Jamaican says he’s ready to take over Brooklyn district

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NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — Jamaican L Rickie Tulloch, who says he is dedicating himself to the community, through activism, legacy and public service, is asking voters to elect him as the representative for 45th Council District in Brooklyn.

Tulloch is among a crowded field of eight other candidates vying to succeed newly elected New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, in the special election on May 14.

The candidates include a significant number of Caribbean-born and Caribbean Americans, who all claim to be best suited to represent the district that comprises East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park and Midwood.

More than 188,000 people live in the district, of which about 61 per cent are either Caribbean American or African American.

Besides Tulloch, the candidates are Trinidad and Tobago-born Anthony Alexis; Monique Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants; Jovia Radix, the daughter of Barbadian and Grenadian immigrants; Farah Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants; Louis Cespedes Fernadez, the son of Cuban immigrants; Anthony Beckford; Xamayla Rose; and Adina Sash.

“This is my fourth campaign for office, and I believe we will be successful,” said Tulloch in an interview with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“In addition to my 2007 campaign, I also ran for City Council in 2009 and State Assembly in 2014. I have worked my entire life to serve my community, and I believe I have the experience and commitment to be a strong leader for the people of the 45th Council District.”

Tulloch, who was born in Connors in the parish of St Catherine in Jamaica, said that he has been living in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn since his migration in 1976.

He said, when he first ran for City Council in 2007 and lost, he “learned some valuable lessons about campaigning and engaging the community.

“Similar to now, I ran for office because I wanted to deliver results for my community and empower everyone that lives here.

“In this race, it is a shortened campaign, so we work hard to hit the ground running and begin speaking with voters to make sure they are aware of the election and talk about the issues that matter most,” he added.

Tulloch said that he has “qualified for the ballot and will be using the ‘Peoples Movement’ ballot line” in the special election, stating that his campaign is “geared towards improving the quality of life for everyone in our community.”

To date, Tulloch said he has received the support of two labour unions — Local 891 and OSA — and several undisclosed community leaders.

“I have worked hard throughout my life to serve our community, from serving on Community Board 17 for nearly two decades to working with local civic and community organisations. I have lived in this community for over 40 years, and I believe that I have the right experience and record to be a leader who will deliver in the City Council.

“I feel very good about my campaign, and I will work hard every day to ensure we are victorious on election day,” Tulloch continued.

After emigrating with his family as a teenager, Tulloch said he is “a proud product of our public schools”.

He graduated from Erasmus High School in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Over the last 40 years, Tulloch accentuated that he “dedicated” himself to the community.

He is a senior director at New York City Health and Hospital’s Office of Facilities Development; chairman of the Brooklyn-based Visionary Political Action Committee (VPAC), and was treasurer and chair of the Land Use Committee of Community Board 17 in Brooklyn.

He has also served as chairman of the Board of Flatbush Action Community Day Care Center and board member of the Erasmus Neighbourhood Association — both in Brooklyn.

Additionally, Tulloch is president of the Ginger Ridge School Past Students Association of Jamaica.

He stressed that he is running for City Council “to focus on issues facing our community and to improve our quality of life”.

Tulloch said affordability is a major component of his platform, stating that he is committed to tackling the affordable housing crisis by increasing funding for homelessness prevention and rehousing programmes, and advocating for downzoning to prevent gentrification.

He also wants to improve public schools by increasing the number of gifted education programs in elementary schools, “so that high achieving students can have opportunities at an early age”.

In addition, Tulloch wants to curb four days a week alternate side parking “that inconveniences residents and leads to increased tickets and fines”.

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