2013-09-20 / Columnists

Simon Says

By Lew Simon

Thank you. Thank you. A million thank you’s. Last Tuesday we became the official Democratic candidate for City

Council in the 32nd Council District. I could have never done this alone without the Democratic voters who spoke loud and clear. It goes to show you that working long hard hours, giving personal service, and always responding to all for over 30 years does pay off in the end.

At the young age of nine, I got an early start in community service, when I helped save a public library in Arverne facing closure. After that I was hooked.

As Democratic District Leader, a non-paid elected official, for the last 19 years, I have responded to every call, letter and plea for help, never asking what party you are enrolled in or where you live. I only ask, how can I help you?

During many years I have worked as a private school teacher. I started while I was attending college and did not complete the work required for graduation. Therefore I could not obtain a license to teach in the public school system.

Most yeshivas do not require teaching credentials or college graduation, requiring only a high school diploma. For those who may argue that I was not a teacher, that is the work that I did.

After school hours, I worked as a Community Liaison for Senators Al Waldon, Malcolm Smith and Shirley Huntley who represented Rockaway. This is a paid position with medical coverage. I was required to work 17 1/2 hours a week, but always did above and beyond. My job was to represent the elected officials at community events and meetings.

Last summer I taught classes at the Board of Elections for those who wanted to work as Election Inspectors. I was required to take and pass a 40 hour training class in which I excelled. As we all know Hurricane Sandy hit us, my office was burned to the ground and my home was pretty messed up.

At no time did I worry about myself. I stepped into action, helping everyone with their needs, survival, and efforts to rebuild. Utilizing social media, I responded to calls from all over the world from people looking for loved ones and trying to obtain food, clothing, baby formula and supplies for the Rockaway Point Vollies. I always put other's needs before mine, never missing a meeting or event or a chance to speak up for all of us.

In June of 2012, the school I worked at closed due to financial hardship and lack of enrollment. At the end of June 2012, Senator Malcolm Smith reassigned his staff to other areas as Rockaway was no longer in his district due to reapportionment. I then worked for Senator Shirley Huntley until she lost the Democratic primary and I lost my job. When I filed with the Campaign Finance Board, I stated that I was unemployed but my profession was private school teacher.

I did not have time to seek another job. Instead I decided to seek the position of City Councilman because I felt we were poorly served by our current Councilman. You, the voters, will be hiring your next City Councilman. I am looking forward to being hired in November.

We have received many calls from people who voted in other locations after Hurricane Sandy. They may not have received notices from the Board of Elections due to problems with mail delivery or they did not read the notice completely. Some voting locations were changed due to storm damage. If you had any problem and had to vote on an affidavit ballot, you may need to re-register. Please call me at (718) 945-1216 and we will make an appointment to help you register.

I am fully committed to fighting for the boardwalk to be rebuilt immediately. We say shame on those like our current councilman who agreed with reconstruction of selected parts for the benefit of concessions only. I will never sell you out. We demand our boardwalk now.

Please call me if you will display a lawn sign or election poster. We need volunteers to go to other parts of our district and to make phone calls. We need your help to win this election.

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