By Renee Collymore
My family has lived in the 35th Council District since the 1940s and when I was a little girl, my parents always taught me about the difficulties of this community, putting attention towards what our role is in assisting our neighborhood during hard times.
I grew up with the understanding never to ignore people in need and if you have it in your power, it is your responsibility to do something to make a positive impact.
Just a few days before the Thanksgiving Holiday, I teamed up with Grammy and Platinum winning Gospel Artist Hezekiah Walker and Labor Union DC 9 to feed all who were hungry in our district. It started out as an effort for Ft Greene solely, however, I felt accountable to the entire district to widen the invitation and I am so glad that I did.
Community residents packed the streets as we distributed 40,000 lbs. of food for the holiday, so no one would go hungry. My soul was satisfied at the sight of everyone working in unity to get the job done. When people say Black Lives Matter and when we are unified it means we share and come to the aid of people who are in need of help.
We organized this effort to fight against the feeling of those who may have felt ashamed and/or embarrassed to ask for help otherwise. I witnessed people standing on our line since 5:30am and as others joined the line, everyone began talking to each other and sharing old neighborhood memories. Every moment increased with love when the Labor Union showed up and began meeting the people and setting up the tables followed by members of my church putting up speakers to share music and eventually meeting and taking pictures with the famous Hezekiah Walker. It was all amazing.
We must make sure in the upcoming political elections that we pay attention to what people do, not just what they say. When we see what people have been doing for their community, that is the true measure of accountability.
I have been unified in my community all of my life and will always be accountable to the individuals and families that reside here.
We must recognize pain, then unify to ease the pain. I am determined to ease the pain of this district. When we are aware of a painful need and we join together to correct that pain, we all become unified in that moment.
Ms. Collymore is a candidate for city council in the 35th District