Max Rose is the REAL FRAUD! He supported and marched with the defund the police movement.
We are certainly living in some unprecedented times. People are afraid, people are tired, and no one knows what is going to happen next. This is just a reminder that no matter what, we will get through this #together. No matter what happens we have been blessed to live in America and sooner rather than later this will all be a memory. #siStrong
March 13, 2020
I am calling for an immediate shutdown of NYC Public Schools.
As a former Community Education Council President for Staten Island I have helped guide parents and the Department of Education through some difficult times. None probably more notable than the PCB problem we had on Staten Island and in many city schools.
Now, with the Coronavirus, just like then, the Mayor and the Chancellor are dragging their feet and not acting in the best interests of our students, our parents, our teachers, and our school staff. It is simple to understand the fear our teachers have; basically, they are just like fish in a barrel, waiting for the Coronavirus to come to them. It’s not if our schools and staff begin to become infected – the infections have already begun. If we allow the Coronavirus to get a foothold in our schools then surely the virus will spread from student to student to teacher to administrator and throughout the city within days and weeks. Our healthcare centers may be overrun with asymptomatic patients. Closing our schools now may help keep our children and families safer and reduce future burdens on our healthcare facilities. In the end, while I do believe that fear will be our greatest adversary, I believe that our schools should be closed. If the mayor and chancellor wish to choose some school locations to remain open to operate as health centers for students, so be it, but to put an entire school system at risk for any other reason is senseless.
The governor and the mayor have already said that “Social Distancing” is a way to fight the spread of the Coronavirus and have put an end to all gatherings of over 500 people. Last time I checked, most NYC schools have more than 500 people. Why are our students, teachers, and parents being treated with such disregard?
Sam T. Pirozzolo
Vice President, NYC Parents Union
Candidate for City Council Staten Island
By Sam Pirozzolo | Originally Posted on StatenIslander.org
To secede or not to secede, that is the question. Folks, if you don’t know now let me tell you, the secession movement is well underway. In the last nine years over one million residents, many of them your family, friends, and neighbors, have fled the tri state area, no group faster than retirees with city pensions. Companies like IBM, GE, and Westinghouse have led the charge of businesses who have run for the hills. Even Amazon, run by the ultra-liberal billionaire Jeff Bezos was run out of town before he even put a shovel in the cold Queens dirt.
Yes, secession is all around us. That’s why it was only a matter of time before secession reared its head in the forgotten borough of Staten Island. This is why I created the website www.STexit.nyc where you can go to read the documents from the attempted secession of 1993, participate in surveys, have your voice heard in forums, and participate in this most important conversation. I look forward to this site, and my Facebook page STexit Staten Island to provide all Staten Islanders an opportunity to participate.
Stexit. Image Credit: Peter Miller, Photography; Artwork and Text, Staten Islander
Is secession right for Staten Island? No one can say with any degree of certainty at this point. But for my money, for my instinct, I say commonsense dictates it is likely the right move for Staten Island residents. Is there a no more commonsense reason to believe that we are the forgotten borough then because we are, in fact, the forgotten borough? People are very smart, and they know when they are getting shortchanged and Staten Island is getting short changed. Have you ever heard one of our elected politicians tell us that we have gotten more than our fair share? No, you haven’t, because they stand in unison with the shortchanged theory.
There are commonsense reasons to believe that secession would bring prosperity and a better quality of life to Staten Island. First, we have the second highest per capita income in NYC, just short of Manhattan. Unlike Manhattan, with so many of the ultra-rich, our middle-class taxpayers likely pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Commonsense says we should see no proportionate loss of income tax revenue if we taxed at the same rate as NYC. The same goes for sales tax revenues. If we have a high per capita income, is it reasonable to think we spend higher amounts than other boroughs? And those property taxes – do you know that Staten Island and the Bronx pay a disproportionate rate of tax to value as compared to the rest of the city? From an income standpoint, we should do just fine.
What about expenditures? Staten Island has 6.5% of the population, but thankfully our crime rate is so low we only have about 3% of the police. I’m betting that most city services are the similar. Except, we probably have far fewer NYPD traffic cops who direct traffic. I’ll go out on a limb and guess we have less than one percent of these employees. I’m sure Staten Islanders are paying for a lot of them to direct Manhattan traffic. Don’t even get me started about our woeful road conditions or the failure of our transit system that gives us one of the highest commute times in the nation.
