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After my unsuccessful bid for office in 2012.

I, former Assembly District candidate, was graciously sent a formal invitation to attend the Legislative Breakfast run by the Queens Jewish Community Council run by Council President. Warren Hecht and Executive Director Cynthia Zalisky, held this year on Jan.13 in the Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills. I had requested to be there and I was honored to be formally invited.

The breakfast was sponsored by the Margaret Tietz Center, a rehab center in Jamaica Hills. The spread was lavish with fruit platters, mountains of fresh assorted bagels, cheeses, tuna fish, blintzes and the time honored lox with fresh orange juice and coffee.

This wasn't a fundraiser - just a chance to listen to our local politicians already in office and those who were already or about to be sworn in. Among those present were: Congressmen Steve Israel of the 3rd District in Hauppauge Long Island, Gregory Meeks of the 5th District in Jamaica NY, Grace Meng of the 6th Congressional District in Queens NY. Among the Councilmen/women were: First and Foremost Councilwoman and Speaker of the Council from District 3 in Manhattan,Christine Quinn, Dan Halloran of the 19th District in Whitestone NY, Peter Koo of the 20th District in Flushing NY, Peter Vallone Jr. of the 22nd District in Astoria NY, James Gennaro of the 24th District in Fresh Meadows NY, Leroy Comrie of the 27th District in St. Albans NY, Karen Koslowitz of the 29th District in Forest Hills NY. David Weprin of the 24th District in Little Neck NY, Nily Rozic of the 25th District in Hillcrest NY, Ed Braunstein of the 26th District in Bayside NY, Michael Simanowitz of the 27th District in Fresh Meadows NY, Ron Kim of the 40th District in Linden Hill NY. Among the State Senators were: Tony Avella of the 11th District in Bayside NY, Jose Peralta of the 13th District in East Elmhurst NY and last but not least the iconic Toby Ann Stavisky of the 16th District in Whitestone NY.

All of the normal topics were discussed; gun control, of which Congresswoman Grace Meng showed great initiative by sponsoring legislation on the very first day of service, mental health services for troubled youth, education policy of which Toby Ann Stavisky talked about approving Pel Grants for those attending Yeshiva, security for the state of Israel, discussed by none other than Congressman Steve Israel, vis a vis Iran. Dan Halloran, who seems to be speaking in softer tones, is still the messenger of school choice as a superior system. He also disputed the statistic that 59% of murders are carried out by handguns which some other official had stated. Dan said that the correct figure of handgun murders is 87%, 13% with rifles and 2% of the 13% were committed by assault style weapons.

When a question was asked by an audience member of which programs would be cut, there was an awkward silence from those on the dais. Then State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said that more revenue could be gotten from the wealthy, Ala. the tax hikes that we saw from the Fiscal Cliff legislation.

What was not discussed was how the U.S. gov't failed to protect our consulate in BenGhazi when so many warnings were issued in advance, of the weakness of security there, how we didn't do anything in real time when it was going on for 7 hours and viewed on monitors, to try to save our personnel on the conspicuous day of 9/11 of 2012.

What was not discussed on a state level was that we rate higher in unemployment, 8.3% than the national average of 7.8% and I quote here from a Jan. GOP newsletter:

And despite being the third most-highly populated state in the country, New York has experienced anemic population growth of only 2.1% between 2000 and 2010, compared to the national average of 9.7%.

Of the 50 states, New York ranks 24th in health and wellness, 26th in state debt, 13th in educational achievement and dead last in tax climate. Our poverty rate is also above the national average.

Gov. Cuomo has acknowledged that New York "has no future as the tax capital of the nation." We must strategically cut taxes, especially with a view to encouraging small business job creators. A reduction of the business tax rate and the elimination of the corporate tax on manufacturing companies will stimulate job growth. New York's comparatively onerous estate tax incentivizes our seniors to spend their golden years elsewhere.

What was not discussed was a new approach for NY to workforce training such as it would be if vocational programs would be made available in community college job training programs.

Promoting school choice: Again, from the newsletter: Religious, charter and independent public schools perform highly and demonstrate that inner city children can learn. We must encourage and support these schools with enhanced tax credits and workable standards and monitoring regimes.

Beyond that, I say that mental health class or put in more traditional terms for those on the right, character development education would do much for the vast majority of children and not only for those who end up doing harm to others or to themselves. What we see in these school shooting is just the tip of the iceberg.

There is lots of alienation and pain experienced by many students and it is manifested in the epidemic of bullying, drug use, drop out rates, overall violence. Attempted suicides among the youth, according to a June 9, 2012 Daily News article, has risen in the last 3 years to 1 in 12.

But when listening to all the speakers it would seem that solutions that are being offered are comprehensive and cover all bases. They are the professionals and it seems from listening to them that we can trust in their leadership the same way a passenger trusts that a bus driver will get the passenger to the destination without fail.

Now we all know that elected offices are challenged because others want to be in power. That motivation applies to every challenger for political office. However, what's not said is that sometimes challengers actually see a different course of action for the district, state or country and feel compelled to fulfill such a mission. But wouldn't it be nice not to have to second guess what the politicians are doing and rely on the ultimate wisdom and experience they bring to the office and all would be well and beautiful in the Emerald City where politics are made? This is a fantasy that I indulged in while temporarily suspending my skepticism amidst the splendor and hospitality of the Legislative Breakfast.

On top of that, Assemblywoman elect Nily Rozic, sought me out to shake my hand after she finished speaking, while during the entire campaign she ignored me with the confidence of the big "D" label next to her candidacy. I was so impressed and thrown off by this gesture that for that moment I banished all thoughts of ever running against her again.

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