Plans for producing and staging the 45th Annual Labor Day Carnival Festival & Parade is definitely in the firm hands of the new team at the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).
A delegation from the organization met with a team of elected leaders, led by Assemb. Nick Perry, and including Assemb. Karim Camara, City Council members Jumaane Williams and Letitia “Tish” James and State Sen. Kevin Parker, in response to concerns about the upcoming 2012 Carnival festival.
“We brought them up to date about what was happening and where we were at present,” said Thomas “Tom” Bailey, the new WIADCA president. In mid-April, amid swirling negative and unsubstantiated speculations, WIADCA’s membership threw their unconditional support behind Bailey, a former school teacher, WIADCA stalwart and veteran Brooklyn soccer organizer to lead the organization.
“The organization’s membership has spoken. I am honored and humbled to become the third individual to lead this important group that is the lawful custodian of the annual Labor Day Carnival Festival in New York.
The new WIADCA TEAM is committed to the preservation of our culture and to move the organization forward in a new and positive direction,” Bailey said. The annual festival which culminates with the famed Labor Day Carnival Parade along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, “will be managed and run this year by this new team,” he added.
While the new WIADCA team continues to work towards a successful festival, it nevertheless acknowledged that everything was not yet settled, Bailey said. “It was the first of many meetings at which the organization will regularly update the political leadership on ongoing developments,” he added.
The legislators, “expressed support for the new WIADCA team and made certain requests, which we are in the process of fulfilling and assured them that we’ll keep them engaged and informed about our progress,” Bailey said. “We also asked for their help in securing funding for the carnival festival and other areas where we felt their influence could help to make things run smoothly. All in all, it was a good meeting. We’re all on the same page now.”
Other Officers of the team of 15 are: Eric Gibbs, chairman; Bryan Block, Deborah Benjamin and William “Bill” Howard, vice presidents; Angela Sealy, treasurer and Jean P. Alexander, secretary. Five new members have been added to the Board.
In office for only a few short weeks, the new WIADCA team has already met with both mas and steel bands and presented them with partial checks, which brings the amount paid to approximately two-thirds of the prize monies owed for the 2011 competitions, with assurances that the balance will be paid before the 2012 Labor Day Festival, the treasurer disclosed.
Bailey told both organizations at the packed, standing-room-only meeting, that at the top of his priority list was “improving relations with all of the carnival festival’s stakeholders”.
“Let us together usher in a new era of cooperation and friendship.” Bailey said. “I want to hear from you and what are your concerns. This festival is bigger than one individual or organization. We must come together to take it to new and bigger heights. I need your help and support.”
The president also told both groups that arrangements are being made to have representation on the WIADCA board of directors from mas’ and steelband associations.
For information, please contact: WIADCA at 718-467-1797 or Email at: [email protected]