2007-01-12 / Columnists

Simon says...

Commentary From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B Happy, healthy New Year to all of you: my loyal family, constituents and readers. We are now calling upon you to help us continue the great work we do for our community. We are going into our 13th year as Democratic District Leader and 19½ years with the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. We have been in the forefront of all major issues affecting our community.

As I've stated in the past, Democratic District leaders do not get paid, get a paid staff or an office budget and paid telephone. Our office is located at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. Our Democratic Club is open every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Most importantly we are available 24-7.

In November 2006, as we were starting on our way to Atlantic City, our bus driver had a massive coronary at the wheel and died instantly. My heart goes out to the driver and his family. Some of our frequent riders did not join our December trip, leaving us with many empty seats.

Our next trip is Saturday January 13. We need your help. Don't be scared. We have our regular bus company and driver, Earthlean, who drove us last year during the blizzard with 28 inches of snow. We made it back from Atlantic City in whiteout conditions, safe and sound. He was so kind that he dropped people off at their blocks.

Our bus trip costs $35 with $25 returned. This time we are leaving at 5 p.m. and will return at 7:30 a.m. Bagels and cream cheese by Rockaway Bagels. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

The bus trips have been our means of raising funds to keep our office open. You can help by sending in your dues to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club.

Yearly dues for a family are $25, $18 individual and $12 for Seniors and Young Dems. Send your check to the GGDRC at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park NY 111694.

Please join us at the Queens inaugural for our new State Senator, Shirley Huntley. It will be held on Saturday January 20 at 2 p.m. at York College at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica. She is the State Senator for the 10th S.D. replacing Ada Smith. She represents Broad Channel, parts of Lindenwood, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens and parts of Forest Hills as well as Rosedale, Laurelton, Jamaica and other parts of Queens. The Senator has asked me to personally invite all to meet and greet her that day. Her staff will be available to discuss constituent problems, set up appointments and schedule Senator Huntley to speak at community meetings and events. RSVP to 518-455-3531.

A special happy birthday to Pat Kantor, community activist, who has made it big. Happy Sweet 16.

Tuesday January 16 is a red letter day. CDEC 27, (Community District Educational Council 27) which has replaced CSB 27, presents an evening with Chancellor Joel I Klein at MS 137, 109-15 98th Street, Ozone Park, NY at 7:30 p.m. sharp. This is an opportunity that doesn't happen every day for District 27 parents, children, caretakers, staff, administrators and the community to speak directly with the chancellor.

If you have educational concerns, pet projects for your school, or other concerns this is the time for you and your children to speak up. Registration is required for public speaking. Call Ms. Wellington at 718-642-5805. Many of us will want to speak about the need for new schools in areas where new housing is going up. We also need elevators so all our children can use new and existing schools.

The chancellor has been very impressed with children who have gotten up at public events to ask questions or to ask for help. Our children are our best resource and are our future. Community School Superintendent Michelle Lloyd Bey will be on hand. Come one. Come all. I look forward to seeing you there.

Many people who may be eligible for HEAP grants to help pay their winter oil, gas or electric heating bills have not signed up. If you call 800-692-0557 the recording will give you very clear instructions. Income guidelines this year are $1,764 monthly for a household of one to $5,475 monthly for a household of 11. When all the allotted money is distributed it is too late to get a grant, so call now.

Congratulations to Senator Malcolm Smith who will be inaugurated on Friday January 12 at York College. Smith is a great friend to New York City and New York State. He will make a great Senate Minority Leader. We are looking forward to seeing him as Majority Leader.

We are seeking college or high school students to serve as interns with our office. You may be able to obtain college credits or fill school community service requirements. You will learn about the political arena, attend public meetings or sharpen your computer skills. Seniors, housewives and recently retired may also be eligible. Call my office for information.

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