Rushed ‘Ripple Effect’ nominations show South Queens bias

OPINION

By Scott Costen

“Check out the ripples [INSERT NAME] is making!”

If you follow Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) on social media, these words have become painfully familiar to you in recent days.

After nominating only one volunteer in the previous 10 months, our municipal masters spent the last three weeks hurriedly announcing another 16 Ripple Effect nominees.

It’s too bad the nominations were left so late and had to be so rushed. This failure to plan not only shortened nominees’ time in the spotlight; it also led to a glaring omission that highlights the South Queens bias in our lovely municipality.

Of the 17 nominees, 10 are from Liverpool.

After those, you have three from Brooklyn, two from Hunts Point and one each from East Port Medway and Port Mouton.

Hmm. Who are we forgetting here?

Do communities like Kempt, Caledonia, South Brookfield, Greenfield and Buckfield not have volunteers worthy of recognition? Are they not part of our municipality? Do they not deserve a chance to have their names drawn from a hat by the mayor? (Yes, folks, that’s how we select our two volunteers of the year.)

To be fair, while RQM solicits nominations for the Ripple Effect program, it can’t control which communities do — or do not — forward nominees. But what it can control is its effort level in reaching out to these under-represented communities, many of which still don’t have reliable internet access.

With a little more planning and a lot less haste, our municipal masters could greatly improve this program and ensure more of Queens County is represented.

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