FOR ITS GRAND OPENING, WOODPECKER HALL HOSTS FUNDRAISER FOR NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE CANDIDATE SIDIQUE WAI
August 2 - - Last night, Woodpecker Hall, the newly renovated buildings at 311 Sea Cliff Avenue, officially opened its doors for a “Grand Opening” hosting a political fundraiser for Sidique Wai, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for New York City Public Advocate.
Bill Long, the owner of the two buildings, met Mr. Wai just a few years ago, and the two very quickly developed a strong friendship.
The event kicked off at 7 pm and guests were treated to food, catered by Arata’s of Sea Cliff, drink, and live music. Around 8, a series of speakers, including Mr. Long, a Teddy Roosevelt impersonator, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy, Sea Cliff resident Scott Kessler, and an advisor to Mr. Wai climbed the stage to talk about Mr. Long’s efforts in creating Woodpecker Hall and to express support for Mr. Wai’s candidacy.
Mr. Long welcomed the audience to his establishment, and then introduced the Teddy Roosevelt impersonator, who referenced TR’s famous quote –“it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; . . who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
The statement perfectly captured Mr. Wai’s long career as an activist and public servant, and his quest to become New York City Public Advocate.
When Mr. Wai took the stage, he spent considerable time talking about his great respect for Mr. Long – his character and generosity, and only began discussing himself and his candidacy, after Mr. Long interrupted – “This is supposed to be about you.”
Mr. Wai is the first African-born immigrant to run for city wide office in New York. Born in Sierra Leone, he immigrated to the United States in 1972, where he became a NYC apartment building doorman. Saving his tips, he financed his college education and graduated from Fordham University in 1974. Mr. Wai’s career in public service began in 1981 as a Community Liaison for Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein. Since then he has served the community in a variety of ways. In the aftermath of the 1989 Amadou Diallo tragedy, Mr. Wai played a major role in helping bridge gaps between the police and immigrant communities in the city. He also successfully worked on lifting the moratorium on construction at Kings County Hospital during the 1990s.
Mr. Wai serves as President and National Spokesperson for the United African Congress in America, and was picked to serve as a Delegate to the 2005 Session of the UN General Assembly by the former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. In 2006, Mr. Wai was appointed to serve as a Community Relations Specialist and Advisor on Police-Community Relations to NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly - a position he continues to hold. Mr. Wai’s full biography can be found on his campaign website at http://www.wai4ny.com/aboutsidiquewai.
In addition to discussing his background, Mr. Wai offered his thoughts about governing. He said the acronym ACT guides his governing philosophy – raising the ACCOUNTABILITY of government agencies and corporate interests; fostering COLLABORATION between the private and public sectors; and, encouraging TRANSPARENCY through technology and open disclosure.
After Mr. Wai’s address, the event continued as guests enjoyed the warm hospitality of Woodpecker Hall, where a sign hangs declaring Mr. Long’s philosophy and vision -
Woodpecker Hall Meditation Center Since 2010 Meditate Silently and Serenity can be Yours The Body is your Temple Remember that Peace Comes from Within Always Pass the Beer Nuts William Long: Proprietor and