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Paul Graziano: “Thanks everyone for coming today. I’m going to actually start this off by turning it over to some of the community leaders from northeast Queens before I even start to talk. So - the first person I am going to ask to speak is Mel Siegel.” Mel Siegel, Local civic leader: “Hi, I’m Mel Siegel and I’m from the BroadwayFlushing Homeowners’ Association and we’re here to support Paul in his race for the City Council. Nobody has done more to help preserve and protect this neighborhood than Paul and we’re delighted that he’s running and he has our full support.” (Mel Siegel has stated on the record that he misspoke and was only speaking for himself, not for the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association, which does not endorse candidates). Pete Brancazio, President, Northeast Flushing Civic Association: “Hi, I’m Peter Brancazio, I’m president of the Northeast Flushing Civic Association. And, in fact, the reason why I am president of the Northeast Flushing Civic Association is because of Paul who said 'You’re going to do it!' And, he did it at a time when we really needed his help, because we were fighting a builder who was trying to destroy our neighborhood. And, one of the reasons why we support Paul is because this is what is most important to him – is preserving our neighborhoods and making sure that builders don’t go ruining good houses and destroying the property around here. And, one of the things I like most about Paul is that he’s not really a politician; he’s a community activist and that’s what we need in this position. So we’re very happy to support you.” Joe Amoroso, Zoning Chair, Kissena Park Civic Association: “I’m Joe Amoroso, I’m from the Kissena Park neighborhood just south of here. I have mixed emotions about Paul running for City Council. I’m happy for the people that live in his district, but I’m not in his district and that makes me unhappy. I’ve known Paul since he was like in his 20s, many years ago, and he’s always done work for all the communities, not just his own. He’s well-known all over Queens – Bellerose, Jamaica, you name it, everybody knows him, because he’s not just out for his own community, he’s trying to help everybody in all the communities in Queens. And as a City Council member, he’d be able to do that not just for here, but for everyone. That’s why I’d love to see him as a City Council member.” John Houlihan, Lifelong Auburndale resident: “I’m a lifelong resident of Flushing and no one does more for this neighborhood than Paul Graziano. He’s an amazing activist. You see his face all the time, he’s constantly on my block, he wants to know about our concerns and I’m proud to call him my friend.” Henry Euler, 1st Vice President, Auburndale Improvement Association/Member CB11/Queens Preservation Council: “My name is Henry Euler. I’m first vice president of the Auburndale Improvement Association. My civic group does not
but she wanted everybody to know that she’s very supportive. but he’s also very good on all the other issues that confront our city: education. He’s not part of the political machine. but we as individuals. individual leaders in the group. He doesn’t have the “name recognition” and “has the entitlement” to become a politician because someone in his family was one. equal rights all of those issues are very important to Paul. my name is Jim Colasante.' And Sunny Hahn. I know most of the other candidates running and it’s very clear to me that Paul is the one has done the most for our community. buddy. And that’s why I’m voting for Paul in the Democratic Primary as well as Tony Avella for Borough President. he does it. Very rarely do you see him in a suit and I commended him today for it. So. many of you know her. He is very hands-on. I’m right there with you the whole way. And I echo [Bob Nobile’s] sentiments: the reason why we don’t see him in a suit a lot is because Paul gets his hands dirty. Paul has been very instrumental in getting us rezoned along with Douglaston. Bayside Gables Homeowners Association: “Hi. the difference between Paul and a lot of the other people you’re going to see out there. I. Little Neck Pines Civic Association: “My name is Bob Nobile and I represent Little Neck Pines Civic Association in Little Neck. transportation. He’s one of us. Lifelong North Flushing resident/Filmmaker: “I. that’s what I got to say about you. He would be perfect to be a City Councilman. We want someone to represent us and not their personal agenda. but he said 'Make sure my name gets mentioned. He’s probably more likely to call you with a problem than you to call him with a problem. twenty years ago. president of Bayside Gables Civic Association. and a lot of our homeowners definitely will support Paul come the Fall. Paul gets right in there on the front lines and he doesn’t say it. like John Houlihan.Transcript of Paul Graziano 2013 Campaign Kickoff in Bowne Park 3/23/2013 endorse individual candidates.” Bob Nobile. I also want to thank the members of KAPA for coming (Korean-Americans for Political .” Paul Graziano: “I just want to say that Warren Schreiber was supposed to be here today. I’m very proud to call him a friend and I know that his heart is in this. myself. And that’s. President. Paul is an activist. He’s done a lot to help preserve what we have in our community. who’s an activist in Flushing. Paul really cares about this stuff. and I can say wholeheartedly that we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Paul on the front lines in court as well as within the community. would very gladly endorse candidates. I mean.” Carmine Famiglietti. He gets his hands dirty. I think. Or a former politician. He’s one of us and that’s what we want. she was unable to attend as well. Paul was waking me up out of dead sleeps to paint mailboxes and light poles. He works on not only zoning issues and landmarking issues. just a longtime friend of Paul’s. I am endorsing Paul Graziano for the City Council in the Democratic Party. but had a family emergency. Jim Colasante.
