Tag Archive: Grace Meng

Sep 28 2012

Grace is running in heels

Grace Meng has the national spotlight in “Running In Heels,” an article featured in the Marie Claire Bulletin portraying the “women to watch and vote for” in 2012.

If you’ve ever wondered about the hectic schedule a Congressional candidate has to endure to win, then read about Grace who balances both a candidate’s routine and Assembly duties – all while being a full time mom.

Check out the article (link below in .pdf).

Grace Meng – Running in Heels

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/grace-featured-in-national-magazine/

Sep 26 2012

Halloran says Meng averted questions regarding her Sept. 11th whereabouts

Congressional Candidate Dan Halloran is demanding full disclosure from his opponent.

Dan Halloran issued a press release condemning his rival Grace Meng for averting some facts regarding her whereabouts on September 11th, 2012. In the communication, Halloran accused Meng of not fully disclosing the fact that she attended a fundraiser thrown for her by Shelly Silver on the most hallowed day of the year.

Halloran’s official communication also urges the full public disclosure of Meng’s finance reports, raising questions about the delay of her personal financial disclosures.

Press Release: Auburndale, N.Y.- At a recent meeting of the Auburndale Improvement Association, 6th District Congressional candidates Dan Halloran and Grace Meng answered questions submitted by the audience. But there was a distinct contrast between their responses.

Both candidates were asked, “Where were you on September 11, 2012 and what was your agenda?” Halloran said, ”I started off in the morning at the 9/11 memorial, as I have every year. After that, I went to several other 9/11 events in the district, including Bayside Hills. It’s a day of remembrance, a day to try to stay as low key as possible.”

Meng, who attended a fundraiser for her campaign on September 11, responded “My office and I attended various vigils that day, the closest of which was Bayside Hills… I also had a lunch with various community and religious leaders that day.” What she failed to tell the good people of Auburndale is that one of those “luncheons” was in fact a fundraiser for her campaign, thrown by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on that day.

Meng’s aversion to disclosing facts is not new. She waited until late September to file the personal financial disclosure that the House Ethics Rules demand to be submitted in May. Meng’s latest self-imposed deadline was last Friday, but she finally filed on the following Tuesday. The public is still waiting to discover the source of the $122,000 she deposited into her own campaign, right before her primary in June.

Meng’s statement that same night that she “chose to be one of those lawyers who don’t make a lot of money” makes her ability to deposit so much cash into her own campaign even more mysterious.

Her campaign owes it to voters to provide a credible explanation of the protracted delay and to make the information available to the public immediately.

 

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Dan Halloran, a lifelong resident of Queens, is running for Congress to fight for our families in Washington, just as he’s done in City Hall. Dan was elected to the City Council in 2009 on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Libertarian lines to represent the Queens neighborhoods of College Point, Auburndale-Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Douglaston, and Little Neck

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/questions-ducked-at-the-auburndale-improvement-association/

Sep 20 2012

Absentee ballots could deliver a victory for Martha Flores Vazquez

Martha could still take the cake.

Tomorrow is the official count of absentee ballots and nobody is more excited than Martha Flores Vazquez who is anticipating a victory for the District Leader post in AD 40 Part B located in Flushing.

While Vazquez lost her bid for Grace Meng’s vacated Assembly seat with just 521 votes, hope is not lost for the longtime community service advocate whose name appeared on the ballot for two different offices.

Unofficial results were not available to the public according to the BOE and will not be made available until next week however, unofficial tallies indicate with 862 votes for the District Leader position, Vazquez could find the extra four votes she needs to win with 316 absentee ballots and 50 emergency ballots yet to be counted.

“I believe the absentees will go in my favor because of my name recognition,” said Vazquez. “In the meantime, I’ve jumped right back on track with working and dealing with the issues.  I’m dedicating myself to the community because for the past two years the District Leader has been absent…she’s just a district leader by title and people don’t like that, the people are upset because she doesn’t do any outreach. She doesn’t do anything.”

Ironically, Vazquez said she was already sent a letter requesting her presence to a special meeting hosted by the Democratic Party normally reserved for elected officials.

On Primary Day voters may have been confused. Vazquez made it on the ballot for both Assembly and District Leader slots, which she believes confused voters as to which office they were actually voting her in for. The total of her votes for both Assembly and District Leader surpass those of the winning Assembly candidate Ron Kim, a   sort of a feather in her cap.

While the election has yet to be certified, Vazquez remains confident.

