FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.queenscourier.com JANUARY 17, 2013 • THE QUEENS COURIER9 Residents fi ght against being DIVIDED ALONG DISTRICT LINES BY TERENCE M. CULLEN defined by the people that live there. firstname.lastname@example.org I live in Woodhaven; that’s my neigh- borhood.” In their last attempt before the maps Many others spoke about neighbor- went to the City Council for votes, ing South Ozone Park being placed in residents told the New York City District 28, but wanted the western line Redistricting Commission changes of the district pushed to Woodhaven had to be made to keep neighbor- Boulevard — incorporating such land- hoods such as South Ozone Park and marks as John Adams High School. Woodhaven in one piece. The desire for a unifi ed Indo- “This isn’t about which district we Caribbean community has been the end up with, this isn’t about which rep- driving force behind this push, some- resentative we get,” said Woodhaven thing that many in attendance spoke to. Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) “We are disappointed that South President Ed Wendell. “We just know Ozone Park, part of the same commu- that when we’re divided, it weakens nity of interest, remains falsely divid- our position.” ed along Lefferts Boulevard,” said The Monday, January 14 hearing Videsh Persaud, a program coordina- was the third before a final draft is tor for the Indo-Caribbean Alliance. sent to the City Council for a vote. “While we appreciate the changes Representatives have three weeks to that were made in Richmond Hill, vote either in favor or against the the process is incomplete without map; the new Council lines will be adjustments to South Ozone Park as adopted if the legislature can’t come tricts. Councilmember Dan Halloran, er, essentially flipped Woodhaven’s well. These are part of the same com- to a vote by deadline. The commis- reading from a prepared testimony, representatives and divided the area munity, and they must be kept in the sion will re-explore lines after this called for the commission to keep again. same district.” latest round of hearings and make any these neighborhoods united, as they Colin Bucca, another Woodhaven Kris Gounden, a community activ- changes it feels necessary. had been in the past. resident, told the commissioners con- ist for the area, said residents want Concerns about neighborhoods in Wendell, one of several WRBA tinuing to keep Woodhaven in two elected officials who understand their Flushing and Bayside were addressed members to speak, harkened back would ruin the integrity and the char- cultures and needs. Gounden said at the meeting — particularly Mitchell to the first draft of Council lines acter of the neighborhood. the city had suppressed the Indo- Linden, Broadway and Murray Hill — in which Woodhaven was almost “It’s not just equations on a spread Caribbean community in south where many say the towns were split completely in one councilmember’s sheet, it’s not just lines on a map, it’s Queens and had stunted its ability to or dislocated from traditional dis- district. The second draft, howev- people,” he said. “A neighborhood is grow and prosper. Checking that earns like savings. BestRate 0.75% Checking On balances of $5,000 or more.1APY Plus, get up to when you open a new checking account.2150$ Additionally, a BestRate Checking account provides you with: Free online banking and bill pay, Free Mastercard® ATM/Debit card, Free direct deposit and more. 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