Rarely do politicians miss the opportunity to convey their messages to a large audience, especially when seeking votes for election or re-election.
So, while most patrons would expect to hear addresses by legislators during last Sunday’s gala “Women Celebrating Women Awards” ceremony, at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, they likely did not anticipate that the incumbent New York State Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and her fierce challenger, Council Member Jumaane Williams, would speak at the event.
Hochul addressed a captive audience at the ceremony, organized by the Brooklyn-based Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA), headed by former New York City Council Member Jamaican Dr. Una S.T. Clarke.
Hochul was the second speaker, delivering her remarks soon after Public Advocate Letitia James gave hers in the five-hour-long program.
Williams, who arrived late, told Caribbean Life, during the event, that he was unaware that Hochul would attend and speak at the gala.
Nonetheless, he said: “I would have loved to be here when she spoke.”
Both, however, delivered remarks that seemed to resonate with disparate sections of the audience.
Piggybacking on James’s terse tribute to the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who had represented the then 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn, Hochul said Chisholm, of Caribbean parentage, “may be from Brooklyn, but she spent time in my home town.
“She became a champion of seniors,” she said before launching into President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“I’m a grand-daughter of immigrants,” Hochul added. “I’m concerned that the next Una Clarke is being shut out of our country.
“I know what it’s like to fight for Yvette (Congresswoman Clarke, Una’s daughter),” Hochul continued. “Only 20 percent of women are in Congress. I’m honored to be lieutenant governor. I’m going to keep fighting for you.”
She also said she will address “the criminal injustice system” before noting the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote.
“You should not continue voter suppression for 2018,” she then asserted.
Williams, representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said, on the other hand, that “we’re fighting ‘Orange Madness’ in New York State.
“They have an interesting guest speaker,” he added, clearly alluding to Hochul. “They (Hochul) have not been here much, but I have.
“I have been able to step up and say, ‘the emperor has no clothes,” continued Williams, disclosing that Brooklyn has had “one of the highest (voter) turn-outs” for lieutenant governor.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said. “It’s time; let’s go.”