I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the family of David Oats.
I have had the honor and privilege of knowing and working with David on numerous projects regarding Flushing Meadows- Corona Park throughout the years.
Both David and I spent a great deal of time trying to bring back the beauty and grandeur of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
I first met David when he worked for a local Queens newspaper years ago as an editor. At the meeting, I had brought along a videotape which had captured many disgusting and deplorable conditions within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, as well as various letters of complaint that I had written to City officials from several agencies.
Last year, David told me that the publisher of the first Queens newspaper that he had ever worked at had forbidden him from writing any negative reviews about one of the Parks & Recreation Department officials because of their longstanding friendship. This didn’t sit well with David, and he, in fact, told me that one of the reasons why he left his first Queens newspaper was because he felt that continuing to work there would jeopardize his journalistic integrity. In addition, David also felt that his first newspaper had been violating my Constitutional First Amendment right to free speech, and was trying to censor me from exposing the truth about that Parks & Recreation Department official and the ongoing problems in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. When David joined his second Queens newspaper, he was allowed to write the truth about what was happening in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and my quest to correct the wide variety of ongoing problems that plagued the park.
Both David and I were very passionate about Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and we both felt that we needed to fix the problems. Even though we were met with plenty of resistance, we were, nonetheless, able to rise above it, and accomplish as much as we could.
David was one of the few people who always believed in me and stood up for me. He was a true pioneer and an honest, decent human being.
David was a great asset to the Queens community and to the world. He will be sorely missed for his lifelong efforts and achievements to correct the wrongs of the world.
I will miss my dear friend, David Oats.
Rest in peace, dear friend. Your accomplishments were not in vain.
Parks and Community Activist
Photo from Forgotten NY