Tag Archive: District 19

Feb 14 2014

Paul Vallone: Ready To Serve At A Moment’s Notice

Newly elected City Councilman Paul Vallone D-19.

Newly elected City Councilman Paul Vallone D-19.

It’s been little over a month since the new class of City Councilmembers were sworn in and while they’ve had just a short time to acclimate to their new responsibilities and duties, sometimes it’s not so easy getting a fully functioning office up and running ready to serve the community without delay, but newly elected Councilman Paul Vallone has done just that, and he’s ready to serve.

Located on a busy intersection off Bell Blvd. Councilman Vallone’s office held their first open house a few weeks ago inviting the entire community inside to see the progress. Once a dark and aging outcrop, Vallone relied on donations and volunteers, particularly Marsha Khan, Vice-President of the Clinton Democratic Club who helped design an ergonomic office by utilizing every inch of space. It’s truly impressive, yet what’s even more impressive is the work that goes on in here.

Beginning with a trained staff, Vallone hired brilliant advocates from the community that know the people and neighborhoods they are their to serve. Utilizing talent from his brother’s office, Jonathan Szott, now Chief of Staff helped ensure a smooth transition of Vallone’s neighborhood activism into a full service Council office. He’s even appointed local cultural and community liaison to get ears on the ground into every corner of the neighborhood.

In the meantime, while some candidates – even elects – disappear after an election (like his opponent Dennis Saffran who has not been seen since his loss), Vallone has been at every major event in northeast Queens, especially at the commitments he’s made before seeking election. It’s inspiring and hopefully will rub off on his colleagues in City Hall and all candidates to come in the future. Some people say he’s continuing a legacy, but we like to think he’s beginning his own.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/paul-vallone-ready-to-serve/

Nov 01 2013

Paul Vallone To Trounce Dennis Saffran On Election Day


Senator Chuck Schumer endorses Paul Vallone for the 19th City Council District.

In a heated race to replace City Councilman Dan Halloran, all signs point to an all out Vallone victory on November 5th.

Just cruise down any street in Northeast Queens and you’ll catch a neighbor proudly displaying the “We Support Paul Vallone” sign on their front lawn. Look up and down busy commercial strips, you’ll see businesses too, proudly supporting Paul Vallone. Open any newspaper and you’ll catch a glimpse of a campaign run by a true community leader. Not convinced? Peak inside the office and there’s an army of volunteers working on GOTV. Not only that, but local civic and political leaders are standing by him. And by now, chances are he’s already knocked on your door.

Despite the attention received, this race was characterized by animosity on the part of Republican extremist, Dennis Saffran. Some say “going negative” is just part of a strategy, however it seems like that’s all Dennis Saffran did throughout his entire campaign. You’ve got to ask, how could we vote for such a hypocrite? On one hand he complains about negative campaigning not linked to Vallone but reality check: he’s doing it himself.

While it is still unclear what exactly Saffran has done for this community in the past 10 years, it was easy to see this race getting ugly quick as he already had a reputation for bad mouthing everyone behind their back. Could the negativity have been a strategy for Saffran to try and divert attention from his lack of community service and roots in the district with lie after lie? Aside from that, the leadership in Saffran’s campaign seems amateurish and disorganized. Word on the street is that the campaign is skeletal; starving for volunteers so much so they’ve begun to recruit Tea Party extremists from Nassau and Suffolk to help out in District 19.

And what about endorsements? Vallone has earned every critical endorsement in town from the PBA to the Democratic Party. Saffran was endorsed by a lobbyist and what’s left of the GOP, which is giving him no help at all.

Whatever the case may be, Vallone’s commitment to Northeast Queens has shined through all of Dennis Saffran’s negativity. And the entire community is standing behind him to be our next Councilman.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/paul-vallone-to-trounce-saffran/

Aug 27 2013

Paul Vallone Is The Best Choice For City Council District 19



Paul stands out from the rest. Vote Paul Vallone on Sept. 10th.

The people of northeast Queens will be best served by Paul Vallone as our next City Councilman. That’s why we’re proud to endorse him in his run for City Hall.