But alas, the Naysayers are out in full force with unsubstantiated scare tactics. One of their favorite unverified cries is, “Our property tax will double.” That surely strikes fear into the heart of Staten Islanders, where the largest percentage of residents own their homes. However, to cry our taxes will double doesn’t make it true. Unfortunately, as city residents we are once again second-class citizens in our own homes. Several years ago, NY State passed a law that says property taxes are capped at a 2% increase per year. Unfortunately, as NYC residents, we were excluded from this property tax cap. So, leaving NYC would actually include us – for once- in this benefit. So, under existing state law our property taxes can’t just double, unless you are projecting a doubling over decades.
Should we do anything this important just because commonsense says we should? Of course not, but should we ignore commonsense? Don’t be silly. If you’ve read this far then you are probably one of the Staten Island residents who don’t want to move, or maybe simply can’t flee like so many of our friends and neighbors. That’s why now it is so important to bring every Staten Islander to the table – to do the math – and formulate the best plan to break free from a city that has at the very least, convinced us that we are getting the short end of the stick. Or, maybe it’s the time, we were educated that we have it better than we think, we should remain the forgotten borough and just be quiet. The point is, its facts, education, and reality that should guide our decision not fearmongering, hyperbole, hearsay.
Sam Pirozzolo is a native Staten Islander. Sam and his wife just celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary, and have two beautiful children who attended both public schools, and were home-schooled. He is running for City Councilman position to succeed Steven Matteo.
Read the article on StatenIslander.org at http://statenislander.org/2019/12/11/staten-islanders-to-secede-or-not-to-secede-that-is-the-question/
Staten Island Advance: Borelli, Matteo to introduce Staten Island secession bill Tuesday; Debi Rose opposed to bill and push for borough to secede
By Sydney Kashiwagi | email@example.com | December 9, 2019
STATEN ISLAND — Councilman Joe Borelli will formally introduce legislation in the City Council Tuesday that would put together a task force to study whether Staten Island could secede from New York City.
The bill is being co-sponsored by fellow Island Councilman Minority Leader Steven Matteo (R-Mid Island) and Borelli says other Island leaders like Borough President James Oddo also support the legislation.
But the legislation is moving forward without the support of fellow Island City Councilmember Debi Rose (D-North Shore), whose office says was not contacted by Borelli to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill and does not support his legislation nor the prospect of Staten Island seceding.
However, she could not immediately be reached to elaborate on why she is opposed to Staten Island secession.
Under Borelli’s legislation, the secession task force would be comprised of the borough presidents of every borough, the chair of the city’s Planning Commission, the comptroller, the school’s chancellor, the commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, the Staten Island borough commissioner for the Department of Transportation and representatives from all of the Island’s community boards.
Borelli said the commission would then have 18 months to put together data showing the “impact and viability” of secession and then pitch their findings to the City Council.
“I am introducing this legislation (Tuesday) to get the process started and take the first step toward a true, thorough, and open assessment that the people of Staten Island and New York City can use as a blueprint for making an informed decision on any future ballot proposals for Staten Island to become an independent city,” Borelli said.
“With nearly 500,000 residents, Staten Island would be the second largest city in New York, at about double the size of the third largest, Buffalo. We are on the short end of any net positives coming out of city hall like major infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, fast ferries, and subways, and we almost always represent a disproportionate share of generating revenue for New York City. Maybe it’s time that we make a serious effort to distance ourselves from city hall and to put Staten Island first,” Borelli continued.
Borelli and Matteo are the only Council members who support the bill in the City Council so far and the South Shore councilman says he has not yet asked other Council members outside of Staten Island to support the legislation.
SOME REMAIN SKEPTICAL
Though Borelli is optimistic about his secession push and says other Island lawmakers have expressed interest in the endeavor in private, some who studied secession nearly 30 years ago have been skeptical about whether his efforts will actually go anywhere.
