[The Haitian Times] article on City Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene’s allocation of discretionary funding was disturbingly selective – both in understating the diversity that characterizes the 40th City Council District and in failing to acknowledge the widely inclusive array of individuals and families helped by agencies such as the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush (COJO Flatbush).

Council Member Eugene’s district is home to what the late Mayor David Dinkins liked to call the “gorgeous mosaic” of New York, a multiethnic, multiracial mix that makes our city so wonderfully unique. And while most of the residents [are] Caribbean-American, Council Member Eugene also represents a not inconsiderable number of Jewish constituents.

Even more important, the agencies and organizations that benefit from the councilman’s discretionary funding all work hard to serve Brooklynites of every religious, racial, and ethnic background. Speaking for COJO Flatbush, I know that whether it’s placing thousands of young people in summer jobs through the city’s SYEP program or graduating hundreds of students who take our Adult Computer or High School Equivalency or Adult Basic Education classes, we do so for all who come to us and with the knowledge that public servants like Mathieu Eugene make it all possible. 

We’re also proud to have worked with Council Member Eugene and other elected officials on special programs and events that have primarily benefited minority communities, such as SYEP’s park and beach care-and-conservation component, in which the vast majority of participants are young Caribbean-Americans.

There is much more that could be said about Council Member Eugene’s devotion to his constituents, his dedication to diversity, and the uncountable number of New Yorkers who have been the beneficiaries of his largesse. Certainly your article did a disservice to the man and to all those whose quality of life he has done so much to improve.

Louis P Welz is the CEO of COJO Flatbush.

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