Saturday, December 05, 2009

Let's Start With Addabbo




After 8 Democrats (4 from the borough of Queens) in the New York State Senate were responsible for defeating gay marriage in New York, I have decided to target all 8...one at a time.

Let's start with freshman Queens Senator Joe Addabbo. His vote was especially damaging, because, alphabetically, he is second on a roll call. His defection at the onset set the stage for a betrayal.

How is this a betrayal?

Let's start with the fact that Addabbo got significant glbt financial support.

According to Queerty,
Despite supporting gay rights while a member of NYC's City Council, and despite receiving the maximum $9,500 campaign contribution from Gill Foundation creator Tim Gill, and despite scoring major financial support from the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee (which LGBT donors dumped cash into), Addabbo was a "no" vote.

A report from NYPIRG's Bill Mahoney reaveals that Addabbo was the 4th leading recipient of glbt dollars. By his count,$23,000 was raised for Addabbo, so that he could spit in our faces.

Why we need to be better activists

Most revealing about Addabbo, who supported glbt civil rights while on the city council, and who had no problems taking glbt money while campaigning, are his declared reasons for voting 'no.'

From the Queens Chronicle:
Addabbo said he simply voted to reflect an emerging consensus within his district. Of the nearly 400 constituent letters and calls received by his office, approximately 73 percent had urged the senator to defeat the bill.
“I voted no because that’s what my people want. I will always stand by my people — that’s my job,” the first-term senator said. “This past Saturday I was at Woodhaven Library and two residents made it their business to sit down with me and talk about their opposition to marriage equality It’s clear that my residents are not for it.”

Forget the fact that recent polling showed that New Yorkers favored same-sex marriage 50-44, or that it was morally the right thing to do. Senator Addabbo was able to use the fact that anti-gay forces lobbied him more effectively.

This is where we need to change the equation.

I bowl in a large gay bowling league. When a fellow bowler a couple of weeks back asked for people to see her so that she could tell them how to lobby their state senators to vote for the bill, she got hardly any reaction. Out of 34 teams of 4 bowlers each, maybe 1 or 2 responded. This is shocking, but hardly surprising.

If we want full civil rights we need to start looking in the mirror and beginwith the reflection we see.

In that spirit, here is information on contacting Joe Addabbo to let him know how you feel about his vote. He thinks that New Yorkers do not want gay marriage. Let's prove him wrong.

His Facebook page
District Office 159-53 102nd Street Howard Beach, NY 11414
E-mail: addabbo@senate.state.ny.us
Phone: 718-738-1111

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there a way he can return the money back to the LGBT organizations? Can there be a campaign where, Addabbo can pay back the $9,500?...I don't live in his district, but I'm all for it.

leliorisen said...

Better yet, let's let him know we will match those dollars, and then some, working to defeat him in the next primary.

He has certainly made an enemy of me, and I will be rabid in my desire to see him go down to defeat.

Some things don't even require a price tag. if more folks in the glbt community get angry, he will go down to defeat.

What concerns me is the fact that, apparently, very few people bothered to lobby him before the vote. I have discussed this apathy of our community with other activists. It is a real concern.

It is up to us to rile up our friends and supporters. We need to inspire them and call them to action.