Acting Kings County Attorney Eric Gonzalez continued to make the rounds throughout Brooklyn last night in receiving a special unity award at the Bridge Multicultural Project’s annual Holiday party, 1984 Flatbush Avenue.
In receiving the award, Gonzalez exhibited both a humility and toughness, showcasing that despite his lack of political acumen, why the late District Attorney Kenneth Thompson named him as the interim DA just days before Thompson stepped down due to his cancer illness and died days later. Gonzalez also has the strong support of Lu-Shawn Thompson, his widow.
“I am deeply honored to be able to carry out District Attorney Thompson’s vision of equal justice for all in Brooklyn and I pledge to continue his criminal justice reforms. I am fully committed to the important initiatives that we have put in place and will work every day to keep the people of Brooklyn safe,” said Gonzalez in receiving the award.
Gonzalez recounted how he grew up in East New York and Williamsburg, and attended John Dewey High School in Coney Island. He also explained how he spent his professional life fighting for justice having started as an assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in 1995 straight out of law school.
The party and the Bridge MP is the brainchild of Mark Meyer Appel, a lifelong Brooklynite whose message of bridging cultures was also on display at the party. The evening’s crowd was a good mix of religious and non-religious Jews and Muslims as well as Blacks and Asians, whom all mingled, ate Kosher and Halal food, danced and listened to the cracker jack four-piece band featuring international singing sensation Neshama.
Appel is also a major fundraiser for a number of candidates, and lets out the Bridge space free of charge for a number of good causes such as blood drives, and political town halls and educational forums. As such there were a number of elected officials in attendance at the party including City Council Members Mathieu Eugene and Jumaane Williams, and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte.
But Appel, a strong supporter of Israel, is particularly involved in fighting child abuse with a strong emphasis on child molestation in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods from which he originally came. As such, he was a major supporter of Thompson and strongly believes Gonzalez will carry on Thompson’s legacy of fighting for social justice in all forms.
“I think Eric is a special person that can unify Brooklyn. He has on the job experience being in the district attorney’s office for many years as a prosecutor. He’s also accessible, kind and comes from, and understands the community,” sais Appel.