Dominick Calsolaro's Re-Election Announcement
March 26, 2013
Thank you for coming out today for this two-pronged announcement.
Before getting into the meat of the announcement, I would like to first thank the media for your coverage of my tenure on the Albany Common Council over the past 12 years. I appreciate it, as your coverage has helped me to get the word out on important issues affecting the citizens of Albany, especially: gun violence, vacant buildings, and the City’s fragile financial condition.
I would like to thank my campaign team: Judith Mazza and Maureen O’Brien for all of their help in my past three campaigns for the Common Council. Without their expertise on how to run a campaign and their positive attitude that “you will not lose”, I would not be standing here before you today. And, along with Judith and Maureen, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the elected officials who were always there for me, even in the face of political opposition to my campaigns. These elected officials are: Sen. Breslin, retired Assembly members McEneny and Canestrari, former County Executive Michael Breslin, Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin, and many other Council Members.
I want to thank the residents of the First Ward for their continuous support and for electing me to be their Common Council member three times.
I also wish to thank the City workers, many of whom go well beyond their job title, to ensure that the citizens of Albany are getting the services they deserve.
Finally, I want to thank my family, wife Mary and children Dominick, Jr. and Catherine. Without their support and personal sacrifices of allowing me to be away from home on more nights than I can count, I never would have been able to do justice to the job of a Council member.
I asked you all here today because I am announcing that I will NOT be seeking a fourth term as the Common Council Member for the First Ward. I have enjoyed my twelve years on the Council, and would not have traded being a Council member for any other position.
Since I was first sworn in as a Common Council member, I have met so many people who have spent their entire lives working for the betterment of their neighbors. People like Maria and Roger Markovics of United Tenants; Jen Barkan of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; neighborhood leaders: Tom McPheeters, Willie White, Louise McNeilly, Stephen Winters, Richard Berkley, Daniel Van Riper, Mark Yolles; and on and on I could go. These citizens of Albany go way beyond the call, to help make Albany a better place to live. I am honored to have been able to work alongside such dedicated Albanians.
Before anyone asks, NO, I am not seeking re-election because of health reasons or old age. While I do not believe in legislatively enacted term limits, I do believe that elected positions were not meant to be lifetime appointments. I do not want to be Council Member for life! I feel it is important for the workings of our government that new blood, with new ideas, be given a chance to be directly involved in running our government. In my opinion, some people who have been in the same elected office for multiple terms, tend to get too comfortable and become stale. They forget the reason why they ran for office in first place, and I do not want to be one of those people. We already have enough of them in City government.
Now, some may say that twelve years isn’t that long, and in some cases I agree. But, when the twelve years are taken as a whole, one can see that a lot happens in twelve years. As an example, when I first ran for office in 2001, my son and daughter were still in elementary school. Today my son is living in Texas, working for Fidelity Investments as a Systems Engineer, following his graduation from RIT in 2012 and my daughter is anxiously awaiting her graduation from Boston University this May, and to continuing her employment with the Boston Globe.
Over the past twelve years, I have accomplished much of what I set out to do back in 2001: The City established a task force on gun violence, and since that task force’s recommendations have been put into practice, like the SNUG program, the number of homicides in the City have decreased from the highs of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. A first-time home buyer’s tax credit has been enacted to help increase owner-occupied homes in the City. A debt policy was adopted by the Council to help stabilize our financial situation. The “Ghost” tickets scandal was dealt with, and we now have a professionally-run Treasurer’s office thanks to Kathy Sheehan. The Vacant Building Registry was strengthened with the requirement that a bond be part of the Registry requirement. And, right here, in Hoffman Park, we have the Plumeri Sports Complex - a wonderful example of a public-private partnership that benefits all parties.
While a lot of positive actions have been implemented over the past dozen years, more needs to be done. The decision to not seek re-election was made easier for me after I met Dorcey Applyrs. We spent much time together discussing the issues affecting the First Ward and the whole city. I talked to people who knew her, both in her professional and in her academic life. The more I found out about Dorcey, the more comfortable I became with my decision not to run for a fourth term. I firmly believe that Dorcey has the energy, passion and commitment for working on ways to solve the issues that negatively impact the quality-of-life of the citizens of Albany.
Now, for the second part of my announcement: I am endorsing Dorcey Applyrs to be the next Common Council member for the First Ward. I truly believe she is the best person around to continue to carry on the work Carol Wallace started twenty years ago, and I continued during the past twelve years.
Dorcey, please come up and say a few words.