2000-02-12 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting and talking to
Fran Weiner, the charming and talented mother of our Congressman Anthony Weiner. Since her reputation proceeded her and so many people told me how dynamic she was, I was happy to have the opportunity to talk to her myself.

Fran Weiner is the essence of a very professional individual. She teaches mathematics at Midwood High School. Midwood High is one of the
outstanding academic schools in the city. In fact, Midwood in January,
2000 achieved 13 spots in the semi final round of the yearly Intel Science
Talent Search formerly known as The Westinghouse Scholarships. Midwood
tied with a high school in Maryland for the most semi-finalists in the
nation. This year the students who are semi finalists will receive $1,000
each and their school will receive $1,000 per winner which will be allotted to the science and math programs in the school. Fran Weiner's outstanding scholarly mathematical talents are extremely beneficial and helpful to her students at Midwood. Today, math teachers are in high demand. Math teachers of Fran Weiner's caliber are an asset to the New York City school system.

Fran Weiner confirms my theory that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Fran Weiner and her son, our Congressman Anthony Weiner, have both chosen helping professions. They strive to excel in their undertakings and they are willing to work to help others achieve their goals. Fran told me that Anthony believes that one person can make a difference. They both strive to do this in their work.

Fran told me that in school, Anthony was always articulate. His
social studies teachers loved him because he was enthusiastic, well
informed on the issues, knowledgeable and confident. He eagerly took a
position and debated an issue. His talent with language motivated the
other students and made the exchange lively and interesting.

Anthony's first real interest in politics emerged when he decided
to major in political science in college. He was an active student who
immediately became interested in college life and campus politics. He
demonstrated his strong leadership skills by becoming involved in the
student government. Willing to extend himself to promote the interests of the other students, he believed that collaboration and teamwork can
effectuate positive change.

During his years in college, Anthony Weiner served as an intern in
Congressman Charles Schumer's office in Washington, D.C. Anthony and Chuck quickly became friends because they shared a lot in common. Each has an amicable personality. Each is energetic and enthusiastic. Each has a strong work ethic. Each is willing to go the extra mile in order to make a difference. After Anthony's internship, he stayed on with Schumer on Capitol Hill as a legislature aide for a while before he joined the staff at Schumer's Brooklyn district office, so that he had legislative
experience when he first ran for office. The impressive part about this
position of legislative aide is that it is highly coveted by the interns
and very few of them get hired for that position.

Fran told me that Anthony's first race for the city council mirrored his congressional race. There were three other candidates. His strategies for wining in both campaigns were similar. In each case he substituted energy for money. He tirelessly attended as many events as he
could to meet the people in his district. When Anthony ran for congress
and for the city council he ran for an open seat because there was no

Fran Weiner told me that she was very active in his first campaign.
If Anthony marched in a parade, went to the park or campaigned on the beach, his mother was there campaigning by his side. Anthony wanted to win the race and he was willing to work hard to do it. His mother shared this goal.

Fran was equally active in his congressional campaign. She personally telephoned many people in the district and asked them to go to
the polls and vote for her son. She handed out flyers and palm cards from early morning until night during the campaign and on Election Day.

Fran Weiner is joined by the people in our congressional district in believing that Anthony Weiner is the best person for the job. She
admires his effectiveness and the fact that he cares for people. Fran
describes Anthony as a self-motivated individual who has an innate impulse
to help people and to get things done.

Fran relates that on election night she was in awe of her son. He
wanted to be a congressman and he was able to achieve it. Fran feels that
this is truly the American dream. A friend of the family who is a political science professor in France always uses Anthony in his class as an example to illustrate the fact that money isn't everything. The interesting aspect is that the French believe that our system is totally controlled by money. (They have much tighter controls on the amounts of money that can be spent.) This is
precisely the reason that he uses Anthony as an example.

In America, the Weiners prove that hard work, determination and caring can spell success.




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