what I’d like to say very simply is that I am running for City Council for the 19th council district. I grew up in Memorial Field. but this is the bones. put the neighborhood on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. along with the [Broadway-Flushing] Homeowners Association. These are the people who are in the front lines. these are the people who are dealing with the problems on an everyday basis and I’ve been working with them or in some cases helping to create their organizations for actually 20 years now. I grew up in this park.000. This neighborhood around here is the Broadway-Flushing neighborhood. . I live about 10 blocks to the west. This is really a cross-section not only of the people who live here but the civic world. This is what it’s all about. which I helped to co-author several years ago . once I make match. And there are a lot of neighborhoods like this throughout the borough as well as throughout this district. We’ve. there are a lot of people here that are nice to see here. So essentially. It’s about protecting your neighborhood. basically. and no lobbyists. almost all small donations. I have $71. $11. obviously. and I’ve mentioned that to a number of people…it’s hard for me to think about theoretical and esoteric problems when we’ve got problems at hand in the community. I’m running a very specific kind of campaign. no real estate developers. so thank you very much. which I am about 15 short at this moment. Do no harm. These sound like almost trivial discussions to some people.000 that’s matching so far. We have raised. almost $10. 1330 buildings. I really started doing this in 1993.000 of which will be matching as soon as I have the requisite number of donations from the district. So with that $10. I went to PS 21 which is now also in the district. This is the kind of neighborhood that I’ve been working to save for the 20 years I’ve been doing this. everybody knows what that is. They showed up today and I appreciate their support of my candidacy. These are the people who actually work for their neighborhoods. there’s a big fight in Douglaston going on. we’re standing on the edge of Bowne Park – about 10 feet inside of the park and on the sidewalk – for those who know what I’m talking about. And I’m just going to say a few words. We had a press conference there last week. And what that means very simply. So. etc. where a 150-year old farmhouse is threatened with demolition or severe alterations because an area that should have been landmarked almost 20 years ago with the rest of Douglas Manor has not been landmarked. I am running a serious campaign and. Right now. having this kind of support behind me is fabulous. It’s still not enough. and it doesn’t just deal with bricks and mortar.000 as soon as I get those extra couple of donations which should be by the end of the week. First of all.Transcript of Paul Graziano 2013 Campaign Kickoff in Bowne Park 3/23/2013 Advancement). in less than a month. My campaign is very simple: Protect your neighborhood. This has been where I grew up. We rezoned this area with the strictest zoning in New York City – the R12A and R2A zonings. Right now. it’s $60.000 in matching funds.and it’s still not enough.
