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Congressman Meeks Opposes Terror!

Meeks.jpg (43220 bytes) The 103rd Preceinct Community Council will host a special meeting featuring United States Congressman Gregory W. Meeks. Residents of Hollis and the public are invited to participate on Friday evening, December 7th, 2001 at 7:30 PM. This special meeting will be held at the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, 179-09 Jamaica Avenue, Hollis, NY. Pastor Charles Norris will conduct a candlelight prayer for world harmony on the 60th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. On September 11, New York City and
America became the latest victims of senseless acts of terror against our democracy and freedom.With the possible high number of casualties and fatalities associated with these cowardly attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, below is a link with information that victims, families, neighbors, constituents and volunteers will find useful in dealing with this terrible tragedy. To all victims, family members, rescue workers, New Yorkers and Americans, I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences. Congressman Meeks offices in New York City and Washington are open to help any New Yorker or American with any information or assistance regarding the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center that I can provide. My thoughts and prayers remain with you. God Bless America!! Please click here for more
information. Congressman Meeks is a member of the Committee on Financial Services, and its subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), as well as the subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and the subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. Additionally, Meeks serves on the International Relations Committee and its subcommittee on Africa, and the subcommittee on East Asia and The Pacific. He successfully authored legislation that increased air service from New York City airports

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to communities in upstate New York- Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester and further illustrating his leadership ability, Meeks led the largest congressional delegations ever to visit the New York Stock Exchange and The United Nations. Also believing that effectiveness in legislative bodies requires consensus as well as steady prodding, Meeks is an active member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). And in 2001 became CBC Whip. Meeks has gained significant praise for his balanced voting record and advocacy for labor and business issues. He is currently Chair of the CBC’s High-Tech Committee. The panel seeks to ensure that the opinions of minority consumers, venture capitalists and Internet entrepreneurs can be heard as Congress debates key policy issues such as e-commerce, privacy, taxes on Internet purchases, high-speed Internet access, Encryption technology, and patent reform.  Meeks is a member of several civic and professional organizations including: the National Bar Association, the Coalition of 100 Black Men, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Inc., the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the United Black Men of Queens. He founded the Jesse L. Jackson Independent Democratic Club (later renamed the Thurgood Marshall Regular Democratic Club) and remains active in grassroots community organizing. Congressman Meeks resides in Far Rockaway, Queens with his wife Simone-Marie and has three daughters Ebony, Aja, and Nia-Aiyana.


Meeks says unity is key to national security
By BETSY SCHEINBART, Times Ledger  -  December 13, 2001
The gathering served as an “update on national security” from the congressman and an interfaith memorial for those who died in the 1941 attack on Peal Harbor, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in the Rockaways Nov. 12. Meeks spoke briefly about the increase in airport security and the job that the military is doing in Afghanistan, but he mainly referred to “national security” as a state of mind that comes from the unity of the American people. The Rev. Charles Norris, pastor of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Hollis, conducted the service, which included a brief candlelight vigil and several uplifting musical performances by the church choir, led by Michael “Lavias” Williams. Norris welcomed the Rev. Patrick O’Connor, minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica, and Imam Nazir Ayaz, president of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, New York, which has a mosque in Hollis, to the interfaith gathering. Jewish leaders were unable to attend because Friday night is Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath. Ayaz read a prayer from the Koran, the Muslim holy book, and mentioned that religions, including Islam, teach the same concept of universal peace. He invited all in attendance to join his mosque’s interfaith conferences. “We know the only way we can come close together is if we understand each other,” Ayaz said. More than a dozen members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community joined the precinct council, led by Donna Clopton; 10 police officers from the 103rd Precinct; a few dozen other community leaders; and Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church members at the event.

Dr. Michael Kurtz, a Hollis dentist who helped organize the event and invited the Daughters of the American Revolution, introduced the head of the state branch of the national society, Frances Pattarini, a former Fresh Meadow resident. Two other Daughters of the American Revolution, Isabel Smith, formerly of Queens Village, and Betty Dreyhaupt, who once lived in Fresh Meadows, joined Pattarini at the event. The organization is made up of descendants of patriots who fought in the American Revolution. The group’s three goals are to preserve history, foster education and promote patriotism. The organization runs several schools across the country and helped in the historic preservation of King Manor, the Jamaica home of Rufus King, one of the signers of the Constitution.

Yvonne Reddick, a Democratic district leader and district manager of Community Board 12, which covers Jamaica, St. Albans and Hollis, introduced the congressman, who gave a patriotic and spiritual speech in which he said the events of Sept. 11 only made the county stronger. “We’re not going to let anyone take freedom from us,” Meeks said, “We are not going to allow our differences to separate us.” The congressman, who represents the 6th Congressional District, covering most of southeast Queens and Far Rockaway, said those responsible for the terrorism of Sept. 11 would be brought to justice and that his constituents should feel safe in their homeland. “The key to our freedom is to continue to live as we did before Sept. 11,” Meeks said. “We cannot allow that day to change how we live and do business.” Meeks said the federal government is working to pass laws to ensure the nation’s safety and noted that national security comes from a national community. “We cannot get involved in racial profiling because we feel nervous,” Meeks said. “We are all in this country together ... and with that come security.” Meeks said that 60 years ago, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the United States did the wrong thing by racially profiling Japanese-Americans, rounding them up and putting them in concentration camps — something the federal government later had to apologize for. The congressman said the country could learn from the mistakes of the past and not repeat them by singling out members of the Muslim community in America. Comparing the events of Sept. 11 to the biblical “valley of the shadow of death,” he said, “we are not going to stay in the valley of death, we are going to walk though it ... we will get through this and be the leaders of the free world as we always have.”
Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at or call 229-0300 Ext. 138.
©Times-Ledger 2001


