Wakefield Broadway star and local lawmaker host performance, voter registration and census drive

Senator Jamaal Bailey and Broadway star Layla Capers held a singing performance, voter registration and census drive on Friday, Sept. 25.
Photo by Jason Cohen

Following the government extending the census deadline to the end of October, Senator Jamaal Bailey and Broadway star Layla Capers held a singing performance in combination with an informational event on voter registration and the 2020 Census.

At the height of the pandemic, 11-year-old Capers of Wakefield sang outside every night at 7 p.m. for essential workers. Bailey, who grew up not far from her on Paulding Avenue, was touched by her voice as the youth sang “Hero” by Mariah Carey and “Good Job” by Alicia Keys.

“I really miss you all a lot,” Capers said to the crowd in front of her house at the Sept. 25 event. “I just want to say we would not have made it this far if not for our essential workers, our doctors and nurses.”

Capers, who was Nala in the “Lion King” before COVID-19 shuttered Broadway, has performed at the United Nations and sang the national anthem at colleges and high schools throughout New York City.

Bailey was completely blown away by her voice and talent. He commended her and said on National Daughters Day her parents should be so proud.

“You don’t ever want to come on stage after that,” he said referring to Capers’ talent. “She is a gift. We have a star in our neighborhood. Layla I’m incredibly proud of you.”

In addition to the performances, attendees also got vital information about voter registration and filling out the census. While Bailey was happy the census was extended, he urged all of the attendees to not only fill it out but also text 10 people and see if they did as well.

He explained that the census will affect everything from roads to schools for the next 10 years. He said that people must also register to vote and head to the polls in November.

He compared filling out the census to a basketball game.

“It isn’t just about elections, it’s about getting counted in the census,” he stated. “We’re going into overtime. This is not political, this is reality. You can’t play if you don’t show up to the game.”