Everybody Loves Tony Avella - GET OUT THE VOTE

    Even the UFT which is not supporting the lousy incumbent for a change. The tributes are pouring in for Tony. And the NY Times too.

    When he ran for mayor many of us fighting the ed deformers really got to know and like Tony for his stands. When GEM came out to support the PS 123 community in Harlem against the Evil Moskowitz HSA invasion, Tony was there at 8am. Boy if he had been the Democratic candidate instead of Bill Thompson, who was apparently half in Bloomberg's pocket we might have had some real fun.
    Now Tony is running for NY State Senate- WOW! INTEGRITY in that body – if he wins.

    Gary Babab posted this on the NYCEdParent Blog:

    Tony Avella for State Senate

    I usually write parody for the NYC Parent Blog, but this is not parody. I usually don’t make political endorsements on the blog, but this is a political endorsement. Why? Because so much hangs in the balance in NY State Senate District 11 (Northeast Queens), and Tony Avella warrants the support of parents, teachers, and anyone else who values public education in NY State.

    Tony’s positions on education are long standing and unequivocal. He has been a fierce critic of Chancellor Klein’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s dictatorial control. He has called for the firing of the Chancellor, the hiring of a real educator for the position, and for the re-establishment true parent involvement in the schools.

    Tony’s opponent, incumbent Senator Frank Padavan, was instrumental in the renewal of Mayoral control. And lest anyone wonder about Padavan’s relationship with the Mayor and Chancellor, during a hotly contested 2008 race, the DOE renamed the Glen Oaks school campus for Mr. Padavan – jumping the gun by a good number of years, judging by the Senator’s apparent good health, given that one is supposed to be deceased to have a school named after him.

    I have dealt with Tony Avella, through my work, since he was elected to the City Council in 2001. I have had a number of conversations with him over the years about education, and have found him to be consistent and sincere in his support for parents and children, with a keen grasp of the issues.

    But beyond that, I have found him to be that rare creature, an honest politician. One example: He declined to serve on the advisory board of the program I direct – not because there was anything wrong with doing so (other politicians serve on such boards), but because, since he obtained discretionary Council funding for the program, he wanted to avoid even the slightest hint of conflict of interest.

    Tony is also that rare politician who actually takes the time to listen, and would never run out from our events after just a speech and a few minutes of shaking hands. I’ll never forget our annual barbecue, or our program’s gala anniversary dinner last year, when he and his wife hung out, schmoozing, enjoying the company and the entertainment, and comfortably fitting in like the members of the community that they are. I urge everyone in Senate District 11 to get out and vote for Tony Avella on November 2. He will be a true friend in Albany.
    And this came in from Magnificent Mona Davids:
    Subject: Tony Avella for Senate GOTV

    Hi there,

    I'm writing because I need your help in getting parents, teachers and students to help out with Tony Avella's Get Out The Vote campaign.  You all know the teachers, PTA folks and community/education activists in Queens.

    We really NEED Tony Avella to win and if we can get folks to volunteer with canvassing, we can do it.  It'd be great to have him in the State Senate.

    I know many of you know he's a great supporter of public education.  He stood up against mayoral control, he speaks out against the ed deform movement and supported term limits.

    He will be our greatest supporter and ally in the State Senate.  The 11th Senate District covers Bellerose, Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Jamaica Estates, New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Whitestone, College Point and Hollis.  

    Surely, there must be schools on DoE's hit list from those neighborhoods. 

    Thank you.
    Mona
    The person to contact to volunteer is Zoe Waltross, her email is zwaltrous@gmail.com
    GOTV Schedule for Volunteer Activities
    Friday, October 29th, 2010
    7 am - 9 am Visibility at Trains & Subways
    5 pm - 9 pm Door-to-door canvassing
    5 pm - 7:30 pm Visibility @ Trains and Commercial Strips
    Saturday, October 30th, 2010
    11 am - GOTV Rally @ Avella HQ (38-50 Bell Blvd, Suite C)
    11 am - 2 pm Visibility
    12 noon - 5 pm Door-to-door canvassing
    2pm - 6pm Visibility
    3:30 pm - 5pm Community Walk in Jamaica - Location: Meet at Hillside Ave & 179th Street
    5 pm - 6:30 pm South Asians for Avella GOTV Rally - Location: 257-10 Union Tpke 3rd Bellrose
    Sunday, October 31st, 2010
    10 am - 2pm Visibility
    1 pm - 4 pm Door-to-door canvassing
    2pm - 6pm Visibility
    Monday, November 1st, 2010
    7 am - 9 am Visibility @ Trains & Subways
    5 pm - 9 pm Visibility @ Trains and Commercial Strips
    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 - Election Day
    5:30 am - 8:30am AM Visibility 
    10 am - 3 pm  Midday Visibility
    2:30 pm - 8:30 pm Door-to-door canvass
    8:30 pm - 9:30 pm Poll closing operation

    NY TIMES ENDORSEMENT and KIDS PAC Endorsements of Avella.


