June 15, 2012
By Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito
This Sunday, Father’s Day, I’ll be thinking of my father, who guided me and motivated me to pursue social justice. He was born in East Harlem in 1929, during the depths of the Great Depression. His family struggled, moving around frequently. He then served in the Army and went to college, becoming the first person in his family to do so. He went to medical school and then moved to Puerto Rico, where he became a doctor and raised his family.
As a community-minded doctor, he treated everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, and showed me the importance of being responsible for others. I worked many summers in his office and witnessed his interactions with his patients. His influence taught me how crucial it was to care for a community, to work for justice, and to better the lives of those around me. Although he did not get to see me get elected, I’m sure he’d be proud of the work we’ve done together. That’s why I work for justice today.
On Sunday, I’ll be remembering my father as we march to Mayor Bloomberg’s house against racial profiling. Stop and frisk is discriminatory, ineffective, and out of control, and it especially affects our community. East Harlem’s 23rd Precinct has the highest number of stops in Manhattan and one of the highest numbers citywide. Let’s show that we won’t stand for this!
We’ll be gathering together as an El Barrio/East Harlem contingent at 112th St. and 5th Ave. on Father’s Day, this Sunday, June 17th, at 1pm.If you live in East Harlem or will be traveling to the Silent March on the 4/5/6, walk over on 111th St. or even further north to arrive at the assembly area. We will then begin our silent march at 3pm with civil rights, faith, labor and community groups.