Gotham Avenue School students, on a very hot Friday afternoon, gathered to meet with new Assemblyman Edward Ra for a talk on government. At the strike of 1pm, students looked to the doors of the school to see their new Assemblyman. What they never knew was that Ra had no intention of showing up. After sitting in the heat, and waiting for a very long time, school officials realized that Ra was going to be a no-show.
What has shocked local observers is that this latest Elmont community diss comes even after he agreed to and set up the visit. The Ed Ra snub of the Elmont community comes just weeks after he was a no-show to the Elmont Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Roundtable held at the Elmont Public Library.
“This would never have happened if Tom Alfano was still our Assemblyman,” said a Gotham Avenue School PTA member. “It’s insulting and shows our community that he just doesn’t care about us. We never really understood how lucky we were to have someone who really stood up for Elmont in Alfano. Ra has shown us what a typical politician is really like. He should be embarrassed.”
School officials reportedly were infuriated that Ra never called or sent any type of communication that he would not be showing up to the school. People who were at the school and present for the meeting were shocked that an elected official would not show and not even bother to call the school.
The pattern of Ra showing no respect to the education community and issues impacting the Caribbean community has been the talk of Elmont for months. “He is visibly uncomfortable in front of people of color and clearly is out of his element. When he talks to you, he looks down at the ground... can’t even look you in the eye. How can Ra fight for us when all he seems to care about is Franklin Square and Floral Park. This guy can’t even take a stand on creating jobs on the Turnpike. What makes us think he cares about these kids in the gym sweating in the heat waiting for him to show up? He should resign” said a PTA member with significant ties to community groups and SEIU 1199.
“Ra showed us that he backs the millionaires in the Assembly budget and turns his back on our schools. We knew where he stood after he voted with the extreme right wing. You would think that he would follow the lead that Tom Alfano had set in the community. Assemblyman Ra has shown us that he is too young, too immature and clueless about the needs of the community. He should do the right thing and step aside and let a grown-up take the job,” said a prominent member of the Elmont Fire Department.
Ra’s Elmont school children diss is the latest in a long string of missteps and ill conceived votes. Ra voted against education and health care funding in the Assembly budget resolution. He skipped the Elmont Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Roundtable. He voted against key parts of the Assembly Environmental Conservation bill. He sat silent on the Belmont Race Track economic development proposal. He refuses to take a stand on the Belmont South Lot Economic Development Strategy. More shockingly, Ra voted against rent control regulations targeted towards seniors and working families.
This much we know is true, Elmont residents can rest as assured that Assemblyman Ra will be seen front and center in photo opportunities pretending and claiming credit for thing he did not do.