    For Immediate Release: October 29, 2010
    Contact: Shino Tanikawa: (917) 770-8438
    Mel Meer:  (718) 428-3659
    Today, NYC Kids PAC endorsed Tony Avella for election as State Senator for District 11, Northeast Queens. NYC Kids PAC was formed by public school parents in 2009 to support candidates who work for the issues that matter to parents and their kids, including smaller classes; less reliance on test prep and standardized testing; more provision of art, music, science and physical education; greater parental input into decision-making at the school, district and citywide levels; and full transparency and accountability to ensure that resources are invested in these priorities.  

    As Shino Tanikawa of the Parent Commission on School Governance and NYC Kids PAC says, “Throughout his career, Tony Avella has stood up for our kids, so now we are standing up for him.  He has been a strong supporter of reducing class size, equipping our schools with the latest technology, and providing our kids with new and uncrowded facilities. He has opposed the insertion of charter schools into public school buildings, which merely makes overcrowding worse. As Councilmember, he voted against Chancellor Joel Klein’s capital plan for school construction because it was inadequate to alleviate the extreme overcrowding in Queens , as well as citywide. He is against 'teaching to the test' and for providing a rich and varied curriculum to our kids.  And as State Senator, he will work to ensure that our schools do not suffer even worse budget cuts in these tough economic times.”   

    Gary Babad of the NYC Public School Parent blog and resident of NE Queens says, “Tony Avella warrants the support of parents, teachers, and anyone else who values public education.  He has been a fierce critic of Chancellor Klein’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s dictatorial control. He has called for the firing of the Chancellor, the hiring of a real educator for the position, and for the re-establishment of true parent involvement in the schools.  Tony is sincere in his support for parents and children, with a keen grasp of the issues; beyond that, he is that rare creature, an honest politician who takes the time to listen.  I urge everyone in Senate District 11 to get out and vote for Tony Avella on November 2. He will be a true friend in Albany .”

    Mel Meer, school parent in Bayside and founding chair of Community Board 11's Education Committee:  “ Community School District 26 in NE Queens used to be a shining example of excellence; it exists now in name only. Parents having a problem at their local schools now have to grovel in downtown Manhattan to get relief. And our local high schools, including Bayside, Francis Lewis and Cardozo are bursting at the seams. Yet when it came time to vote to change the system to restore the voices of parents and teachers, Senator Padavan sponsored the legislation that did little more than continue the present system unaltered. He has also consistently voted with the Republicans for funding formulas favoring the suburbs. Clearly it's time for a change.”

    As one of the characters in Frank Capra’s classic film “State of the Union ” said: “You’ve got an honest man. You don’t know how lucky you are.” That man is Tony Avella. At every moment in the City Council he has delivered integrity and honesty. He has voted for his constituents even as he resisted enormous pressures to "go along". He has not accepted a lulu for his committee chairmanship and he has delivered real positive change for our neighborhoods. He will be a great state senator.
    ###




    --
    Shino Tanikawa
    Parent Commission
    NYC Kids PAC

    Apparently this is their only endorsement for State Senate in New York City.  Of course they don't mention Padavan's support for mayoral control or Avella's opposition to much of what the Mayor is doing.  Nevertheless Times support is useful in this relatively upscale district.

    Melvyn Meer


    October 28, 2010

    A Few Good Albany Candidates

    Albany needs sweeping change. Gerrymandering and anything-goes campaign finance “rules” guarantee that most of the hacks will be back next year, working to ensure nothing ever changes.
    If there is any doubt, consider this grim fact: some of the Legislature’s worst enablers — starting with the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver — have no opponent on the ballot. Other members of Albany’s hall of shame — Senators John Sampson, Malcolm Smith, Rubén Díaz Sr. and Carl Kruger — barely have challengers.
    The only good news is that there are a few competitive races and a few candidates committed to changing the system who are worth electing. Here is our list:
    STATE SENATE DISTRICT 11 IN QUEENS Tony Avella, a former city councilman and an independent-minded Democrat, is challenging Frank Padavan, a Republican who has served in the State Senate for almost 40 years.
    Mr. Avella supports women’s rights and promises to champion ethics reform. He is particularly interested in ending gerrymandering, citing his district as a poster child for the way electoral borders are drawn to ensure incumbents keep getting elected. Although Mr. Padavan has fought admirably against casinos and human trafficking, he has also fought against women’s reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and immigration reform.
    We support Tony Avella, the Democrat, in District 11.

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Everybody Loves Tony Avella - GET OUT THE VOTE


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