The Latinos For Suozzi hosted their first campaign event Sunday, Aug 25 at the Rumba Sky club on North Franklin Street.
Neighbors say the Village has previously shut down the club due to the violence, and that their liquor license was revoked. Records on the New York State Liquor Authority’s website show that Rumba Sky Club does not even today have an active liquor license and that the license may have been “inactive” since 2003. (Wonder if Tom had a drink there this weekend?)
Critics question the decision to gather there, saying it sends a bad message about Suozzi's intentions toward the community.
It was in May 2011, that a 28-year old hip-hop artist was shot multiple times in the parking lot behind the Hempstead bar, reportedly by a rival gang member. He died hours later, shortly before he was set to perform on Rumba’s stage. A fight between the victim and the shooter had broken out in the parking lot and then gunfire scattered a large crowd gathered for a hip-hop concert and rap battle that was later canceled, police said. In January 2013, a Freeport man convicted of the murder was sentenced to 47 years to life in prison for his crime.
The parking lot was the scene of another shooting on April 17, 2010. Three people were shot in that case, which began with a dispute inside the club and then spilled outside. One victim was shot in the stomach and two others suffered arm wounds.
It appears from state records that Rumba Sky owner David Francisco Reyes applied for the club’s liquor license based on a Nesconset address back in 2003 and 2005 and then later tried and got one for the Hempstead address. That one expired in June 2012 (and may have been revoked then). Reyes then applied for and got a “wine” license for the Rumba Sky Hempstead address, giving a different business name, in Sept 2012. That license expires in November.
Reyes, himself, lives out East in Suffolk. So does Suozzi’s liason to the Latinos for Suozzi, Phil Ramos.
That’s why these Latinos aren’t offended that Suozzi threatened to close down CASA (Nassau’s Coordinated Agency for Spanish Americans) three times during his 8-years in office. Under County Executive Ed Mangano’s administration, CASA now serves three times the amount of Spanish Americans then it ever has.
Community members said Suozzi never held workshops or seminars to help Hispanic business-owners succeed. County executive Mangano has held numerous such informational sessions. Mangano created and retained thousands of jobs in Nassau and held numerous job fairs that helped Spanish Americans gain employment. He’s brought Nassau’s unemployment rate to the lowest of any other county in the state.
The number of registered Hispanic voters in Nassau has jumped from 130,000 to 170,000 under the Mangano administration. Many in the Latino communities say Mangano has “opened doors” for them, “in a way that has never before existed.”