READ JOHN Q'S CAMPAIGN KICKOFF SPEECH
CAMPAIGN KICK OFF SPEECH
Monday, March 6, 2017
Good evening and thank you.
Thank you to Bob Howe for your kind introduction. I asked Bob to introduce me tonight because he has been much a part of the journey that has led me to this podium. In so many ways, our stories have been connected. As a Republican Leader, as a fellow parishioner and Academy Board member at St. Anselm’s, as a civic leader, and as a friend, I am proud to call Bob a supporter tonight.
I am honored to stand before you, with my wife Kerry, and our two daughters, Natalie andOlivia, as tonight, I lay the foundation for this campaign. The support and encouragement in this room is energizing and overwhelming. This turnout tonight reaffirms that my decision to run for New York City Council this year to represent the 43rd District was IN FACT THE RIGHT ONE.
I am running for one reason: I have long thought that our corner of the world is the greatest of places to buy a home, open a business, and raise your children. And, I still do.
Just this past weekend, while speaking with a neighbor, they said, and I quote: “I don’t know, there is just something about this place that you cannot find anywhere else.”
And that is why I am running.
It is in my opinion we live in the best small town in the biggest City in the world. But folks, we can do better, and this is the year we can do it. Ladies and gentlemen, this year, for the first time since 2003, there is no incumbent in the race for this Council seat. We can win this seat and send innovative leadership to City Hall.
For almost twenty years, I have gained the necessary experience to get started on Day One. Working for Councilman, and now State Senator Marty Golden, has been one of the greatest honors of my life. It has given me a ringside seat to watch one of our community’s finest public servants in action. It has given me an opportunity to see what public service really means. And the chance to learn that I truly want to be an advocate for many people and many causes. It has given me the chance to realize that; even though I brought home a book in elementary school entitled, “I want to be a Firefighter”; And in high school I ran the school newspaper in the hopes of being a news-reporter, What I really want to be is someone who can help others- a public servant.
With your support tonight, this kick-off is the start of the journey to the realization of that dream. A chance to take what I have learned, and what I have done, and bring it to the next level. And when we win in November, I will be ready to lead on Day One. I will head to City Hall and hit the ground running to advance our agenda. Because we can do better folks – we must do better, and we will do better.
Results. Every Day for Us. That will be the mission that guides me. Because that is what it is all about –
And if we are to do better, this message must always be front and center. Because we warrant safer streets, Because we deserve more police officers, Because we expect cleaner streets and graffiti free commercial districts – Because we need to halt the rash of illegal home conversions threatening our way of life.
This election is not about a political party, rather, it is about the people who live here. The people that have lived here for many years, and the newer families that see the greatness that is Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst.
This campaign is about our future. How are we going to make this community stronger? How are we going to improve, expand and modernize our schools and our parks? How are we going to help those in most need who are in our midst? The homeless, the hungry, and the elderly? How can we stand against the policies that are coming out of City Hall that are destroying our City, and jeopardizing the future of us all? How can we make small business owners more competitive in our City?
In the days, weeks and months ahead, I will announce legislative proposals and my plans to make that difference we all yearn for. The time for simply talking about these problems must end. And the time to start doing something about these problems must begin.
So I ask you tonight to stay with me on this journey. I need you in the Republican Primary, and I need you in the General Election in November. I am going to need everyone in this room to be a messenger for this campaign.
We have to go back to the basics. Tell someone on your block, or in your store, or in your house of worship about me. Tell them to pay attention to this race. Tell them that I need their vote this year. That is how we will win.
Together, united, and as one, we can march to victory and we can shake up City Hall. I close with a story I shared many times during the campaign in 2013. In 1986, New York City hosted Operation Sail in the New York Harbor and on the Hudson River. My sister was 9, and I was just 7 years old. And I remember vividly, my mother getting a call from my Uncle from Ohio and her excitement in telling my father that he was able to get tickets to the event on July 4th for our family.
Knowing you would have to take public transportation to a major event like that, do you know what my father’s response was?
“I am not taking the kids on the train”.
Fast forward 30 years, as I stand here, I can tell you that I never want to live in a City where I am afraid to take my two daughters on the train. I know no one in this room wants to go back to the days of the old New York. But the policies and the agendas of this City Council and this Mayor, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Bill DeBlasio, are turning us around. Folks, if City Hall continues to operate like this much longer, they will bring us right back.
This is why I am running. This is why this election is so important.
This is our chance, for this neighborhood and the people of our corner of the world, to send a representative to the City Council that will fight for us.