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Jan, 2017

Astoria Community Gathers to Celebrate Diversity

NY1 News:

A rainbow of races, faiths and creeds gathered at the Variety Boys and Girls Club Sunday to celebrate the diversity in Astoria.

Through dance and spoken word, the event featured a showcase of talent highlighting what Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas expressed truly represents the community.

"The differences we may have with respect to our backgrounds, really pale in light to how much we have in common," Simotas said.

Those differences may have been downplayed by President Trump, according to Simotas.  She hosted the event in response to residents' post-election concerns.

"They were concerned about some of the divisive, divisive rhetoric that was used, and they were all concerned that they wouldn't be able to live in the future harmoniously with their neighbors," Simotas said.

"If there's any silver lining in Trump's election, it's that people would be inspired to get out and take part in the political process a little bit more to make sure their voices would be heard," an event attendee said.

Queens elected officials, community and faith-based leaders collectively helped spread the message.

Families said the event reinforced the importance of sticking together during a challenging time.

"Now more so than ever, it's really important for people to get involved in their community from the local level and all the way through the ranks," an event attendee said.

Assemblywoman Simotas' goal for the next four years, and beyond, she said, is that Astoria remains a welcoming community, one that's united, not divided.

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