2013-09-06 / Editorial/Opinion

It’s Sal

BY THOMAS KERR BY THOMAS KERR Hey, this is Rockaway. We know the deal with being isolated, overlooked, and forgotten about. We know we’re New York’s best kept secret and a hidden gem.

It should come as no surprise then that we identify with Sal Albanese.

Among those running for mayor, Sal Albanese is often forgotten but to us, he’s a hidden gem.

The Wave can’t turn its back on someone just because poll numbers suggest he’s got no shot.

Hear us out. There are two reasons to vote for Sal. The first reason is he earned it. He came here often and demonstrated knowledge about Rockaway-specific issues and that can’t be said of others.

He and Anthony Weiner are the only ones who offered an idea about dealing with crippling flood insurance premiums– the storm no one in public office is preparing for.

Both candidates suggested subsidizing flood insurance with grants but Sal offered a more nuanced suggestion. He said rates should be subsidized until jetties and seawalls and dunes are in place. With hard structures, premiums should come down to a manageable level and then the subsidy could be removed. That’s an idea. It’s not just the usual line we hear from candidates: I’m going to fight for affordable insurance rates. Fight? We get sick of that word. Everyone’s a fighter. Yeah, we get that.

He was here. Often. More than any other candidate. And that matters. You’ve got to see Rockaway with your own two eyes to appreciate both its beauty and its scars from Sandy.

You’ve got to be in Rockaway to see vacant lots where houses stood just 10 months ago; you’ve got to be in Rockaway to appreciate the damage, the challenges.

You’ve even got to be here to appreciate the pot holes and horrible roads. And you’ve got to be here to appreciate the people.

Sal has been here. He gets it. He’s been fully supportive at rallies for better transportation to Rockaway and has released a full transit plan.

A former high school teacher and a lawyer, Sal’s got a rich background unlike some of the career politicians vying for the job of mayor.

Some might think it’s wasting a vote. Some scoff at voting for someone not registering in the polls. Well, voting for someone just because they look good in the polls is really something to be scoffed at. Sal Albanese has earned our vote. He earned it. That’s what matters. You can be proud to vote for Sal.

And while you might think we’re crazy, there is a method to our madness. Sal deserves the vote on the merits, period. However, there is another way to look at this.

If you’re not crazy about any of the candidates—and admit it, you’re not -- hold on. Say the polls are fairly accurate and Sal will finish far behind. Your vote for Sal still holds value. Your vote will actually signal something to those left standing. Your “Sal” vote will be considered an “undecided” vote and will be sought after in a runoff or the general election. There will be a scramble for the undecided and if Rockaway has enough undecided voters, the remaining candidates will have to pay attention to Rockaway.

You can do your part by voting for Sal Albanese.

That’s our hope. We hope enough people vote for Sal Albanese because he earned it and because it will be telling the others that they still have to earn Rockaway’s support.

Rockaway can be a voting bloc. It would be a great thing if Rockaway tried voting with unity in mind. Vote for Sal Albanese.

PS: When Mayor Bloomberg insisted on allowing the NYC Marathon to go on, Bill de Blasio supported Bloomberg.

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