“Technicality she [Vazquez] got more votes than every candidate that ran and a lot were not duplicates – they voted for one or the other,” according to a source familiar with the situation.

Martha believes a strong electorate builds strong communities.

Yet low turnout still defined the races in AD 40. According to Vazquez, there was confusion and irregularities at the poll sites that may have contributed to the low turnout.

“A lot of people didn’t want to go to their new poll site and names weren’t found in the book, but I made it a point during my campaign to inform people of their new poll site to the best of my ability even though we didn’t get the new list until 4 days before the election.”

Throughout the campaign Vazquez worked with community residents whom would not be able to make it to the polls with a strong absentee ballot drive and many of the absentees informed Vazquez that they voted for her.

“In the future I will do voter education for people to understand and I wont make that mistake again and will be picking one office instead of two.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/absentee-ballots-could-deliver-a-victory-for-martha-flores-vazquez/

Sep 06 2012

Halloran Critical of Dems Israel Snafu

Halloran issued a press release describing his outrage with the Democratic Party and said Grace Meng would be a rubber stamp for the Party’s agenda.

Press Release: The Democratic National Committee removed any reference to Israel from its party platform – only to conveniently add pro-Israel language after the omission was pointed out by outraged citizens. Congressional candidate Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) issued the following statement on the matter:

“The Meng-Obama Democratic Party couldn’t be louder in asserting its lack of support for Israel. They pointedly removed language condemning Hamas and refused to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel. What’s next? Recognizing Hamas as a legitimate government?

 

“The Democratic Party, like Grace Meng, only changed its tune after widespread outcry. Assemblywoman Meng tries to separate herself from her party on the issue of defending Israel. But she would be a rubber stamp for her party’s agenda in Washington, just as she has in Albany.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/halloran-critical-of-the-dems-israel-snafu-election/

Sep 03 2012

All American Grace Salutes Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day, Congressional Candidate Grace Meng issued a statement supporting unions and the working men and women of America.

She also throws a well-deserved barb at the union busting activities of the Tea Party.

Press release: 

In celebration of Labor Day, Assemblywoman Grace Meng – the Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 6th District – released the following statement:

“Labor Day is a day we celebrate the great American work ethic and those hardworking men and women who struggled to provide us with workers’ rights and deliver us today’s landmarks of middle class security, including the 40-hour work week, child labor laws, pensions, a minimum wage, Social Security and Medicare.

“Unfortunately, the Tea Party-controlled Republican Congress is making every effort to turn back the clock on decades of labor achievements in favor of tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest one percent of Americans.

“Now more than ever, we must elect representatives to Washington who will stand up in support of labor’s collective bargaining rights so that working men and women may have a voice on the job, a chance to negotiate for fair pay and safe working conditions, and the ability to a secure a comfortable retirement.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/all-american-grace-salutes-labor-day/

Aug 21 2012

Meng & Gillibrand Helping Small Businesses With Tax Breaks

Press Release:

Women-Owned Small Businesses Are Among Fastest Growing Segments of the Economy, But Start With Eight Times Less Capital Than Other Businesses

Gillibrand, Meng: Federal Bill Would Help Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses and Create New Jobs in Queens

Queens, NY – Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Assemblywoman Grace Meng were joined at Great Bear Auto Repair, a woman-owned auto repair shop in Flushing, by owner Audra Fordin to announce federal legislation designed to extend targeted tax breaks for small businesses. Women-owned small businesses are among the fastest growing segments of the economy but start with eight times less capital. Senator Gillibrand and Assemblywoman Meng urged the U.S. Senate to vote on theSUCCESS Act of 2012, legislation that would provide investors with strong incentives to invest in small business stock, double deductions for start-up expenses, purchase new equipment, and continue tax credits that small businesses can take advantage of.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the most powerful job creators we have,”Senator Gillibrand said. “I’ve heard from women in Queens and all across the state. I know women are ready to lead us to a thriving and stable economy, with new good-paying jobs that can support a family. When we provide the tools that small business leaders need, we can help this economic engine take off.”

“Small businesses have always been the engines of job creation and community development in Queens, and are moving us out of this grinding recession,”Assemblywoman Mengsaid. “We’re already seeing more start-ups, more hiring, and more entrepreneurs striking out on their own. Nowhere is the growth of women-owned businesses more evident than here in New York State, New York City, and in Queens. Critical to supporting and sustaining this trend for small business owners is ensuring access to credit and capital as well as tax credits for hiring and healthcare through the Affordable Care Act. These will be my priorities in Congress.”

