History was created on the evening of Monday, December 5, when for the very first time an illuminated One Love Little Caribbean holiday lights was unveiled over the intersection of Church and Utica avenues, in the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn.
The holiday lights, hung, over the weekend, with the help of small business, and a non-profit task force, is the start of a merchants’ association said Assemblywoman Monique Chandler Waterman, whose district the multi-color string of lights hang in its brilliant colorful Caribbean, glory.
The assemblywoman who replaced longtime Assemblyman, Nick Perry, Ambassador to Jamaica, thanked everyone, and acknowledged colleges, organizations, the Block Association, street vendors, Walgreens, business owners, and supporters, who showed up to celebrate, and applaud the beauty in their community.“The vision of this corridor is the development of a merchant association, with the help of the Little Caribbean, CariBeing, Shelly Worrell team, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and CACCI.”
The association, from Church Avenue to Brooklyn Avenue. On Utica, from Avenue D to Montgomery, is the goal of the assembly district to organize the “T” zone, “to make sure that we can do a lot in this area, when it comes to reducing the amount of garbage on the street, while making sure the resources are going to community members and small business owners,” Assemblywoman Chandler Waterman said.
She praised small business owners, along the corridor, whom she said kept going during the pandemic. “They made sure we had food and essentials. They are heroes. We must make sure we build capacity within these small businesses.”
“Today is a visual mark, a symbolic mark of what’s to come for the future of this corridor, organizing the merchants’ association, and then on to a BID, thank you everyone,” she said.
The politician, then called on the joyous crowd to “let’s join to unveil the One Love Little Caribbean lights, the first time ever on this corner.” A chorus of Bob Marley’s iconic song – “One Love, followed. District 43 Community Leader Akil Williams brought greetings from Shelley Worrell, founder, president of Caribeing, and the Little Caribbean trademark, who has been instrumental in acquiring the lights. He said she was thrilled to extend the “One Love Little Caribbean lights, at the iconic, diverse intersection in the Caribbean community,” and thanked the small business community for funding the lights, to bring the meaningful project to ‘light’. One Love Little Caribbean, he ended.
Senior Director of Public Affairs, Brooklyn Chambers of Commerce (BCB) Vladmir Sterlin, said representation matters, and applauded the small businesses, the BCB is pleased to serve.
Sen. Roxanne Persaud’s representative, Kamla Millwood said the diverse community has been blessed with beautiful Caribbean people and is deserving of the wonderful lights to brighten up their beautiful faces. “On behalf of Senator Persaud, I would like to thank Assemblywoman Chandler Waterman, for all the work you are doing. We will continue to support you,” said Millwood.
NYPD Commanding Officer, Inspector Gaby Celiba, 67 Precinct, and Commanding Officer, Captain Khandakar Abdullal, 69th Precinct, called on the community to be safe. Noting that the lighting ceremony is an example of the importance of people coming together to celebrate. They also thanked Assemblywoman Chandler Waterman for her leadership in the community.
“We are here to celebrate Caribbean culture, and to celebrate our Assemblywoman and her achievements, and the leadership that she brings to our community, we praise God for this opportunity, because its only by God’s grace we are here, said,” Pastor Louis Straker Jr.
“The Caribbean community is rich with people who have a rich heritage. We’ve been through imperialism and slavery, and many people came to this place for a better life, some with nothing in their hand but a ‘grip’, a vision, and a dream to make something of themselves, and for their children and children’s children.”
“You have a rich heritage in this community, and it is only right, that we would be standing here today on Church and Utica avenues with our fearless leader, lighting up One Love Little Caribbean, because that is what we are as Caribbean people, we love,” he said.
“Big up yourself if you are Caribbean people. One Love,” he shouted, as Assemblywoman Chandler Waterman chimed in with “It’s not an I “ting, it’s a, we ting.”