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Archbishop Dolan, Speaker Quinn Give Back to Harlem Community
International Business Times
Michael Billera

November 22, 2011
View the Original Article

At the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Memorial Community Center in Harlem Tuesday, Archbishop Dolan and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined together to distribute turkeys, stuffing, and other key ingredients needed by the local community to make their thanksgiving meals truly festive.

Archbishop Dolan discussed the importance of charity in his speech to the residents of Harlem. He hoped that during this Thanksgiving season the city would come together and those in need.

"This is the duty, the sacred responsibility of all of us," said the Archbishop. He hoped people would make a place at the table for others who are not as fortunate.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the local New York director for Catholic Charities, was also in attendance, donating his time to help the less fortunate. In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to the city council for providing a generous grant to improve the community center. After his speech, Msgr. Sullivan commented on the on the debate over New York City's living wage bill.

"The key to people being able to support themselves and their families is a dependable job and a decent salary," Msgr. Sullivan told IBTimes.

The living wage bill is a proposed legislation that would require most businesses that are subsidized by the city to pay at least $10 with benefits or $11.50 without benefits. Small business would be exempt from the bill mandates. On Monday, Msgr. Sullivan spoke at a rally to bring awareness to the living wage bill.

"The church supports fair wages with decent benefits and jobs in sufficient numbers, so that all might find work," said Sullivan, quoting from a letter by Archbishop Dolan, according to NBC New York.

Archbishop Dolan said he did not have a position about the bill. However, he cited the Bible saying that it his belief that everyone deserves a fair salary.

"Every living being is entitled to a fair and decent wage," Archbishop Dolan told IBTimes.

Speaker Quinn did not comment publicly on the living wage bill. Reports indicate that she has not decided whether she will let the controversial bill come to a vote in the council. However, she did express her concern about poverty and the hunger issue in New York City.

"In the richest city in the world over one million go to bed every night not knowing if they can feed their family," said Speaker Quinn at the rally. "It's all of us working together that will bring us out of this recession, better, stronger, then we went into it."

The Harlem residents lined up to receive their Thanksgiving donations and to meet the Archbishop, Council Speaker Quinn, and Rusty Staub, a former baseball player who has a long history with the Catholic Charities. The residents expressed their thanks during this holiday season.

"I think it is beautiful," Myrtle McAddley told IBTimes. "We are very glad."

"I think it's great when the community an agencies come together to help feed the people," Lisa Holmes-Baber told IBTimes. "It's a great pleasure to see public people come to Harlem."

Msgr. Sullivan remarked enthusiastically about the event and helping the community. However, he also said it was bittersweet.

"We need to hope for the day when people are able to provide for themselves."

To contact the editor, e-mail: editor@ibtimes.com