“As the first woman to run my family’s auto repair and auto body shop, I know from experience what the challenges and opportunities are to build a successful business,” said Audra Fordin, Owner of Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop.  “With careful budget planning and networking, my company has turned a profit over the past few years. Extending these tax breaks would be a major incentive to help grow my business further. By providing some needed breathing room, I would be able to immediately divert resources towards staff and new equipment upgrades, which are a win for my business and for the community.”

Last fall, Senator Gillibrand held women’s economic empowerment roundtables across the state, and heard firsthand from small business owners. Small businesses play a critical role in the national and local economy, with more than 10 million firms owned by women. Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses added roughly 500,000 jobs, while other private firms lost jobs. In New York alone, more than 30 percent of all small businesses are owned by women. However, women, on average, start their business with eight times less funding than men, making tax credits a critical part of their business plan.

To bolster small business growth, Senator Gillibrand has been working with a group of bipartisan women Senators to extend targeted small business tax benefits, which expired at the start of 2012, through at least 2013. These tax breaks are included in a larger bill aimed to help small businesses grow, called theSuccess Ultimately Comes from Capital, Contracting, Education, Strategic Partnerships and Smart Regulation(SUCCESS) Act of 2012.

In September 2010, Congress passed theSmall Business Jobs Act, which provided a number of key tax benefits to American small businesses, such as eliminating capital gains tax on investments in small business, and cutting taxes for businesses that invest in new equipment. With roughly two-thirds of new jobs in the U.S. generated by small businesses, extending these tax provisions for businesses is a key way to encourage growth and hiring.

Small Business Tax Breaks Under the SUCCESS Act

These tax benefits include a number of provisions that help give small businesses the ability to grow and expand now by providing incentives to invest in small businesses, helping businesses make new investments in equipment, and extending benefits that help out new start-ups.

Tax Relief for Small Business Capital Gains: This provision would provide investors a strong incentive to invest in small business stock.  Prior to 2009, 50 percent of the gain of a small business stock was subject to tax. Senator Gillibrand supported legislation that increased this exclusion to 75 percent and the Small Business Jobs Act expanded that benefit to 100 percent of the gain. Eligible small businesses are defined as those with gross assets under $50 million and the stock must be held for at least five years.

Doubles Existing Deductions for Start-up Costs for New Small Businesses:New start-ups typically face a number of substantial expenses in their first year they get off the ground, such as permits, consulting costs, expenses in finding clients and custoemrs and other needs, but are limited in the amount of expenses they can deduct that year on their taxes. This provision would extend the increased deduction for start-up expenses, from $5,000 to $10,000. Eligible expenses include studies of potential markets, products, labor markets, or transportation systems; advertisements for the opening of a new business; compensation for consultants and employees undergoing training and their instructors; and travel for the purpose of securing suppliers, distributors, and customers.

Extends Section 179 Expensing: This provision allows small businesses to write-off up to $500,000 in tangible property, such as investments in machinery and plant equipment, or other physical equipment (such as refrigerators or stoves for a restaurant or gas pumps for a gas station).

General Business Credit Carryback: This provision would allow businesses to continue to carryback (i.e., count against profits from previous years) general business credits for up to five years.  This helps businesses who are currently not profitable by allowing them to claim credits against years where they were making money.

Another measure included in theSUCCESS Act is the Expanding Access to Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act, which would modify the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program to raise the amount of SBIC debt the Small Business Administration (SBA) can guarantee from $3 billion to $4 billion. It would also increase from $225 million to $350 million the amount of SBA guaranteed debt a team of SBIC fund managers who operate several funds can borrow.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/meng-gillibrand-helping-small-businesses-with-tax-breaks/

Aug 21 2012

Examining The Israeli Connection

The following is a press release from Congressional candidate Dan Halloran that compares his recent trip to Israel with Grace Meng’s visit in 2010.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Steven Stites; 347-702-2882, steven.stites@gmail.com

Halloran, Meng, and Israel: Setting the Record Straight

Two Candidates, Two Trips to Israel. So What Are the Differences?

Grace Meng went to Israel in 2010. Dan Halloran was there last week.

 

While Assemblywoman Meng was in Israel, she didn’t get endorsed by a single Israeli leader of note. In fact, she didn’t have a single substantive one-on-one conversation with any Israeli leader on matters of security or foreign policy while she was thee. (Or if she did, she decided to keep it a secret for two years.)

