In his suite high above the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Midtown Tuesday night, Peter Vallone was surrounded by numerous Jewish politicians, communal leaders and Democratic activists who came to wish him well.
“He’s been a strong supporter of Jewish causes and a worthy candidate” said one official of a Jewish organization, who asked not to be identified, of the City Council speaker who was overwhelmingly nominated — with 65 percent of the Jewish vote — to challenge Republican Gov. George Pataki. “This is going to be a good race.”
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
By midnight, the precinct-by-precinct numbers stretched across the length of the wall at Melinda Katz’s campaign headquarters. But one of her most seasoned campaign workers honed in on a mere handful from Far Rockaway and Howard Beach.
“Look over there,” he said. “That’s where the election was lost.”The crucial returns, from the 23rd Assembly District, a collection of mostly Irish and Italian neighborhoods, and a sprinkling of Jews, were from Katz’s own geographic base in Queens, where she serves as a state Assembly member.
For 12 years, Diane Thurer of Dix Hills has been filling boxes with school supplies and holiday treats for a poor family in Mississippi she has never met but which expresses its gratitude through letters.
"It really is a commitment, but you do bring sunshine into that family's home," said Thurer of the national Box Project. "You really get back more than you give."
Now a Jewish group wants to replicate that effort in behalf of the Jewish poor in Suffolk County. If successful, there are plans to extend the project to Nassau.
The great boxing writer, Jimmy Cannon, said this is the way it should be with champs: “They should go down the streets with people following them and crowds coming up on their feet shouting when they enter a fight club. It ought to be plenty of money rolling in and fast action and the excitement of true fame. ... They moved around to the sound of strangers calling their names and a sense of being the biggest men alive.