Caribbean Life, April 7-13, 2022
By Ethan Stark-Miller
Three days after the state budget’s April
1 deadline, Gov. Kathy Hochul told reporters
Monday she expects negotiations to
wrap up in the next few days, while passing
what’s known as an “extender” to
temporarily fund the government in the
“Ultimately, it’ll be resolved in just
a matter of days. We’re getting close,”
Hochul told reporters. “We filed an
extender, as of today, to make sure that
we can continue paying our New York
workers which is important. But also this
gives us a little more time just to wrap up
the final touches on what is going to be a
transformative budget for all New Yorkers.
So that should be resolved in the next
The main issue holding up the budget
is whether or not to make changes to a
number of criminal justice reforms that
passed over the last few years – including
bail, discovery and “Raise the Age”
reforms – amid the worst crime wave New
York City has seen in decades. Hochul,
who released a 10-point-plan last month
to make certain tweaks to these criminal
justice reforms, said she never blamed the
rise in crime solely on bail reform but has
to do something to address it.
“As we’ve seen, there was strong interest
from New Yorkers to have us address
the issue of escalating crime,” Hochul
said. “We never said it was bail reform’s
fault, we never said that, very clear. But
there’s areas that we can make improvements.
I want to continue addressing gun
violence. You know, how many more 12
year olds have to be killed before we take
strong efforts to get guns off the streets?
So we put together a comprehensive package
that’s going to address a myriad of
issues related to crime in this state.”
Longtime Assemblyman Peter Abbate
(D – Brooklyn) told PoliticsNY that the
conversations around changes to criminal
justice reforms are mainly focussed on
tweaks to discovery laws passed in 2019.
By Nelson A. King
An almost Who’s Who in Brooklyn politics,
as well as hundreds of supporters and wellwishers
were present Saturday night, as the
Brooklyn community gave Jamaican-born
Assemblyman, N. Nick Perry a rousing sendoff
as the new United States ambassador to
Perry, who was expected to be officially
installed on Monday by the US Department
of State as the new envoy to Jamaica, hosted
Saturday night’s gala celebration, at the Holy
Family (Catholic) Church Auditorium, on
Flatlands Avenue in Canarsie, Brooklyn, as a
“Community Thank You.”
Among the dignitaries were on hand Saturday
night were: US Senate Majority Leader
Charles “Chuck” Schumer, who recommended
Perry for the position; Congressional Reps.
Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette D. Clarke, the
daughter of Jamaican immigrants; New York
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli; New York
City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; and
State Assembly Member Latrice Walker.
Others were: New York State Sen. Roxanne
Persaud, a Guyanese national; Council
Member Mercedes Narcisse, the Haitian-born
representative for the 46th Council District
in Brooklyn; Monique Chandler-Waterman,
the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian
immigrants, who is vying to replace Perry as
representative for the 58th Assembly District
in Brooklyn; and Jamaica Consul General to
New York Alsion Roach Wilson.
Narcisse served as Mistress of Ceremonies
until the arrival of the official Master of
Ceremonies, the retired Jamaican-born Rev.
Canon, Calvin C. McIntyre, who trekked from
Jamaica specifically for that role.
Rev. McIntyre, Perry’s close friend and
school mate at Kingston College, had the stellar
crowd in stitches with jokes.
“You have to be careful being an MC these
days, because your life is in danger,” he said to
loud laugher, intimating about Will Smith’s
slap on Chris Rock, who served as Master of
Ceremonies at the recent Emmy Awards, for
Rock’s joke about Smith’s wife.
In addition to speeches and blessings from
the diverse clergy, there were moving renditions
by Haitian-born Felina Backer, and
“Nick is the most qualified person to be
Ambassador to Jamaica,” said Schumer, stating
that he first met the legislator in 1992
when he (Schumer) was a congressman.
“When Nick appeared before the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, even some Republicans
said ‘you made the best choice.’
“The Caribbean dream is the American
dream,” he added. “He (Perry) came to America,
enlisted in the Armed Forces, served on
the Community Board and has won every
election since in the (New York State) Assembly
We’re so proud he’ll be Ambassador to
Jamaica,” Schumer continued.
DiNapoli said Perry has “distinguished
himself as an advocate.”
“When he goes to Jamaica, representing
the United States, the people of Jamaica are
Nick Perry and Sen. Schumer converse on stage. Photo by Nelson A. King
going to listen,” he said. “Nick will be an
extraordinary representative for our country.”
Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional
District, encompassing parts of Brooklyn
and Queens, described Perry as “a good
man; a hard-working man; an educated man;
and, as of Monday, he’ll be a State Department
“I’m thankful for your support,” Jeffries
told Perry, who was besides him on stage.
“Nick Perry has made history. And so, the best
is yet to come.
“The friendship with the US and Jamaica
will only be enhanced. God bless Nick Perry.”
Congresswoman Clarke, who represents
the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn,
said she knew about “the work, the labor that
Nick Perry has put in the community.
“We (congressional representatives) sent
a letter and said that we’re not entertaining
anybody else (for ambassador to Jamaica),”
she said, disclosing that 16 years ago, when
she was first running for Congress, Perry
withdrew from the race and backed her.
“Now, he’s ascending to Jamaica, I’m the
senior (legislator) from Brooklyn,” Clarke
added. “We get so much visa applications, you
have nothing to worry about (laughter). We
have a direct line.
B’klyn gives Perry rousing send-off
Three days late
and counting, still
no budget deal
Haitian dancers perform for Nick Perry. Photo by Nelson A. King