of your constituents economically?”
“As a freshman lawmaker in the New York State Assembly, I was elected with an agenda to help the people of the community in which I was born and raised. I voted to pass the historic $15 minimum wage increase and Paid Family Leave that are now law.”
“I worked with Governor Cuomo to strengthen health care delivery in Brownsville. Together, we have allocated $700 million to build a stronger hospital, clinics and urgent care centers through a partnership with Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center and a potential bigger, financially stable hospital. This new partnership will preserve current Brookdale-affiliated health care jobs. As the partnership develops architects will be needed, as well as construction workers from a variety of trades. Residents – from apprentice to skilled trades – will be invited to participate in building a bigger, better hospital system for Brownsville and the 55th Assembly District. Once complete, the new hospital system will offer expanded health care services that require additional health care workers. The ultimate goal is to strengthen urgent care and wellness services with jobs as an added benefit.”
“As chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Renewable Energy, I recognized the opportunity to bring 100% clean energy to Brownsville. I worked with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to create Solarize Brownsville, an initiative to increase the supply of electricity in the Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) catchment area while reducing demand on the Consolidated Edison Substation in Brownsville.”
“Solarize Brownsville has made an immediate economic impact. Solar panels are installed on qualified homes at no upfront cost, refuting the idea that solar energy is expensive. Each home owner who has solar panels installed on their home will see a reduction in their monthly electricity bill of up to 25% per kilowatt hour. Since the June 2016 launch, more than 100 home owners have signed installation agreements. Each of these homeowners has or will receive a special cash rebate of between $250 to $500 – disposable income that the home owners can use. In addition, each solarized home will receive a $5,000 State energy credit and a $5,000 New York City property tax credit.”
“Brownsville’s demand for solar panels has created jobs. I hosted a Job Drive at my district office for Solar and Event Ambassadors. Community residents were hired from this outreach event. Level Solar is currently asking to host another Job Drive to fill openings for Operations Personnel: Solar Panel Installers and Electricians. I encourage community residents to apply.”
“Jobs are one of my top priorities. I encourage affordable housing developers to establish community hiring objectives. The new SUNY ATTAIN Lab at St. Johns provides technology training and job readiness counseling. I worked to expand State funding for Summer Youth Employment Program jobs that increased the number of jobs available for our young people. I support contracting opportunities for M/WBEs.”
Add to that an engaging smile, a hands on approach when it comes to her constituents, and a heart for her community, it’s obvious why she prevailed as Assemblymember for one of the most dynamic assembly districts.
Kudos and congratulations to Latrice M. Walker.
Stay Blessed &
bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com