NEW YORK, USA -- A Grenadian-American politician is urging his nationals, who are preparing to cast their ballots in Grenada this month, to vote for a government that will address their needs.
Council Member Jumaane Williams, who represents the 45th District in New York City, said that voting is a democratic right and gives the electorate an opportunity to be part of the process.
Speaking at Grenada’s 39th Anniversary of Independence Gala in Brooklyn on Saturday, Williams said that nationals should consider election as a key element of a nation’s development.
“I don’t want to get into the island politics but to make that appeal to all Grenadians to exercise that right to vote which will determine a government of their choice,” said Williams, who represents a district with mainly Caribbean immigrants.
He also called upon Grenadian and other Caribbean nationals to get involved in ongoing campaigns, including immigration.
“The Latinos are making a statement in the immigration campaign and Grenadians and other Caribbean nationals must take on that fight too,” said Williams who sits on the Immigration Committee of the New York City Council.
The independence gala also included an awards ceremony to give recognition to Grenadian individuals and groups in the New York area.
Receiving awards were Messrs Anthony Akins, Lazarus Antoine and Michael Bascombe for community development, culture and sports/media respectively and the Grenadian-American Young Women’s Association (GAYWA) for youth development.
The Grenada Independence Anniversary Committee of New York also made a special presentation to the former Consul General Derrick James, which included a tribute in song by the talented Cheryl Vincent.
In his farewell message, he thanked Grenadians for their support during his tenure, which ended late last year.
“I accepted the job as your CG (Consul General) with honour and gratitude. I served all 60,000 of my fellow Grenadians in the US and I am satisfied that when I left we are a more united people, a people who understand the purpose of the Consulate because we brought it to the community,” he said.
He encouraged Grenadians to take the upcoming general elections seriously but respect individuals’ choice. “We in the Diaspora have a critical role to play in that process. Let us not become hopeless for we must have hope, let us not be distracted instead we must be focused.”
In its financial report for 2012, the committee said it donated defibrillators costing US$4,800 to three emergency care units in Grenada and Carriacou and a further $1,100 to the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Carriacou. Training was also arranged for the use of the defibrillators during the Homecoming celebrations held last August.
The Committee also donated US$1,000 to the Grenada Civil Service Annual Award Ceremony and the second prize of US$1,000 for the 2012 Calypso Monarch held in New York.
A minute of silence was held in memory of the late agriculture minister, Denis Lett who passed away last Monday and ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Dessima Williams read the Prime Minister’s Independence message.
The independence activities in New York will conclude this weekend with the Calypso Monarch being organised by the Brooklyn-based House of Fire Calypso Tent.