Tag Archive: Martha Flores Vazquez

Aug 23 2013

Vazquez Gears Up For General Election

Martha

We’re sure Vazquez will run a spirited campaign on the issues, but for her the real fight looms next year.

Long-time Democratic activist and District Leader Martha Flores Vazquez is once again making news.

Vasquez, who has successfully defeated the Queens County Democratic Organization and powerful political figures to maintain her district leadership, is now seeking an uphill fight in a city council race against powerful incumbent Peter Koo.

Those who know Vasquez as a savvy political operative and good government advocate know that she has little to no chance of defeating Peter Koo but Vazquez felt that all elected officials should have an election in November especially when it comes to electing candidates to a 4-year term.

Sources close to the Queens Democratic Party say Vazquez is crazy like a fox. While she knows her chances at victory are slim, Vazquez is keeping her name recognition high and campaigning to take a second bite at the apple for state assembly while maintaining her district leadership post.

Vazquez will be running on the Independent Jobs and Education ballot, line D in the general election.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/martha-flores-vazquez-gears-up-for-general-election/

Nov 21 2012

Steve Behar to succeed Senator Avella?

Civic leader Steve Behar may have an opening to run for State Senate.

As the race for Borough President heats up with more prospective candidates testing the waters, one stellar civic leader anxiously awaits an opening to represent New York’s 11th Senate District should the right pieces fall into place.

It is widely rumored incumbent Senator Tony Avella will be throwing his hat in the ring for Borough President. Should Avella become the next Beep, a special election will be held where community advocate Steve Behar will have a chance to take his place in Albany.

Behar, a progressive reformer who ran unsuccessfully for City Council and State Assembly, has been quietly building a coalition of community and civic leaders, which are already expressing encouragement.

Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association agrees Behar would be the right choice for the district. “Steve would be phenomenally excellent and he would take into account all the needs of the community and he would listen to all the different parts of the community and work with everyone” said Centola. “He’s straightforward and he’s genuine, which is rare.”

Democratic District Leader Martha Flores Vazquez also expressed support. “Steve appears to be a gentleman with an open mind; his law experience may benefit the community in the state legislature.”

In what will be a hotly contested race pitting Avella against other campaign heavyweights like City Councilman Peter Vallone and Leroy Comrie, Lobbyist Melinda Katz, and Senator Jose Peralta, despite the strong opposition Avella is said to be mulling a chance to stand out from the crowd to gain a foothold in boro-wide politics for another shot at Mayor in 2017.

in the meantime, Behar, a member of Community Board 11, has been busy honing his campaign skills delivering victory after victory for the Democratic Party. Recently he served as field director for Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, campaign manager for Senator-elect James Sanders, as well as spearheading the legal team for Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng.

Should the pieces fall into place, a special election will likely take place in February to fill the vacancy. The County organization will have the choice to endorse Behar in the special or risk losing his large base (who will likely stay home in protest) and give rise to Senator Halloran –  a frightening prospect for the Democratic County organization considering Republican Senator Frank Padavan represented the district for over 30 years.

Senate District 11 encompasses a huge section of Queens where Behar has strong name recognition.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/steve-behar-to-succeed-avella/

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/

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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