Paul has a long history of service to this community in a plethora of leadership roles from civic activism to parish volunteerism. His law office on Francis Lewis Blvd. is more like a community center. People in this community already know they are welcome in a place that will try it’s hardest to be your advocate and to lend a helping hand.

An attorney by trade, Vallone is soft-spoken, intelligent and humble — qualities not always on display in the City Council chambers at 260 Broadway. He’s smart, confident, and ready to lead.

Building better communities where all people — from grandparents to kids — can safely live, work and play requires elected officials who champion integrity and responsibility to the community first and foremost. Vallone, with his undeniable history of community service and commitment to neighborhood safety issues best exemplifies these qualities which were recently recognized by endorsements from the City’s top law enforcement unions including: The Patrolmen Benevolent Association, The Sergeants, The Corrections, The Captains, The Lieutenants, The Detectives, and The Fire Marshals Benevolent Associations – just to name a few.

Civic leaders from across the district have also recognized Paul Vallone as an asset to the community. Neighborhood organization presidents like Warren Schreiber and Devon O’ Connor including CB11 Chair Jerry Iannece, as well as every elected official from Congresswoman Grace Meng to District Leader Mary Ann Dorsa (including the entire Queens County Democratic Organization) have all endorsed Paul Vallone as the best choice for District 19.

Small businesses makeup the core of the economic engine in District 19. Small businesses provide jobs, and CD19 is the perfect place to incubate these businesses and help them grow. In these tough economic times we can’t afford punitive fees that hit those that can least afford them. That’s why we need a candidate with the experience of a small businesses owner to represent the interests of small businessmen in City Hall. Paul’s commitment to small businesses has already earned him the nod from The Murray Hill Business Association and The Flushing Chinese Business Association, including The Presidents Co-Op & Condo Council– just to name a few organizations that have recognized Vallone through their respective endorsements as the best of six candidates in this competitive primary election.

In less than two weeks, we have a real opportunity to influence what happens in our community, to have a say in the direction our future will collectively take. It does not get any more representative than this. Do not waste this chance because the chance becomes only more and more distant as time goes on. We hope you vote. We hope you participate. We hope you make your voice heard in your community to elect an independent voice into City Hall that will always be accountable to the people. Most importantly, we hope you make your choice based on this notion: This is not a choice between Democrats, this is a choice between bringing our community into the future or lagging behind.

On September 10th Vote Paul Vallone For City Council. Happy voting, everyone.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/paul-vallone-is-the-best-choice-for-council-district-19/

Jun 13 2013

Shafran Insults Local Leader, Shows Ignorance Of Critical District Issues


Ali Fadil discusses Austin Shafran’s sham candidacy for district 19.

We’ve been posting for quite some time about the sham candidacy of Austin Shafran, a candidate who has never been seen or heard from in District 19. For those of you who took it all with a grain of salt, things are finally getting real. We knew it was only a matter of time before community leaders like Ali Fadil would come forward. In his letter Fadil discusses an encounter with Austin Shafran regarding a critical district issue. Fadil was astonished with the lack of knowledge and dismissive attitude showed by the candidate, which is not surprising given his pedigree of tweeder jobs and absenteeism from community life.

Meanwhile, the New York Post exposed Shafran’s philandering, Queens-Politics highlighted his past as chief excuse maker for corrupt politicians and a dysfunctional government, and now the cat is out of the bag. These points are not really disputed by anyone in the district. Read his letter below:

Dear Editor,


I am Ali Fadil, a community organizer based in Northeast Queens and I am writing this letter to put my two cents in on how I feel about the Democratic primary race in the 19th council district, a Northeast Queens based district.