 

Meanwhile, Halloran was personally endorsed by the Culture Minister and several members of the Knesset, including Deputy Speaker Danny Danon. Which candidate do they think will truly fight to protect them in Congress?

 

How else are they different?

 

Assemblywoman Meng didn’t say a word about the Cordoba House mosque, which Halloran vocally opposed.

 

Grace Meng said she would vote to censure the NYPD for its anti-terrorism programs by cutting federal funding. Halloran — whose grandfather and great-grandfather were both NYPD police officers — has pledged to put more cops on the streets to fight crime and terrorism.

 

Grace Meng’s first critiques of Obama’s foreign policy appeared in The Jewish Week just two weeks ago. In her Jewish Week editorial, Meng didn’t say a word of substance about how to keep Israel safe. She didn’t so much as mention the new Islamist government in Egypt, or the crisis in Syria. On both issues, Halloran has taken strong stands.

Halloran went to Gaza and Ramallah and other Arab-controlled territories — as well as Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. What trouble spots did Meng visit and see for herself to really understand the crisis?

 

Halloran said: “I believe Israelis can build wherever they want. I believe Israel has the right to defend itself, by force, if needed. My opponent doesn’t really know what she believes. She is a Democratic rubber stamp in  the Assembly. In Washington, she would be a rubber stamp for President  Obama and his failed foreign policy.

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We are glad that neither candidate was photographed with an assault weapon.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/halloran-to-meng-i-got-there-first/

Aug 17 2012

Meng Camp claims Halloran ‘Just Discovered Israel’

Did he really say that?

In response to a  widely publicized visit to Israel, a spokesman for Grace Meng points out that Dan Halloran’s well-timed trip should not be withheld from scrutiny considering his support of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.

“Grace Meng visited and took interest in Israel long before this congressional election, while Dan Halloran was busy trying to get the most anti-Israel Member of Congress, Ron Paul, elected to the presidency. Just a few months ago, Mr. Halloran proudly stood as a delegate for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign; now he’s all of a sudden discovered Israel.” – Austin Finan, spokesman.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/meng-camp-claims-halloran-just-discovered-israel/

Aug 10 2012

On His Way To Israel, Some Unanswered Questions

During the Republican Primary, Mr. Halloran organized a GOTV operation for Ron Paul in Bayside, Queens.

Dan Halloran must face tough questions about his support of Ron Paul, the failed Presidential candidate that flip-flopped on his support of Israel.

In a statement, Ron Paul said, “They [Israel] can take care of themselves,” Paul, who has called for reduced U.S. foreign aid generally, said at the time. “Why do we have this automatic commitment that we’re going to send our kids and send our money endlessly to Israel?”

According to RightWingNews.com, former congressional aide Eric Dondero said Paul, whom he once worked for, had long harbored stridently anti-Israel opinions.

“He [Ron Paul] wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations,” Dondero wrote.

The Meng campaign noticed a questionable pattern. Did Mr. Halloran vicariously support Ron Paul’s foreign policy for Israel? Even if Paul flip-flopped, and Mr. Halloran openly disagreed with his foreign policy, questions remain. Would Congressional Candidate Dan Halloran have stood by Ron Paul given his anti-Israeli commentary?

The issue has been revisited in light of Halloran’s widely publicized trip to Israel with Republican Senator David Storobin.

A Meng spokesperson issued the following statement accusing Halloran of ‘empty words’ and ‘feigned support’.

“Dan Halloran’s critique of President Obama’s Israel policy is curious considering his outspoken support for Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy. If Dan Halloran had his way, Ron Paul would be Commander-in-Chief –slashing aid to Israel, vetoing sanctions against Iran, endangering the Israeli people and jeopardizing the future of their homeland. Those who actually value a strong U.S. – Israeli relationship are not fooled by Mr. Halloran’s empty words and feigned support for the State of Israel.” – Austin Finan, spokesman

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/on-his-way-to-israel-some-unanswered-questions/

Aug 09 2012

‘DO BUNDLERS EXIST? A Helpful Guide from the Halloran for Congress Campaign’

Official Halloran Campaign press release:

Assemblywoman Meng’s answer: 
“There is no such thing as bundlers. It is something that is made up for political purposes.”

Source: City and State, Aug. 8

The Federal Election Commission’s answer: 

Yes.

Source: the FEC’s web site at http://www.fec.gov/rad/candidates/documents/Earmarks_000.pdf.

