A graduate from Archbishop Molloy, Conigliaro, who says he sees the fight against the proposed Glendale homeless shelter as one of the reasons Addabbo has to go, is running an uphill battle.
We give him credit for running a nice clean race, but after speaking with Conigliaro, it is quite obvious that right now his lack of political experience makes him too much of an unknown to endorse.
In our talks with Addabbo regarding the proposed shelter, his thoughts about the Department of Homeless Shelter using smaller sites, even possibly sites previously used to house nuns and priests in Catholic Church parishes in his district, is right on target. Now he just has to sell that to DHS and the neighbors surrounding those sites.
Addabbo has been up front about his focus for the area. He has fought for the environmental security of Jamaica Bay and the thousands of displaced Rockaway residents devastated by the lasting effects of Hurricane Sandy.
He is an open book on his feeling about the lack of the discretionary dollars he has to give. He becomes visibly upset when faced with the idea of not being able to fund service organizations any longer. “They took away our discretionary funds, what can I say,” he said during our meeting.
We believe that Addabbo brings years of experience – not only his time in the State Senate, but the City Council before that - and a proven track record for pushing through meaningful legislation and taking action.
Conigliaro accused Addabbo of not leading from the front on major issues, especially the homeless shelter. Addabbo says he and many other Queens politicians have been working from the inside, setting up meetings with the mayor, Department of Homeless Services and others to fight for what his community needs and wants, which is a smaller shelter or no shelter at all.
“We have to come up with alternate sites,” Addabbo said of the shelter fight.
We hope to see more leadership from Addabbo on the issue of restoring discretionary funds in some form. It would be a shame if some bad eggs in the legislature ruin it for so many others who use their money honestly.
So, expediting the rebuilding process in Breezy Point, legislation towards limiting toxic dumping in Jamaica Bay, and his planned focus on Common Core state education standards are just some of the reasons we believe Addabbo is the right candidate for District 15.