I’ve been extremely involved in Save Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. for example? What could happen in Alley Park? What could happen in Crocheron Park? That’s just for this district.Transcript of Paul Graziano 2013 Campaign Kickoff in Bowne Park 3/23/2013 It also deals with education. People move to these neighborhoods to send their kids to school in this area. Parks. Districts 25 and 26 have long been considered two of the best school districts in the City of New York.is parkland. Major League Soccer and the Mets who want to take over 50 acres of OUR parkland and privatize it. what kind of concession could come to Bowne Park. So we have to just do that. And I have had conversations with educators. These are always pushed. parents. more so than anybody wants to talk about. which is deplorable. This is extremely disturbing. what do I think should be happening? I think that the Department of Education should essentially be abolished. it’s something that I’m very concerned about. It’s not just here but it’s in the whole city. we have 30 people coming to the house at 4 o’clock and we have to cook and so do they. It is a lack of responsibility and accountability from those people who run this . even kids about what’s going on. And this organization is the only one that does not want to be selling out our parkland in Flushing Meadows to big corporate entities like the USTA. and who has someone who I care about who will be going into 6th grade. that’s just THAT park. And I think it’s very critical. we’re going to keep this relatively short because it’s also my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary today and so as soon as we’re done with this. But education’s a big priority. sold out. And just to let you know. Twenty percent of this city – 1/5 of this city . hopefully. and yet we see our parkland being abused. for an area that prides itself on education. If it can happen there. Parks is the lifeblood of this city. a new organization that’s been out there which many people here know about. So for example. but at least the Board of Education gave local communities and local areas more of a say in what they needed to happen instead of a top-down decisionmaking process that has not benefitted anybody. It concerns me greatly as someone who’s going to get married probably in the next 6 months. Abused. And. There’s a model being presented that’s trying to corporatize our parks. I was not a huge fan of the Board of Education. these neighborhoods are pushed as the best places to raise your children and grow old. Does anybody here actually know how much the city spends on parks of the budget? It’s 1/3 of 1% of the budget for the entire city of New York. as I said. compromised.' That parents are pulling their kids out of certain schools – some of the best schools in the borough and the city – they’re pulling their kids out of these schools because they are very unhappy with the direction that the Department of Education has gone on these issues. So: Imagine my surprise when I sat in on a Community Board 7 Education Committee meeting three weeks ago and I was told that School District 25 is considered a 'District in Need.
again. as Little Neck Pines is adjacent to that. people are very concerned about this.I met him about a year ago. I’m an urban planner and historic preservation consultant. for people who know. but everything is also citywide. So. Last year. everything is local. 21. It’s also really important to make sure that we have an agenda that focuses on the needs of this community as well as. I have to tell you. only from love of this community. in the 19th. this is a major issue." . here . he e-mails me or we speak. 17 Parks people for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It’s amazing what he’s been uncovering. the mayor stated that they created 750 acres of new parkland. we do have a big issue. So with one sleight of hand. They’re parking school buses and washing them in front of P. these are really important issues that we have to focus on. And again. Thank you for coming. And in fact. really. What the hell is going on here?' He is my eyes on the ground by default. they increased parkland by 750 acres. This is a joke. My good friend Peter. Does anybody know how this happened? They took all the school playgrounds and designated them parks. that curb on 149th Street is broken. the remaining parcels in Udall’s Cove which are still privately owned and can still be developed. So I’m going to leave it at that. Meanwhile. Central Park has over 300. Which I know. So. So it’s not just the big issues. I’m someone. I sent in a FOIL request to the DOT.S. and I think it’s the 3rd largest park in New York City. it’s everything: It’s the little issues and the big issues . things that are crossing the entire city in importance. billionaires funding it as well. 'You know. Defunding the parks to the point where there are. these are some of the issues I’ve brought up. And when we’re in a situation where I think every neighborhood feels embattled by the kinds of things that are happening. probably 5 or 6 times a day.Transcript of Paul Graziano 2013 Campaign Kickoff in Bowne Park 3/23/2013 government. we have to stand up and do something about it. I’ve been doing this for 20 years . So. This guy.they all go together. I believe. We have 100 acres of undeveloped land in the 19th Council District: Flushing Airport. which is that there are actually almost 100 acres of additional land that can be turned into parkland.
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