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Author Topic: Vote Vallone Tomorrow  (Read 2449 times)

Offline mcdirk

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Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« on: November 02, 2009, 09:00:39 PM »
As some of you may know, I have been running a City Council campaign out in Eastern Queens (on the Nassau County border) for Mark Weprin.  We won the primary, but still have a general election, so I haven't been posting as much about Astoria politics, but I have been following the race carefully and have strong opinions about the candidates.  Both Lynn Serpe and Peter Vallone are good people, but I remain a strong Vallone supporter and would make the case as to why we need to re-elect him.  One of the tasks local campaigns usually do are called Dear Neighbor Letters.  In my 18 years in NYC politics, I have only done two of them - this will be my third, and only because Astoria needs Peter Vallone, Jr. for another four years.    Below is my Dear Neighbor Letter to Astorians.com -

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Tomorrow - Tuesday, November 3, we have an important choice to make – where will Astoria go?  Will we continue to see progress and strong leadership or will we take a chance on untested candidates.   Our Council Member and a personal friend of mine, Peter F. Vallone Jr. is running for re-election.

Eight years ago, Peter ran on a platform of public safety, education and the environment.  In his tenure, we have seen an almost 30% decrease in crime, more funding to valuable school programs and tough legislation to protect the environment, such as the plastic bag recycling law he wrote.  Peter has been a staunch ally of the LGBT community in combating hate crimes, marching and speaking recently in College Point and getting personally involved when we had a bias attack in Astoria. Peter is a man of his word and has great  integrity. You will not find a more honest and straight-forward elected official.  While I disagree with Peter on marriage (I am a former board member of MENY - Marriage Equality New York), I will not be voting in the City Council race on this issue.  Marriage is a concern at both the state and federal level, not at the City Council level and I am basing my decision in this local race on local issues and how incredibly well-suited Peter is for his continued service as our City Councilmember.

Peter is a dedicated public servant, loving father to two wonderful girls (whom I have met and who are a testament to his values), and a loyal supporter of all things Astoria. His character, his leadership, and his ability to get things done in the Council are exactly what we need.  Writing as a former President of the Church Council at Trinity Lutheran Church here in the heart of Astoria, I can vouch that Peter has been an integral supporter of our homeless shelter and food pantry, as a resident of 34th Street, I can give testimony that he secured more trash-cans to combat littering in Astoria not just at the intersection of 34th and Broadway, where cans were sorely needed, but also at 32nd and Broadway which was a pigsty before the new cans – he and his staff have personally gone out and cleaned up graffiti.  He is a man of action, someone who embodies everything you would want in your Councilmember.  When I found myself confronting a noisy nightclub for two years unable to get them to be good neighbors or quiet down, Peter went to bat for me and for my neighbors.  He fought hard to get NuBar shut down, as well as Chaos, another rowdy club across the street, and brought order to our area of Broadway making our streets safe and our area livable again.  Thanks to Peter Vallone, I am able to get a good nights sleep again.

I urge you to come out to vote on November 3 and to support Peter Vallone, Jr.  He is the leader we need in Astoria and I am proud to call him my friend.

Very truly yours,

Dirk

Offline kempsternyc

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 09:19:12 PM »
Does Vallone supppport Marriage Equality?

But, in all honesty, his whorish vote to extend himself a THIRD term is enough for me to vote against him..

McDirk, I respect you, but I am suprised you would support an opportunist such as Vallone. His family dynasty here in Astoria continues because of the overturn of term limits.

How can anyone be proud of that?
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Offline mcdirk

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2009, 11:14:11 PM »
I agree with you that Peter is wrong on both marriage and on term limits.  He's still done an amazing job.  I think he's one of the best voices on public safety issues in the city - I want to make sure he stays in charge of the committee supervising the NYPD in the Council.  He has also been a leader on the environment - fighting the over-proliferation of power plants and fighting for cleaner air. 

Peter delivers results for Astoria - he has the connections we need to make sure the Mayor, the Speaker and the Council, not to forget the Borough President, all pay attention to our community and we don't end up getting the short end of the budget stick - ask Bayside, much as I like Tony Avella, his youth programs and senior programs got short shrift for 8 years.

All of that being said, I'm voting for Bill Thompson for Mayor tomorrow and hope he wins.  Term limits should have never been over-turned, especially without a referendum.  I also will not be supporting any candidate for NYS Senate who is not 100% with us on marriage equality - the battle is in Albany and down in DC now, as well as the Courts.

Offline daisy

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 08:25:25 AM »
I may not agree with his stance on gay marriage, or his vote on term limits, but he's been great on other lgbt issues and I've seen direct results of his local activism.  The gay marriage issue is a state issue and not something he has a vote in either way.  On the local issues that directly affect me, he's been a leader.  I am bothered by Serpe's serious lack of experience in office and her platform is unconvincing.

