WESPAC Foundation Statement of Support for Community Members in Peekskill
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2011
Contact: Jalal Sabur, #914-439-1746 (c) or
Roger Drew, #914-316-8833 (c), [email protected]
Attention: Peekskill City Council Members, Media, Community Members, etc:
We are writing on behalf of WESPAC, a peace through justice community network that has been organizing in Westchester County since 1974.
WESPAC has been carefully following developments at the City Council meetings in Peekskill regarding allegations of misconduct on the part of the Director of the Housing Authority as well as allegations of discrimination and racism submitted by City employees that have not been taken seriously. A number of WESPAC members have been attending recent city council meetings and have followed the events.
Based on our observations and research, we want to make the following statements and demands:
· We stand with the public housing residents who are fighting against abuse from the Housing Authority Director, Harold Phipps. We believe people should have control over their own destiny, and residents should be listened to when there are complaints. We support the demand to have the Housing Authority Director removed immediately. Finally, it is unacceptable that information regarding the new contract has not been released.
· During one city council meeting, the Deputy Mayor said that he would look into residents testifying at the executive public housing board meeting. We demand that residents with complaints are allowed to attend executive board meetings and all public housing meetings are given the required two week notice.
· We support the current and former city employees who have been discriminated against. This needs to be rectified immediately and the city needs to implement a policy of zero tolerance for racism and discrimination. This is in accordance with county, state, federal and international civil and human rights standards and laws. WESPAC is demanding the City of Peekskill put in writing a zero tolerance policy with plans on how to enforce any alleged misconduct by a City employee and make this process public knowledge. As a tax-funded municipality, all processes should be made transparent and all office holders held accountable to the general public. We are deeply concerned that those who attempt to redress legitimate grievances are being dismissed by publicly funded office holders. Such attitudes and behavior are unacceptable.
The handling of this situation is counter to the ideals of public service expected of elected representatives.
We will be awaiting a timely response,
Nada Khader, WESPAC Foundation Executive Director
Jalal Sabur, WESPAC Community Organizer
Roger Drew, WESPAC Member
c/o Nada Khader
52 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603