Staten Island tried to secede from New York City in 1989, in an effort that was led by Republican Sen. John J. Marchi.
That year, the state Legislature passed a measure signed by then Gov. Mario Cuomo authorizing a study and initiating the process for Staten Island to secede from New York City on the last day of its legislative session.
Staten Islanders voted overwhelmingly in favor — 83 percent — of a secession study and by 1991, Cuomo swore in a New York State Charter Commission for Staten Island.
Two years later, in 1993, Staten Islanders approved — 65 percent — a non-binding referendum to secede from New York City and the state Senate also approved a secession bill.
But those efforts came to a halt when former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver refused to allow a similar measure to be voted on in the Assembly without a “home rule message” from New York City.
The city never held a secession vote and the measure for Staten Island to secede died in committee.
It’s still unclear whether Borelli’s secession push today will get anywhere.
Similar to the decades-old fight, Borelli said seceding would require a home rule approval from the city and the state would need to be on board too because only the state legislature can form or abolish a county.
MAYOR IS OPPOSED
Mayor Bill de Blasio is vehemently opposed to the Island seceding from the rest of the city and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has left little doubt that he would oppose secession efforts.
Last month, the offices of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the state the Senate’s Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins both declined to comment on whether they supported secession.
And the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo was reached but did not provide comment on where the governor stood either.
“Secession is a complicated undertaking and any talk of moving forward must first begin with the need to fully understand the costs and consequences. Empaneling a task force to study this issue can help inform us whether this is feasible and give us a more comprehensive picture of what an independent Staten Island may look like,” said Matteo.
Read the article on the Staten Island Advance website at https://www.silive.com/news/2019/12/borelli-matteo-to-introduce-staten-island-secession-bill-tuesday-debi-rose-opposed-to-bill-and-push-for-borough-to-secede.html
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) wants to see Staten Island separate from the Big Apple and become part of upstate New York.
Reilly told the Advance he would like Staten Island to become part of the upstate region via Divide NY, a plan introduced last year by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-East Aurora). The plan seeks to divide the state into three regions: New York City; New Amsterdam, all of upstate New York, and Montauk, which would include Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties.
“I had a conversation with Assemblyman DiPietro, and I think Staten Island would better align with the New Amsterdam region as opposed to remaining part of New York City,” said Reilly.
“The New Amsterdam region would allow for some economic development. The government model from upstate would better align with the values of Staten Island,” he added.
Reilly said that since Staten Island lacks large-scale public transportation the rest of New York City has, the borough has more in common with the upstate region.
“This is just the exploratory phase. There is a lot we’d have to evaluate to see if this would actually work for us,” he said. “We have to make sure it’s beneficial for us to leave New York City.”
STATEN ISLAND SECESSION MOVEMENT
Reilly’s proposal comes on the heels of a movement spurred by Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) for Staten Island to secede from New York City.
Nearly 30 years after Staten Island leaders fought exhaustively to secede from New York City, Borelli plans to revive that fight again.
In a borough that makes up just 6% of New York City’s population with only three City Council representatives on the 51-member legislative body to serve as a check on the mayor, who controls virtually all city services, Borelli says that in reality, Staten Island leaders have little to no power to effectively deliver city services to the borough.
He wants to change that system.
“The city is 8.5 million people, we have a population the size of Austria, we have a budget the size of Ireland, we have more police officers in uniform then there are people in the entire Royal Navy … all of this stuff is governed by one human,” said Borelli to the Advance last month. “That is atypical in the United States of America.”
Read the article on the Staten Island Advance website at https://www.silive.com/news/2019/12/assemblyman-reilly-staten-island-should-be-part-of-upstate.html
By Rachel O’Brien | December 7, 2019 | 6:20pm
Staten Island is so desperate to leave New York City that it may join upstate.
Republican Assemblyman Michael Reilly is sick of New York City’s high taxes and liberal policies and is hoping the northernmost reaches of the Empire State would annex Staten Island as part of an existing proposal to divide the state into three regions.
The far-fetched plan sponsored by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-East Aurora), dubbed Divide NY, would split the state into three regions: New York City; “Montauk,” containing Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties; and “New Amsterdam” for all of upstate.
Reilly would like to amend the bill to get the Island out of the Big Apple.
