Councilmember Paul Vallone, the newest office-holding member of the famous and illustrious political family in Astoria and beyond, wasted no time settling down to work as the new councilmember representing the 19th district covering Bayside and adjacent parts of Northeast Queens.
The Democratic lawmaker announced the opening of his district office at 42-40 Bell Blvd. in Bayside in the heart of the bustling business district. You can find the new councilmember in Suite 507.
Vallone stated, “My transition team worked tirelessly to ensure that our district office would be ready from day one. I promised my constituents the best possible service and representation and we’re off to an amazing start. I’m very happy to be one of the only newly elected councilmembers open for business on our first day.”
Vallone’s career as a councilmember continues the family’s dynasty of service in the council in Queens, which was started when Peter Vallone Sr. was elected to the city legislature in 1974, as the Astoria representative. He served for 32 years consecutively, until 2001, when term limits began. During that period, he became the city council speaker in 1986 a post which he held until his retirement in 2001, 27 years later.
As the city’s highest elected official except mayor, Vallone Sr. exhibited strong fiscal responsibility, helping to pass 11 consecutive balanced city budgets. He also was strongly pro-police protection, championing the renowned Safe Streets/Safe City program which virtually restored the city’s criminal justice system, rebuilding the city’s police force from a low of 26,000 in 1989 to 41,000 in 2001, during which he was succeeded by his son, Peter Vallone Jr., to serve in 2002 and continue the Vallone tradition of representing Astoria/Long Island City in the city council. Vallone Jr. was elected as chair of the Public Safety Committee and became a watchdog over crime and police services for the next three terms, when he was term limited as a councilmember at the end of 2013.
A true public safety hard-liner, Vallone Jr., as Public Safety Committee chair, successfully led the fight against having the 9/11 terror trials in New York City, and fought to stop manpower cuts to the NYPD, to add more officers to local precincts, and for New York City to get the money it deserves from the federal and state governments.
Vallone Jr. also led the effort to make schools safer by helping to put security cameras in all of New York City’s public schools, and by allowing school kids to carry cellphones in schools. He also advocated for more computer learning and after-school learning programs.
Vallone also earned the nickname, the Man Who Hates Graffiti, waging war against vandals, and making it illegal to sell graffiti tools to minors and regulating the sale of etching acids and pens.
Young Vallone also wrote the law requiring that all new roll-down security gates be see-through, to help protect business places, and also led the fight against the proliferation of power plants in Astoria and environs and also represented Coalition Helping Organize A Kleaner Environment (C.H.O.K.E.) in court.
He ran for Queens borough president last year, losing to Melinda Katz. But there’s time for his career to grow and we think we’ll see him in public office sometime in the future.
So the combined services of Peter Vallone Sr. and his son, Peter Jr. as councilmembers representing Astoria-Long Island City ran from 1974 through 2013 consecutively—almost 40 years—before being interrupted. That would also swell to over 50 years when you add in the services provided earlier by the late Charles Vallone, a community leader and Civil Court judge.
The late Judge Vallone, and his wife, Leah, a Democratic state committee woman, parents of Peter Sr., set the right tone for their family’s political and civic involvement, and Astoria owes them a debt of gratitude for their clean and honest service to their community over a long period of time when Astoria was still growing.
See full article at Queens Gazette.