Board of Directors:
As you know, NYSPEC does not issue political endorsements. However, as in the past, I occasionally disseminate information regarding elected officials who have been supportive of labor, and have always been there for us.
I am sure all of you would agree that Assemblyman Peter Abbate, long-standing Chair of the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Civil Service and Pensions, has been the most loyal supporter of labor, and has been the prime sponsor on the vast majority of our important legislative proposals.
Peter has always been in the forefront for us, and yes, oftentimes taking relentless criticism for his staunch support of labor, but that has never deterred him from doing what he knows is right. From the original 9/11 Presumptive Disability legislation (and its reforms and extensions), COVID-19 bills., military bills, Civil Service reforms and countless other issues, he stood with us undaunted. The sound advice he has always given us on all legislative issues and the fact that his door is always open – and his superb staff is always ready to assist us – often goes unrecognized.
You know that I could go on-and-on, but enough said!; now I must get to the crux of the issue: Assemblyman Peter Abbate needs our help and full support in his upcoming election. He has a challenger trying every which way to defeat him, and, as always, he never takes anything lightly.
He does not just need monetary support. More than that he needs boots on the ground, and I mean many boots. The time has come for the first time in a long time that we must come to his side to ensure we do everything possible to get him re-elected. There can be no excuses for what we can't do because, quite frankly, he has never refused us nor did he ever make an excuse to not help us.
In addition to election day, Tuesday, November 8, there are four weekend dates that are vital, because it is a recognized fact that many people come out to vote on the weekends. He needs members that will cover the four polling sites on election day and on the weekends of October 29 & 30, and November 5 & 6.
He is going to need bodies at every site: 3 to 4 people per site. On October 29 & 30 and November 5 & 6, the polls will be open from 9am to 5pm. On election day, November 8, the polls will be open from 6am to 9pm. We can split the times with people being there from 9am to 1pm and then from 1pm to 5pm on the weekends, and in four-hours shifts on election day if we have enough bodies.
Volunteers will work in teams of two, handing out his literature at the polling sites (following the restriction of being a minimum 100-feet distance to the site).
The members will report to his Democratic Club located at 7321 15th Avenue (right off the Belt Parkway) From there you will be dispatched to your particular polling site.I need all of you to start compiling names of volunteers and submit them to me as soon as possible. indicating preferred dates and times. Of course, those who want to stay longer can do so.
I must reiterate the utmost importance of getting Abbate re-elected. Many of you know and have experienced what we are dealing with in Albany. It is a gigantic mess. With the insurgence of many progressives, with their anti-police rhetoric, as well as no real concern for the labor force, now more than ever we will be “up the creek without a paddle” if we lose Abbate. You have witnessed people who have supported us, but may not have taken their elections seriously, and are now on the outside looking in. Or in other cases its just the new breed of progressives that are becoming more and more successful in defeating our avid supporters.
If this sounds to you like a desperate plea from me, make no mistake it is. I, and many of the PEC legislative team members we work with everyday of the session, see what is happening and we are deeply concerned. You all know full well that I believe in overkill, and I refuse to take anything for granted. Now is not the time to hear people say “No worries; Abbate will get re-elected”. If we listen to that rhetoric, he may not!
I appeal to all 85 NYSPEC member units that you must commit to boots on the ground for Assemblyman Abbate. It would be a crying shame if we do not show him how much he means to us. He may remain our only hope to forestall the radical agenda of some of these progressives.
I look forward to receiving many names and dates from all of you. You all know how much I value Abbate’s leadership and presence in Albany, not to mention my long-time friendship with him. I talk to him many times every week; he is counting on us being there for him, and I am counting on all of you for your support.
Peter D. Meringolo