“In my personal view, I’m leaning toward going up to New Amsterdam,” he told The Post. “I don’t think we would align with the Montauk region.”
The Post previously reported that DiPietro’s plan that would create independent regions, each with their own governor and legislature, running their own schools and setting taxes.
This comes on the heels of a Staten Island secession proposal by Republican Councilman Joe Borelli and about 30 years after 65 percent of red borough residents actually voted to leave NYC in a referendum. The movement went dormant when then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver prevented it from moving forward without a City Council “home rule message.”
Reilly’s Staten Island colleague, Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, said she supports exploring secession, but doesn’t want to join upstate.
“They don’t have the economy to support themselves … because of policies put in place by the Democratic-controlled legislature,” she said.
Sam Pirozzolo, a Republican running for City Council, is surveying his fellow Staten Islanders to gauge secession support and wants people to seriously consider joining upstate.
The Republican-backed Divide NY bill is likely to be killed in the Democrat-controlled state legislature.
Read the article on the NY Post website at https://nypost.com/2019/12/07/staten-island-pols-are-sick-of-liberal-nyc-and-want-to-join-upstate/
BY AMANDA FARINACCI | STATEN ISLAND
PUBLISHED NOV. 19, 2019
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Christmas tree is lit — a festive reminder to shoppers that the busy holiday shopping season is already underway. But it wasn’t bargains that drew residents to the Staten Island mall Monday night. It was something else entirely— security at the massive retail space.
“We want mall security and the mall and Brookfield properties to understand that this is a serious issue,” said Kelly McLoughlin, a shopper.
McLoughlin says she and her wife, Carmen Velasquez, were walking outside the mall last Monday night when a group of young people shouted at her and poked fun at McLoughlin’s weight. When Velasquez questioned why they were being disrespectful, she says she was quickly surrounded by the group – seen in a Facebook video – and taunted, spit on and cursed at.
“I couldn’t believe what was going on. I couldn’t believe what was going on. I thought I was imagining things. There were no police around there was no security; my wife had to flag the police, the security around. He didn’t care,” Velasquez said.
The incident is the latest black eye for the newly expanded mall, which has been the scene of several violent incidents this year.
This summer, several young girls were attacked by other teenagers. The NYPD increased patrols then – and several months passed without report of another incident. But Monday night, residents were back outside the mall again, urging the malls management company to increase security permanently to prevent these attacks from happening.
“No one can stop children from behaving badly. We have to kind of divert that. But there has to be a police presence. It’s time we have police presence at the mall,” said Sam Pirrozzolo, an activist.
Pirrozzolo led a group of residents inside the mall to deliver a letter, urging mall tenants to ask mall management to make the space safer. In a statement, Brookfield properties blamed the incidents on unruly kids saying, “We are aware of the concerns and can assure the community we are taking this very seriously. We are disheartened that these young people from Staten Island are using our center as a location for their terrible behavior.”
It continues “Our center is working diligently to implement additional security measures and are meeting regularly with our partners at NYPD.”
Residents say they’ve spoken with the mall‘s management company, Brookfield Properties Group, to set up a meeting to discuss next steps. It’s unclear when that meeting will take place.
Watch the video and read the article online at NY1.com at https://www.ny1.com/nyc/staten-island/news/2019/11/19/staten-island-mall-security#
By Joseph Ostapiuk | Updated Nov 18, 2019
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A rally was held at the Staten Island Mall Monday night in the wake of a frightening encounter with a group of teenagers that left two women badly shaken — the latest incident after a string of alleged assaults at the location caused police to ramp-up their presence last summer.
Despite the NYPD’s increased presence in the immediate aftermath of the summer attacks, protestors on Monday said they felt that security at the mall is still a profoundly concerning issue and they believed that the most recent incident indicated that not enough is being done to protect shoppers.
Kelly McLoughlin, who was a victim of the Nov. 11 incident in which a group of about 10 teenagers threw items, shouted profanities and spit at McLoughlin and her two friends, said the rally’s purpose was to “make sure that nobody gets hurt again.”