Offline Mer

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 09:59:28 AM »
The third term, marriage equality and my odd encounter with him yesterday swayed me to vote for Serpe this morning.  I know it won't do much good since Vallone is the established, connected candidate. 

Also, I wasn't aware until I voted this morning that Vallone is also registered with the Conservative party.  Is that because he holds socially conservative views?

Well, in any case, I will not vote for a candidate who does not support marriage equality.  And please forgive my probable ignorance, but I don't understand how a candidate can be great with LGBT issues (and even get endorsed by LGBT groups), but not support my friends and family members' right to full equality. 

Offline mcdirk

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 11:13:37 AM »
With Peter I think it's just Catholicism - the conceptualization of marriage as a sacrament makes it hard to move some of the more devout Catholics on marriage equality, though that's shifting over time.  Peter has been quite good on other LGBT issues - I've even personally walked him around at gay and lesbian events.  He's just been incredibly responsive on local issues - and he's a good guy.  I do like Lynn though - I just want to keep Peter in office for another four years, it's just about the only upside to the term limits overturn.

Offline 28Grand

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 12:37:44 PM »
I agree that Peter has done a good job representing the neighborhood and has been very responsive on many issues and should be commended for it and voted for again.

With that said and putting the term limits question aside for a minute, I would like to respectively point out that George Onorato is also supportive of LGBT issues and holds the same view as Vallone on gay marriage, citing similar religious influences, but Onorato was crucified on this very website for his views when the gay marriage vote came up in the legislature.

Fair is fair. Peter should be held to the same standard and pressed on this issue. It shouldn't be so easily dismissed. Who knows where he will be after this third term if elected, maybe the state legislature where his opinion as well as his vote, would matter.

Offline Mark

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 01:43:50 PM »
I voted for him in 2005. He voted to extend term limits.  I am not voting for him this time.  I am voting for Green Party Candidate Lynn Serpe instead.

Offline zippycar85

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 07:07:02 PM »
I will be voting in the next hour and Vallone won't be getting my vote.  I think he and the other council members that voted to extended term limits should be voted out of office. 

And as an aside, I really don't understand how someone is considered supportive of LGBT issues, yet is against gay marriage.  Does anyone else feel like that is a bit of a cop out?  I could be wrong here, and am a willing to be swayed by a logical argument, but it doesn't add up in my book.

Offline mcdirk

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2009, 12:32:12 AM »
First, congrats to Peter Vallone, Jr. on his big re-election - 74.5% is impressive.  Lynn is also to be commended for running a smart and effective campaign - I think she raised a lot of important issues and brought people into the process, which is always helpful.  I hope people stay engaged, especially since we have a hot Senate race next year and a vacant Council seat in four years - now is the time to get even more active, not less so.

It's hard to explain how a gay man could view someone as supportive of my rights when he does not support my right to marry, but I do feel strongly that Peter is an ally, though one I hope continues to move forward on our issues.  Peter has stood by the LGBT community when we needed him, time after time, and he gets our issues.  I've seen elected officials evolve on marriage and watched my own family move on the issue over time.  It's not something that everyone gets instinctively from the start.  Knowing Peter to be a person of integrity, I prefer to keep a dialogue going with him rather than view him as an opponent on this issue.  I still think the stumbling block is semantics, not lack of a desire to see the government and society support same sex couples.

Offline kempsternyc

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Re: Vote Vallone Tomorrow
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 12:42:54 AM »

It's hard to explain how a gay man could view someone as supportive of my rights when he does not support my right to marry, but I do feel strongly that Peter is an ally, though one I hope continues to move forward on our issues.  Peter has stood by the LGBT community when we needed him, time after time, and he gets our issues. 

First off, let me say that I do respect your opinion when it comes to politics and LGBT issues. I still recall the speech at the Marriage Equality rally you gave and how it was one of the most powerful.

The marriage equality campaign and the Overturning of term limits are the two huge sticking points with me. My partner still laughs at the time I was screaming, and yes I mean screaming, during the City Council debate on term limits. To understand how deeply I feel about the term limits issue, you must now that I did hope that Christine Quinn lost her Primary race.

But, after what you have said here and to me privately, let me ratchet down my initial post here and say this.

When I first moved to Astoria, I remember that there was  2-3 gay bashings that happened in June 2004. I remember hearing that Peter Vallone offered a reward for information leading to the arrests of the attackers. And I remember thinking............."cool,  Our Council Member is on our side." So, if you say there may be a possibility in Vallone changing his mind, I don’t doubt you. And based on his past actions, I can see why you are willing to keep trying.
I love talking about nothing father, it is the only thing I know anything about -

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