Or, to save you the time…

bundler is an “earmarked contribution is one which the contributor directs (either orally or in writing) to a clearly identified candidate or the candidate’s
authorized committee through an intermediary or conduit. Earmarking may take the form of a designation, instruction or encumbrance and may be direct or indirect, express or implied, written or oral. 110.6(b)(1). Earmarked contributions require additional disclosure, as summarized below.

In addition, under the provisions of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA), Pub. Law No. 110-81, 121 Stat. 735,
signed into law September 14, 2007, certain “bundled” contributions may trigger additional disclosure of the identity of the person who raised
the bundled contribution as summarized in section 6 of this Appendix. See also Appendix F, “Lobbyist Bundled Contributions” for further information.

http://www.fec.gov/info/PartyGuide/Chapter6.htm

“Bundling” is the more common term for “earmarking contributions,” and “bundlers” are more formally called “conduits” or “intermediaries.”

CHAPTER 6
Earmarked Contributions

An earmarked contribution is one which the contributor directs (either orally or in writing) to a clearly identified candidate or candidate’s committee through an intermediary or conduit. Earmarking may take the form of a designation, instruction or encumbrance and may be direct or indirect, express or implied. 110.6(b)(1).

So, do bundlers exist?

Decide for yourself.

You can believe Assemblywoman Meng.

Or you can believe the Federal Election Commission.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/do-bundlers-exist-a-helpful-guide-from-the-halloran-for-congress-campaign/

Aug 01 2012

999 Candidate Removed From The Ballot

Wrong bridge buddy.

John Scandalios, a grassroots candidate that once announced a run for City Council (but realized it wasn’t until 2013), and then threw his hat into the ring for Grace Meng’s Assembly seat, has been removed from the ballot by the Board of Elections.

Following tumultuous court proceedings where Scondo, the owner of a comic book store, hurled accusations of a conspiracy theory, the Board decided it’s not going to happen.

Scondo, as he is affectionately  known, came on the scene touting a record of civic accomplishments from the early 90’s. He was seen during petition period gathering signatures at the Broadway Train Station on the LIRR from anyone that was unfortunate enough to pass by. His petitions were white in color despite running as a Democrat.

For months prior to the petition period he went on the attack against Grace Meng, often boycotting the issues in favor of hurtful nonsense on her FB page. He would show up at locations outside the district and piggyback off any events where he saw the chance to steal the limelight and catch a headline in his signature crass manner.

He was also a vocal supporter of Liz Crowley, which no one really understood.

He could still run as a write-in candidate. How whimsical would that be?

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/999-candidate-removed-from-the-ballot/

Jun 29 2012

Low Voter Turnout, Common Knowledge By Now

Empathy toward politics continues to grow especially in the summer heat.

From the Huffington Post: It turns out that yes,  Austin Finan, a spokesman for Grace Meng’s winning campaign,  was right: “Folks don’t vote in June.”

A court ruled that New York move its congressional primaries to June this year, instead of September, to comply with a federal law that gives those in the military time to return their general election ballots.

Tuesday’s turnout, however, was terrible.

The New York Times reports that only about 12 to 14 percent of the city’s registered Democrats voted in the city’s four big congressional races. In the 13th District, in what was billed as the marquee race of this year’s primaries, only 39,000 of the 284,000 Democrats registered to vote, voted. Charlie Rangel won the race, essentially securing himself a 22nd term.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/low-voter-turnout-common-knowledge-by-now/

Jun 27 2012

The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

Come on, you wanna go to war, we take you to war, okay? -Tony Montana

Congressional candidate Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) today congratulated his Democratic opponent, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, on her victory in last night’s Primary and basically drew the line in the sand.

This is his official statement.

“I look forward to discussing our unique visions for Queens. Assemblywoman Meng wants to raise taxes and increase spending. I want to lower taxes and fees and spend responsibly. Assemblywoman Meng wants another failed government stimulus, bailing out corporations and failed fiscal policies. I want to help the private sector create working-class union jobs and grow our economy. Assemblywoman Meng wants to cut New York City’s share of anti-terror funding from Washington to punish the NYPD. I want to protect those dollars and keep our City and its police officers and firefighters safe.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/the-battle-lines-have-been-drawn/

Jun 22 2012

A Mountain of Endorsements

Vote Grace!

It’s the final weekend before Primary Election Day and all the candidates will be making their last rounds. If you’re a Dem headed to the vote on Tuesday and you’re on the fence, consider the following list of endorsements Assemblywoman Grace Meng has earned in the past few months. It’s impressive.

