Hours before NYS Attorney General Letitia James’ Tuesday evening inaugural service at Emmanuel Baptist Church, three members shared insights into what leadership does and what it is.
Left to right, Sis. Ruth Green Smith, 84, Bro. James Mullen, 73 and Rev. Tyrone Morris, all believe in “doing what’s necessary when help is needed.” And that’s exactly what they do at Emmanuel. Rev. Morris, a member of the HIV-AIDS committee, was on his way to visit a friend on the sick and shut-in list; Sis. Green prepared for the Saturday, January 13 anniversary of the Primetime Committee; and Bro. James greeted visitors at the church reception desk.
A key factor in AG James quest for success, according to the three (during individual talks), centers around something very basic and simple. “She always showed up,” said Rev. Monroe. “Whether for a senior’s birthday or a community Town Hall meeting or cries for help from domestic abuse victims, she and Olanike Alabi are there.”
“It’s good for seniors to know that they are not forgotten, to know they are not alone and someone cares. It’s good for young people, because it exemplifies how people should be respected and shows how it is done. For others, it shows how to carry yourself and the possibilities that rise when you carry yourself correctly.”
James regards his neighbor, AG Tish, as a warrior. He watched her “elevation” from a distance. “From city councilwoman to public advocate and now to State Attorney General. It’s about time she got to where she is intended to be. She helped us with advice at community meetings; now she gets the opportunity to help people all around this state. As she elevates, (Brooklyn) is elevated.”
Sis. Smith serves the community through the church’s Primetime Ministry, whose help-for-the-helpless projects have reached as far as South Africa, where houses were painted by committee members. In James, Sis. Smith told us, she sees a “caring spirit,” which she says “is so important because it reaches the heart of the people. It shows a leader is concerned for others’ welfare. I pray every day that mean spirits — bullying, prejudice, hate and war — will leave us.”
“Caring, concern are what’s missing,” Rev. Morris said forthrightly, adding, ”How someone can become President without a moral base, I do not know. How someone can step out on stage unprepared is beyond me. “But I do believe the Lord gives us what we need… He’s already planted certain things for us to discover and to see.
Sis. Smith, Rev. Morris and Brother Mullen see AG James as a catalyst for some kind of change.”
Brother Mullen said, “She worked hard for this, she prepared for it, and she is more than ready for it; she’s capable. As she elevates, we are elevated.”