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It’s Not Us Against Them

Dear Editor: 

I was happy to read about Far Rockaway’s new library but disappointed by the accompanying, divisive “Quote of the Week” from Councilman Richards. 

What divides the two Rockaways he speaks of? East vs. west? Black vs. white? Poor vs. not poor? I have news for the Councilman: There are more than two pieces to the Rockaway mosaic but we are one peninsula. What’s good for Far Rock is good for the rest of us. 

Let’s face it: This $42 million dollar investment isn’t a win against the rest of Rockaway any more than getting a is a victory for Arverne over Bayswater or Roxbury. It’s not Us vs. Them.  

Are there inequities? Yes, but if Far Rockaway isn’t getting its share of government funding, blame the politicians (e.g. you, your former boss) not your neighbors. Are there much bigger systemic problems in our City and society? Hell yeah. Turning a baby step of progress (the library) into a swipe against potential allies won’t fix the system. 

My only personal interaction with Donovan Richards was years ago. He was smart and earnest – the kind of person you’d want elected to office. I hope political ambition has not led him to conclude he needs to use the divide-and-conquer tactics of DC to get ahead. That would be a disservice to both his constituents and their neighbors across Rockaway.