  • ·         The New York Times
  • ·         The Queens Tribune
  • ·         The Queens Times
  • ·         The Queens Gazette
  • ·         El Diario
  • ·         Congressman Gary Ackerman
  • ·         Congressman Joseph Crowley and the Democratic Organization of Queens
  • ·         Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
  • ·         Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
  • ·         Emily’s List
  • ·         The United Federation of Teachers
  • ·         The Hotel Trades Council
  • ·         UFCW Local 1500
  • ·         The NYS Troopers PBA
  • ·         Teamsters Local 812
  • ·         The Sanitation Officers Association
  • ·         ATU Local 1056
  • ·         The New York League of Conservation Voters
  • ·         The Sierra Club
  • ·         The China Press
  • ·         Sing Tao Daily
  • ·         Ming Pao Daily
  • ·         Korean American for Political Advancement (KAPA)
  • ·         The Bangladeshi American Community Council
  • ·         ATN Bangla
  • ·         ETV
  • ·         Porichoy Newspaper
  • ·         The Weekly Bangalee
  • ·         Akhon Samoy
  • ·         Bangla Vision,
  • ·         The Weekly Ajkal,
  • ·         The Alliance of South Asian American Labor,
  • ·         The New American Democratic Club,
  • ·         The New American Women’s Forum,
  • ·         The New American Youth Forum,
  • ·         The Jamaican Bangladesh Friend Society,
  • ·         Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio,
  • ·         City Comptroller John Liu,
  • ·         City Council Speaker Christine Quinn,
  • ·         Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson,
  • ·         The Honorable Freddy Ferrer
  • ·         Queens Borough President Helen Marshall
  • ·         Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman
  • ·         Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz
  • ·         Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras
  • ·         Councilman Mark Weprin
  • ·         Councilman Leroy Comrie
  • ·         Councilman James Gennaro
  • ·         Councilman Ruben Wills
  • ·         Councilman Peter Koo
  • ·         Councilman Danny Dromm
  • ·         Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer
  • ·         Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.,
  • ·         Councilwoman Letitia James
  • ·         Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito
  • ·         State Senator Jose Peralta
  • ·         State Senator Michael Gianaris
  • ·         State Senator Tony Avella
  • ·         State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
  • ·         State Senator Liz Kreuger
  • ·         Former Assemblywoman and Councilwoman Melinda Katz
  • ·         Assemblyman Francisco Moya
  • ·         Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi
  • ·         Assemblyman David Weprin
  • ·         Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz
  • ·         Reverend Assemblyman Karim Camara
  • ·         Assemblyman Michael DenDekker
  • ·         Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas
  • ·         Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/69-endorsements/

May 31 2012

Meet the ‘Real District Leader’ of Flushing

She’s back (but she never left).

Martha Flores Vazquez wants to be your next Assembly woman and she has the grassroots support to rival any potential challengers.

Vazquez, who has lived in the 22nd Assembly District (now the 40th) for 34 years, got her start in politics as an activist. She climbed the ropes of local politics to become District leader in 2002. Since then she has been busy building a resume of public service.

Vazquez is not a politician; she is a people person. She earned her Masters in Psychology from CUNY, and her professional experience working at a social service agency helps her to understand the inner dynamics of the neighborhood she seeks to represent.

“For me the candidates haven’t been in the district long enough. They claim a lot but in reality they are not known in the community – they disappear then reappear during election. There has to be consistency when you’re serving a community.” she said.

Vazquez has earned a reputation as a mediator, a steam valve, a shoulder to cry on. Most recently she has been in negotiation with the landlords of a building in Flushing to ensure handicap accessibility. During the week, she can be seen at all the community functions and civic meetings.

Her political tenure has not always been a slam dunk. In 2010, Vasquez was thrown off the ballot for a technicality. After receiving the support of 3,200 signatures on her petitions, the word ‘female’ was missing on the petition and the Board of Elections rendered the signatures invalid.

 

Every year at her birthday party, Martha's friends and supporters buy her a cake with the inscription, "Martha, the Real District Leader."

It was a minor setback but it did not stop Vazquez from her volunteerism. In the eyes of friends and neighbors she will always be the official District leader.

“Even though I was thrown off due to a technicality – the community still treats me as a District leader,” said Vasquez. “And I return that respect by putting others before myself.”

Vasquez will run for the 40th Assembly District in an open seat if Grace Meng – who has not ruled out running for Assembly – wins the race for the sixth Congressional District. Vasquez has already filed a committee.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/the-district-leader-who-fought-back/

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