The Case for Gianaris

Michael Gianaris State Senate campaign is getting underway, with this helpful email to supporters from Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, a Democratic activist in Queens. The email was just forwarded to me by a reader just.

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Jeremiah Frei-Pearson <redacted>
To: [redacted]
Sent: Mon, January 11, 2010 9:04:40 AM
Subject: Please join me in supporting Mike Gianaris for State Senate.

Many of my friends and neighbors have encouraged me to run for New
York state Senate in Western Queens. I am deeply honored by this
support. I write to let you know that I will not be a candidate for
Senate in 2010, but I am proud to support and endorse a reformer who
shares our values: Assemblymember Mike Gianaris.
<http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=036>

I was asked to run for Senate because I have spent my career fixing
broken government systems and it is no secret that New York’s
government is profoundly broken. We desperately need reform –
especially in Western Queens. Our economy and state budget are in
shambles. Politicians in Albany are taking away Metrocards from school
children at the same time that they are making six-figure salaries and
pocketing big bonuses just for doing their jobs. In the last 3 years,
Queens has lost 3 hospitals. As a child advocate, it angers and
saddens me that our schools are overcrowded and underfunded. Astoria
has too many unclean power plants; as a result, asthma rates are so
high that our neighborhood is sometimes called “asthma alley.” At
the same time, our own electrical grids are underdeveloped and our
community is still at risk of blackouts. Over 100,000 children live in
poverty in Queens – and, sadly, this number is growing. 

Adding insult to injury, just last month, two state Senators in
Western Queens denied civil rights to millions of New Yorkers by
voting against marriage equality. The litany of failures of our state
government is nearly endless and, as someone who is in a position to
help fix this broken system, I feel a moral obligation to improve our
State’s government.

This December, I publicly promised
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ytfOU07a5w>
that George Onorato would not be our state Senator in 2010. As a
civil rights lawyer who fixes broken government systems on behalf of
foster children, and as a community organizer and pro bono lawyer who
helped win a $63 million dollar settlement for the people of Western
Queens against ConEd, I would have been a strong fighter for reform in
the Senate. I seriously considered running for Senate because
government must be about helping people, not about protecting
politicians and powerful interests.

However, the 2010 senate election was never about me. It is about all
of us and our need for better – and more just – government. I have had
extensive conversations with Assemblymember Gianaris; he has assured
me that, as our Senator, he will continue to be a strong supporter of
government reform and marriage equality. Over the past 9 years, Mike
has been a leader in the Assembly on issues that matter to us. I
intend to work with all my heart to ensure that he brings that
leadership to the Senate in 2010. I urge you to join me in supporting
him.

We can all be proud that we are getting a new Senator; it came in
large part because of the movement we created – because thousands of
us stood up and demanded better government. Our voices were heard. In
Mike Gianaris, the people of Senate District 12 will soon have a
Senator who truly represents all of us. 

But we can’t stop demanding justice just because we are getting a new
Senator. Martin Luther King said that “our lives begin to end the
day we are silent about things that matter.” We cannot be silent. I
will never be silent. I will continue to be a strong advocate on the
causes we care about – for all of our community and especially for our
children. I ask you to stand with me, because there’s lots more work
to do. If you have not already joined, please join the facebook group
<http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=357790085310#/group.php?v=wall&gid=357790085310>
that some of my supporters created. 

Karla and I look forward to working with you and to working to elect
Mike Gianaris to the Senate. Thank you very much for your support and
friendship. 

The Case for Gianaris