Meeks Reflects On Changes In Washington Since Sept. 11th

By DANIEL HENDRICK, Assistant Editor, Queens Chronicle




Congressman Gregory Meeks briefed constituents in Jamaica about homeland security changes last week.

The three months since the World Trade Center attacks have been a very intense time in the nation’s capital, according to Congressman Gregory Meeks.
   In an interview this week, the Southeast Queens legislator said that Congress has passed landmark legislation to improve homeland security, but partisan struggles continue to hold up key initiatives
World events hit close to home for Meeks, who is a member of the International Relations Committee.
   On October 17th, congressional leaders shut the Longworth House Office Building after anthrax was discovered in the office of New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt. His office is on the same floor and down the hall from Meeks’ office.
   “It was tough on the staff, because they had to move to a building away from Capitol Hill and, for the most part, I wasn’t accessible like I usually am,” he said.
   On November 5th, the Longworth Building reopened, but things haven’t fully returned to normal yet.
   “Difficulties still exist with the mail. All of the mail that was sent to my office during that time was probably destroyed and may never be received. It’s still not clear what is going on with the mail now, because it’s coming in very slowly,” he added.
   In terms of legislation, the most significant initiative passed in the wake of September 11th is the Airport Security Bill.
   Signed into law just days after American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into Belle Harbor on November 11th, the bill, which will make airport baggage screeners federal employees, marked an important victory for Democrats.
   Several other bills are in the pipeline, but partisan struggles appear to be getting in the way, Meeks said.
   On the top on the list is an economic stimulus package that seeks to create more jobs through tax incentives and benefits for the unemployed.
   Democrats want a bill that includes strong benefits for the unemployed, but they are also seeking money for pet projects like $2 billion in drought relief for farmers and almost $5 billion for highways and water projects.
   Republican critics of the Democratic version have their pet causes, too, including a bill with tax breaks for the biggest corporations in America, including a $20 billion refund of some taxes all the way back to 1986— which even the White House opposes.
   At the same time, Meeks said he and the New York delegation are seeking an additional $5 billion in aid for New York on top of the $20 billion President George W. Bush promised.
   Even the initial $20 billion, however, hasn’t been fully committed. President Bush has said he will give $11 billion to rebuild businesses and the city economy now and hold $9 billion for future needs.
   “We all acknowledge that $20 billion is a floor, not a ceiling,” Meeks said of the New York delegation.
   “The aid has to be concentrated in New York City to reestablish businesses in lower Manhattan. We also need to help businesses that chose to move to the outer boroughs rather than relocate to New Jersey.”
   A re-insurance bill that would mitigate the impact of any future terrorist attacks on small businesses is also working its way through Congress. Meeks said he supports the idea, but voted against the bill because of a rider attached to it that calls for legislative reform.
   “The tort reform has nothing to do with the matter at hand, but with pre-9/11 re-election interests for the Republicans,” Meeks said, adding that legislators are retreating from the bipartisanship that prevailed after September 11th.
   “You see issues starting to load up as we get closer to the election season next year,” he said. “There is definitely some jockeying going on, and there has been an erosion of the spirit of bipartisanship.”
©Queens Chronicle-Eastern/SouthEastern Edition 2001
Jonathan Walker (l.) and Lucille Mitchell joined in a special candlelight prayer for world harmony last Friday, on the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The event, held at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Jamaica, also honored those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks three months ago. (photo by Daniel Hendrick)


Church Event Honors The Victims Of Two Attacks On America
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A Southeast Queens event held to mark the anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor took on a new meaning this year following the events of Sept. 11.

At Bethseda Missionary Baptist Church on Dec. 7, at an event marking the 60th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, members of the church, the 103rd Precinct Community Council and Congressman Gregory Meeks came together to remember the victims of the event that brought the United States into World War II and the most recent attack that has led our country into the war against terrorism.

Pastor Charles Norris lit three candles and prayed for world harmony.

Speaking about Sept. 11, Meeks said, "We have been emotionally wounded, but our resolve remains firm…Their hope to divide the American people and pit them against each other was not only a failure, but rather a glue that makes us one nation united."

Standing for unity and against terrorism, Meeks said the main ingredient for U.S. security is "love."

Meeks, who is on the international committee and sub-committees for Africa, East Asia, and the Pacific "rocked the house," of God with his prolific monologue, according to event coordinator and 103rd Precinct Community Council member, Donna Clopton.

Meeks acknowledged that being secure with one another is one way to enhance security as opposed to self- destruction.

Educating youth to "not be content with the average norm," is another method to prevent future hate crimes, Meeks said.

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