By Anna Brown
The hallmark of a great political leader is the ability to do “retail politics.” Not the big, everybody – is – doing – it sometimes impossible things like fixing public education, affordable healthcare and crime. Yes, these are challenges that any political leader must attack even thought they are almost always exercises in futility. In fact, successful Brooklyn politicians for the past 20 or so years were masters of retail politics.
Let us reintroduce Rickie Tulloch who is no stranger to Brooklyn politics and in particular the 45th City Council District in East Flatbush. Tulloch has worked with many of the Caribbean-American political leaders and has run unsuccessfully for elective office over the past two decades. But that has not stopped him from continuing to work for the development of the community.
“I have a commitment to help my community grow and develop. That’s not about politics. Its about making sure that our community is not short-changed, not treated differently when compared with others, and keeping our elected officials honest and working for us, and in our interest,” Tulloch told CARIBBEAN TIMES NEWS in a recent interview.
Its this commitment to community that saw him spearhead what many would think of as a simple, small issue but one that demonstrated a powerful awareness of the humbug that was caused by alternate side of the street parking.
“The residents of Community Board 17 have for years been complaining about the hardships that four days of alternate street side parking was having on their quality of life, especially during the winter season. This has placed undue stress on families and individuals with cars but no private garages. And this comes with all the unintended consequences – more parking ticket violations, anger in the community, stress to find parking, and just the plain inconvenience that this causes,” Tulloch explained.
So what does a grassroots community leader like Rickie Tulloch do? First, circulate a public petition that drew awareness to the situation and educate the community about the legal aspects concerning alternate side of the street parking. Next, call a meeting of all parties concerned not just the police. On February 25, Tulloch and Community Board 17 and other stakeholders held a meeting to resolve the issue.
“We circulated a petition requesting the reduction of the alternate side parking days from four to two in accordance with NYC Law No. 2011-030. What this did was to involve the community in this democratic process. I’ve been advocating for this for sometime now and I’m very much aware of this problem. For the meeting we invited the Sanitation Department, Transportation Department, Block Associations and the NYPD’s 67the Precinct. That way we can move the discussion forward,” Tulloch explained. He’s also a member of Community Board 17.
CARIBBEAN TIMES NEWS asked Tulloch about his run for the 45th Council District seat vacated by now Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. This will be a Special Election called to fill the remainder of Williams’s City Council term. Already a number of people have been throwing their names “out there” and looking at how the political tea leaves line up.
“Yes. I’ll be running to fill the seat vacated by Public Advocate Williams. I’ve already started speaking to community leaders, activists, local businesses, tenant and block associations as well as other special interest groups. I’ll be running as the candidate best prepared and qualified to PUT PEOPLE FIRST, and to advocate BREAD AND BUTTER, pocket book issues that impact ordinary people on a daily basis,” Tulloch explained.
For more information call Rickie Tulloch at (917) 297-6846.