Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 4 CITY VIEWS February 9, 2024 By a StaffWriter Gathering Of Indian Americans Endorses Tom Suozzi As A ‘Commonsense’ Candidate For Congress A group of Indian Americans met recently at the Santoor Restaurant in Floral Park, Queens, NewYork, to show their support Tom Suozzi in his re-election campaign for Congress. “The Indian community has always admired Mr. Suozzi for standing up for issues that our community has cared for, and this gathering strongly reflects those feelings,” Koshy Thomas, one of the leading organizers of the event, is quoted saying in a press release. In his address, Suozzi thanked those gathered for their support and said, “The Indian American community truly under- stood the importance of voting, particu- larly in this special election.” He assured them he would continue the work of bringing people together to resolve many thorny issues, including the border crisis. Those attending the event see Suozzi “as a middle-of-the-road politician who is keenly aware of the issues an average citizen is concerned about, such as ris- ing crime, inflation, the need for better schools for the next generation, and creating jobs for the new graduates,” is- sues they believe are marginalized by both far-left and far-right policies that are high- lighted and garner the most attention. Raju Abraham, one of the event orga- nizers, applauded Suozzi for his stand on principles and said, “Tom is a strong advocate for consensus building and who will be able to bring together various fac- tions for necessary compromises that will end the paralysis inWashington and take the nation forward.” George Abraham, an avid Suozzi sup- porter, urged the community to come out and vote and send a message toWashing- ton that Congress should make policies to improve people’s lives, not disrupt them. “Whether dealing with increasing crime in the neighborhoods or fighting infla- tion at gas pumps, we need politicians who use common sense,” Abraham said, adding, “That is where Tom Suozzi truly stands out from others. He truly believes that every American should have the same right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happi- ness. If someone is out there to destroy that American dream, they should be held accountable”. Candidate for Congress Tom Suozzi being introduced by organizers of a meeting of Indian Americans. A gathering of Indian Americans recently endorsed the candidacy of Tom Suozzi for Congress from New York. Photos:Courtesyorganizers Faith Leaders Launch Clergy Collective In NYC In Bid To Prevent Gun Violence A coalition of multifaith leaders, including those representing Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists, along with Christians and Muslims, from across the city joined NewYork City Mayor Eric dams, January 31, 2024, to launch the Citywide Clergy Collective, a group of 272 faith leaders committed to preventing gun violence in NewYork City. The launch took place at the administration’s annual interfaith breakfast. Using a $1.5 million grant from the NewYork State Department of Criminal Justice, City- wide Clergy Collective members will deliver resources, direct services, and community-building programs to all NewYorkers in all five boroughs as they respond to the needs and traumas that gun violence creates. The programs and services will be run by local faith leaders across the city, with assistance from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Devel- opment (DYCD), Office of Neighborhood Safety, Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, and New York City Police Department (NYPD). Investments and services will target 18 precincts with high levels of gun violence, the press release said. “Public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity, and it takes all of us to deliver a safe city,” Mayor Adams is quoted saying in the release. “That’s why we are bring- ing together a multidenominational coalition of hun- dreds of faith leaders with city and state resources so we can prevent gun violence before the shooting starts.” The $1.5 million is expected to support three types of programs: Street-Level Engagement, Victim Support Services, and Precinct Engagement. This past summer, the NYC Gun Violence Prevention Task Force released “A Blueprint for Public Safety,” outlin- ing a forward-thinking roadmap with upstream solutions to address gun violence throughout the five boroughs. “The increasing loss of life due to gun violence in New York City is disheartening and a call for us to do more. The safety of our communities requires the commitment of everyone who lives in it and to be a part of the solu- tion,” said Karmacharya Vijah Ramjattan, founder and president, United Madrassi Association Inc. Ramjattan went on to say, “NewYork City is a city of faith and the faithful serve as the backbone of all com- munities. As an interfaith and Hindu faith leader, I am encouraged by the Clergy Collective initiative, which centers clergy leadership as key stakeholders to aid in ending gun violence.” The Hindu faith leader added, “I applaud the mayor’s Office of Faith-based and Community Partnerships team for putting forth a plan to save lives while uniting and building communities through its three core pillars of street level engagement, victim support services, and precinct engagement.” According to Reverend James A. Lynch, rissho kosei kai, NewYork Buddhist Dharma Center, “Unfortunately, gun violence has reached epidemic proportions in America, and so, the Clergy Collective was born to reduce the violence in the communities we serve.” The Buddha was clear on violence, Rev. Lynch said, quoting the ancient sage who said, ‘All living things fear being put to death. Putting oneself in the place of the other, let no one kill nor cause another to kill.’ “Indeed, it is the positive actions of the Clergy Collec- tive, in which people of goodwill and those of religious conviction help end this modern death cult, and we, together affirmatively state, that all of humanity has been placed on this earth to fulfill the Almighty’s plan of peace on earth and goodwill to man,” Rev. Lynch said. By a StaffWriter Leaders of several faiths met NYC Mayor Eric Adams, Jan. 31, 2024, to launch an anti-gun prevention initiative. A group of 272 faith leaders joined NYC Mayor Eric Adams and launched the Citywide Clergy Collective committed to preventing gun violence. Photos:Press Office of NYC Mayor