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St. Albans inaugurates new Democratic club

Democratic District Leader Laura Sanders officially opened the new Queens Community Democratic Club in St. Albans Saturday with the support of numerous state and local Democratic politicians.

City Council Deputy Majority Leader Archie Spigner (D-St. Albans) and Queens County Democratic Club Vice Chairwoman Dora Young, who run the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club, welcomed the new organization to their headquarters at 197-01 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans.

“What better place to start this club but in the house that Dora and Archie built?” Sanders said. “They have been my strength, my lifeblood.”

Sanders’ club covers the 33rd Assembly District, Part B, which includes Queens Village, Hollis and parts of Jamaica and St. Albans. The Guy R. Brewer club covers Assembly District 29, which includes parts of St. Albans, Jamaica, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Rosedale.

Spigner and Young, whose club will host Sanders’ monthly meetings, were on hand to help Sanders celebrate.

“I am delighted to congratulate the officers and Laura Sanders for organizing a club and for being a leader in the 33rd Assembly District,” Spigner said.

The club’s new president, Richard Gibbs, and other officers were officially sworn in by state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) at the party.

“I expect that between both clubs, Queens Community Democratic Club and Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club, we are going to be a strong voting block in the southeast Queens area,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs is a businessman and longtime political activist who met Sanders through the Guy R. Brewer club.

Sanders was installed as the club’s executive member, her daughter Marilyn Barns as financial secretary, Charles Nelson as treasurer, Marieta Austin as executive secretary and Leroy Comrie and Brenda Gibbs as board members.

Comrie, who is running for Spigner’s seat in Council District 27, has been endorsed by both southeast Queens clubs and the county organization.

Charlotte Jefferson, a candidate in District 31 for the seat held by Councilman Tom White’s (D-Jamaica), was in attendance after receiving the Queens County Democratic Party nod. Her Democratic rival, Assistant Parks Commissioner Ed Lewis, was also at the party.

City Comptroller Alan Hevesi, a Forest Hills resident who is running for mayor, made a brief appearance at the event.

“We’re very impressed with how much good Laura and Richard have done for the people of this community and for Queens,” Hevesi said.

State Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) was one of the party-goers not running for office.

“It’s a fantastic development,” Scarborough said of the new club. “Laura has been an excellent community leader and been doing things to improve the district. I think the establishment of this club will be another venue for her to be more effective and will benefit the community even more.”

A major goal of the new club is to encourage young people to become politically active, Sanders said.

“The faces of Queens are changing and we need to try to get our youth involved,” she said.

In addition to her role as district leader, a delegate who helps to chose which candidate the county endorses, Sanders is also the president of Black Women for Change, which works with women were are incarcerated.

Women from that organization and others from Queens Council on Mental Retardation joined Sanders’ Democratic political supporters at the club-opening celebration in the backyard of the Guy R. Brewer clubhouse.

“This is great,” said Community Board 12 District Manager Yvonne Reddick, who is also a district leader.

“She’s been a district leader for seven years and now she’s going to spread her wings and start her own club,” Reddick said of Sanders.

A few days after membership forms were mailed out, Sanders said the club already had 43 members. By the end of the event Saturday, the organization had signed up more than 60 members.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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