As the season begins to turn and summer concerts fade to memory, we once again renew our pact as a community to be involved and safeguard the values we hold dear. Juniper Park is one of New York City's great treasures with an equally remarkable civic association. As a former President of the Ozone Tudor Civic Association, and former Executive Secretary for Community Board 10, I know that a community is only as strong as the concerns of those who speak out. A civic association is the watchdog of a neighborhood, the eyes and ears of every block, and the channel through which local elected officials seek guidance and information. In my capacity in the City Council, I depend upon the people with whom I served at my civic association, and now serve as their Councilman, to inform me of the issues. To that end, there are a number of issues facing Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) that I want to address. I will fight to keep our community a place where families can raise their children and grow old with dignity. Time and time again we've seen that when the community works together, we win.
Development is, as always, a serious concern. Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale are historic areas which we need to protect. When a neighborhood falls prey to overdevelopment fringe issues develop such as flooding, lack of parking, and overcrowding in schools, yet a revised zoning plan has been languishing in the Department of City Planning for two years now. I will work with the department to reactivate the plan and establish appropriate zoning regulations for the neighborhood. Over the course of my seven years in the City Council I have developed a positive relationship with the Department of City Planning and am confident that by working together we can move forward on this project. Although JPCA recently celebrated a victory over developer Tommy Huang, we need comprehensive zoning laws now. The community cannot be expected to single handedly fight every greedy developer who seeks to chip away at the architectural integrity of our streets and cause us future problems.
Similarly, the administrative changes at the Department of Transportation (DOT) should not have an adverse effect on our community. Grand Avenue is a major thoroughfare through which dozens of trucks pass daily, the result of which has been air and noise pollution. It is obvious that we need to reduce traffic for the sake of our safety and sanity. DOT has dropped the ball and it's time to pick it up again. Constant traffic has compromised our students' ability to learn, the security of our streets, and the air we breathe. I plan to work with DOT to find alternative strategies to reduce congestion, truck traffic and improve our quality of life.
As the former chair of the Parks Committee on the City Council I created the Adopt-A-Park Law to protect and maintain our parks. It is essential however, that parks remain a place where everyone can enjoy themselves without fear. Dogs need to be able to run free and socialize with other dogs, but not at the expense of human happiness and safety. It is not acceptable to place canine needs over public safety, and although dog owners are responsible for their pets, the law must be enforced. However, we can establish an appropriate place for a dog run outside of Juniper Park, so that we reduce the level of conflict overall. It is an alternative I'd like to explore in further depth with the community's feedback and support.
Having served in the City Council for the past seven years I want to continue to work together, throughout the fall, and well beyond. I have always maintained an open door policy with my constituents and hope to hear from JPCA as we go forward together. I have been privileged to represent some of the greatest communities in the City, and with your input and support, will continue to do so up in Albany as your State Senator.
Council Member Joseph Addabbo is a life long resident of Ozone Park, Queens. He is a member of the NYS Bar Association; he practiced law at Addabbo and Greenberg, Esq.'s in Forest Hills, Queens until his election to the New York City Council in November 2001.
During his tenure as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee of the Council, Addabbo sought to protect and maintain parks and recreational areas throughout the city, and that is why he was the key sponsor of the Adopt-A-Park law. Since 2004, he has served as the Chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee working to protect the interests and concerns of our city's workforce.
Addabbo has been responsible for capital improvements in schools throughout his district and has worked tirelessly to improve transportation in each community. He has been blessed with the opportunity to have learned from his father, the late Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo, about the functioning of the legislature, political structures, and how to effectively tend to the needs of the public. In his time in the City Council, Addabbo has demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the lives of our working families, and in 2008 Addabbo will bring his dedication and proven leadership skills to the New York State Senate.
Council Member Addabbo has been the NYS Democratic Committeeman representing the 23rd Assembly District since 1998 and is a member of several community organizations including: The South Queens Democratic Club, Ozone Park Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, and the Interfaith Council of Southeast Queens, former President of The Ozone Tudor Civic Association from1997-2002, and Executive Secretary for Community Board 10.
Addabbo is happily married to the former Dawn Puricelli of Glendale and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Alexis and Arianna.
For more information and to learn how you can help go to www.addabboforsenate.com.