Sunday, May 31, 2015

Attorney and Activist Isa Abdur-Rahman, Gets Real about Life in Southeast Queens

Folks, let’s get real.  There are many people in southeast Queens who are struggling to afford a quality life.  There are many people who are working long hours, two & three jobs, borrowing against their homes or their retirement in order to have cash for immediate debts and expenses, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and sometimes worse.

Former Assemblyman Scarborough’s fiscal misconduct was inexcusable and he has owned it.  Yet those of us who have read or heard his reflection have heard the frustrations of a hardworking man from southeast Queens who, despite his compassion for and dedicated service to his community, was not able honestly to afford the quality of life commonly called “middle class.”

So where does that leave the rest of us?  Sure, you might be able to afford a decent life in southeast Queens while you’re 20-something, single, childless, and living at home with your parents rent-free.  But what happens when you have to get your own place?  What happens when you’re 30-something and you have a young child or children?  What happens when you want to buy a house or need to pay for childcare?  What happens when you’re 50- or 60-something and you need to take time away from work to care for your aging parents … while also trying to see your kids through college or subsidize them living at home with you rent-free?  What happens when you’re ready to retire, can you?  What happens in your golden years if you need medical care or home care, how will it be paid for?  Can you afford a comfortable quality of life at each of these life stages?  What about your friends, your siblings, your church members, your neighbors?  How are they doing?

Folks, let’s get real.  Your quality of life depends on what you can honestly afford.  That is why Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corp. is raising this issue at our upcoming health fair on June 13th.  As a community we must talk openly about affordability in all of the facets that bear on the quality of our lives:
  • Affording retirement
  • Affording comfortable housing
  • Affording health insurance, good nutrition and fitness
  • Developing and maintaining “affordable relationships”

A flyer is attached.  The event is free.  Please spread the word.  Email me if you have questions.  We hope to see you there, and we hope that our community and its stewards will discuss more frequently and publicly this topic of Affordable Wellness.  Thank you, and enjoy your weekend.

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