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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on the Violence Surrounding the Labor Day Caribbean Festival



Today, the West-Indian American Day Association (WIADCA) held a press conference to address the concerns regarding the violence that took place during the Labor Day Carnival. Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke believes that the Labor Day Carnival Parade is a positive entity in the community and that we must address the root behind the wave of violence plaguing New York City. 


“This past weekend was a very violent weekend in the city of New York and our hearts go out to the affected survivors, those who lost a loved one or experienced any harm due to this weekend of gun violence. We are all affected by the senseless gun violence that has become far to frequent an occurrence in the 11th Congressional District and across this nation,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “Not only as a Representative of this district, but as a lifelong resident, I have been affected and traumatized by gun violence.”


“Like everyone in our city who find themselves disturbed by the violence in our community, so too are the millions of people who participate in this Carnival who seek nothing more than to have a day of fun, celebration and pride.  Let us not forget that the Carnival and the activities that engage young people throughout the summer, leading up to the Carnival are not the problem, but are the solution.  They deserve to be supported,” said Rep. Clarke.


Congresswoman Clarke maintains that the West Indian-American Carnival Association and their affiliated organizations provide a valuable service to our communities.  The work that they do in providing young people and their families with meaningful, cultural, and educational activities throughout the summer should be supported. 


“They keep tens of thousands of young people out of harm’s way with substantive, meaningful activities. From the discipline of reading music and learning the steel pan to costume creation.  In a time when just about all of the programs that support young have been cut, it is essential that we support those that still remain in order to combat the violence that occurs in the community,” added Congresswoman Clarke.


“As a daughter of the Caribbean, I will continue to support the festivities of the West Indian-American Day Carnival and the many services it provides.  I will be working very closely with community leaders, local elected officials and at the federal level to address the root of the cause of the gun violence that continues to plague our communities. As the beneficiary of the old adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ know that I am committed to re-establishing healthy communities that produce young people who denounce violence and embrace life.  Let us work together to empower our youth and end gun violence in our communities,” concluded Rep. Yvette D. Clarke.