Austin Shafran is a candidate who I think feels that because of his connections; he can talk down to our community and not have to care about our community. I have experienced this from Shafran first hand when I approached him to discuss issues that face our express bus riders and made him aware of the various problems that we have with our express bus routes. The response that I received from Shafran was that transit priorities in the district should be focused on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) because LIRR stations have parking lots where people can park their cars; not considering that parking can be difficult at the LIRR stations in the district that have parking lots available such as Bayside or Broadway and there are other LIRR stations such as Auburndale that do not have parking available. This is not considering the fact that the LIRR only goes to Penn Station and does not offer free transfers to buses and Subways once in Manhattan and one has to pay for parking at some of the LIRR stations in our area in addition to an LIRR ticket. Express buses have the benefit of offering more direct service to areas in Manhattan and Queens when compared to the LIRR and are also cheaper and offer transfers to the Subway, and local and express buses. Residents of neighborhoods in the 19th council district such as College Point want direct express bus service. When I tried to explain to him that his stance towards transit in the district is not necessarily the best one for this district, Shafran immediately excused himself from the conversation that I was having with him. This shows how Shafran is out of touch with the residents of the 19th council district as he is unable to relate to the needs of this district. Other civic leaders have also stated that he is someone who also has not been seen in the community until his candidacy and as a member of the Jefferson Democratic Club in Northeast Queens, I have not seen him attend meetings until his candidacy for the 19th council district. 

manes shafran

What’s the connection?

Other candidates such as Paul Vallone have been very supportive to the needs of our community and our express bus riders. One of the issues with our express bus service that I have championed in the district is to get a Lower Manhattan express bus from Bayside, Whitestone, and North Flushing and Vallone has supported me on that issue from the very beginning and is very receptive to the needs of the community and the needs of this district’s express bus riders and unlike Shafran does not seem to be someone who would shaft his constituents as I have had his support on that issue before he declared his run for the City Council as a civic leader. Overall, I think that Vallone would be the best person to win the Democratic primary for the 19th council district because unlike candidates such as Shafran who feels that it is unnecessary to care about the community, Vallone is a civic leader who is in touch with our community and the needs of the community and would do his best to support the needs of our community and I feel that the Democratic Organization of Queens County made the right choice to endorse Vallone instead of Shafran (who was rumored to get County’s endorsement) for the 19th city council district Democratic Primary.

Ali Fadil,


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/06/austin-shafran-insults-local-leader-shows-ignorance-of-critical-district-issues/

Mar 23 2013


In response to calling Graziano out on his plans to host an event in a public park without a permit, the campaign is now actually claiming that “In Bowne Park,” as it appears on their flyer, means “on the sidewalk,” according to Christina Wilkinson who designed the flyer which included the address near the entrance to the park. So now the public and the press will assemble on the sidewalk. She also said Graziano is on the radio talking smack about me but she declined to mention the station as of this posting, even though I was willing to phone in and call their bluff.

Furthermore, Wilkinson also tried to downplay the misleading flyer by stating “In Bowne Park” means in the neighborhood of Bowne Park, like saying in Flushing, or in Bayside. Anyone who lives in that section of Queens will never say “I live IN Bowne Park”, but  instead, by Bowne Park as a landmark, unless they were in fact living in a cardboard box inside the park.

I can’t help but think if an objection wasn’t raised, how many people would be illegally loitering inside Bowne park on Saturday. And this is especially egregious when other organizations legitimately applied and received a permit for the space.

Why is this a BIG deal? Because he’s a candidate for public office where integrity and accountability for your actions matter most.

As a voter you shouldn’t allow any candidate to get away with this because corruption is a slippery slope. If one law is circumvented, what’s next?


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/03/update/

Feb 28 2013

Is Avella Playing Power Broker in Northeast Queens?


He answers to me now.

Rumor has it Tony Avella propped up a lobbyist for the City Council primary to divide the voting blocs in district 19.

Paul Graziano, who works at an architectural firm in New Jersey as an urban planner (and also worked for Avella) could be part of a massive scheme of voter manipulation with Tony Avella at the helm.

Was Graziano influenced by Avella to run? It’s the million dollar question. The relationship is there and is very concerning.

Questions arise like did Tony Avella hand out proclamation in return for bankrolling his campaign as Graziano did time and time again? Is it favor for a favor? Are the voters going to buy into this power play? After all, seems like Graziano often rewards his former boss in campaign donations for such recognition.

Graziano is an activist, a good activist at that, and we don’t want to see him promoted beyond his level of ability. But to see him being used as a pawn in Avella’s devious political manipulation of the electoral system speaks volumes about his character.

It’s not rocket science folks.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/02/senator-avella-devious-political-maneuver/

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