Attended by over a dozen people, the rally was initially held in the courtyard of the mall, where a significant police presence grew, comprising multiple NYPD vehicles, a K-9 unit and mall security. One attendee said the security was “very intimidating.”
“I feel like I’m the criminal,” she said.
McGloughlin echoed that sentiment. “This doesn’t surprise me because it’s the mall trying to make us the villain,” she said. “We’re not the villain. We’re here for your family. We’re here for everybody’s family.”
Sam Pirozzolo, the Staten Islander infamous for erecting a 16-foot-tall wooden Trump “T” and a current City Council hopeful — who was integral in organizing the rally — said he’s been in contact with Brookfield Properties Group, which owns the Staten Island Mall, in an effort to create a security plan moving forward.
However, Pirozzolo said he hoped the rally “wouldn’t be met with this presence,” referencing the number of officers who stood outside the entrance to the mall Monday night.
“It’s a shame that that presence is here for people who’ve been attacked, yet after people get attacked and there are criminals that are still on the premises, there is no police presence,” Pirozzolo said.
“Not only is there no police presence, the mall security doesn’t want to do anything,” Pirozzolo added. “This is backward to the way security is supposed to be.”
“It appears that Brookfield Properties Group and the security at the Staten Island Mall do not seem interested in keeping your shoppers safe,” said Protect Our Kids, a victim advocacy group which also organized the rally, in a release.
Lindsay Kahn, a senior manager of public relations for Brookfield Properties Group, said in a statement that the company takes the community’s concerns “very seriously.”
“We are disheartened that these young people from Staten Island are using our center as a location for their terrible behavior,” the statement said. “We have spoken directly with the organizers of tonight’s gathering and our local officials about possible solutions for this community problem. Our center is working diligently to implement additional security measures and are meeting regularly with our partners at NYPD.”
“We will not discuss our security program publicly because to do so would compromise its effectiveness,” the statement continued. “There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our customers and retailers and we maintain a strict code of conduct that is enforced at all times.”
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment regarding the department’s response.
Minority Leader Steven Matteo tweeted on Monday that he has “had ongoing discussions with the Mall in regard to their security plan.”
According to Matteo, management from the mall said that it continues to augment and transform its security program, including efforts to increase security staffing and K-9 patrol in the mall during after-school hours, evenings and holidays, among other initiatives.
“Everyone who visits and shops at the Mall should be safe and I will continue to have discussions with Mall Management,” Matteo tweeted.
The rally moved inside the mall shortly after 6:30 p.m., and protestors then handed out fliers to managers of retail venues, imploring that they “join the shoppers of Staten Island in demanding a significant improvement in security, public relations and a permanent police presence at the mall.”
Multiple participants said they were met with support from managers inside the stores.
Joseph “Joey Salads” Saladino — a pro-Trump congressional candidate who attended the rally, said: “I think the mall security needs to tighten up, especially during the holiday season.” He stressed the importance of being able “to ensure the people that they can come and they can shop in peace and not have to worry about people starting trouble.”
While Pirozzolo and other protesters are confident that the mall management will work to increase police presence during the holiday season, there are concerns that it will diminish after the heavy-shopping period ends.
To combat the possible de-escalation of security, Pirozzolo said he intends to continue to extend community-driven efforts.
Pirozzolo said Brookfield Property intends to create a task force in early December to brainstorm solutions to the problems that have recently plagued the location.
“Now is the time for our voices to be heard,” he said.
Read the article on the Staten Island Advance website at https://www.silive.com/news/2019/11/rally-held-at-staten-island-mall-in-wake-of-violent-encounter.html
By Clifford Michel | October 31, 2019
Staten Island resident Sam Pirozzolo went viral in 2016 after erecting a giant sign supporting then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo: Nicholas Rizzi/DNAinfo
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The Staten Islander who planted a towering “T” on his lawn during the 2016 presidential campaign to show his support for Donald Trump is now looking to get his own name out to voters.
Sam Pirozzolo is running as a Republican for City Council, looking to succeed Steven Matteo (R-Staten Island), who is term-limited at the end of 2021 and eyeing a campaign for borough president.
“I’m not ‘making New York City great again,’ but I will not back away from Donald Trump like every other politician on Staten Island when it’s convenient for them,” Pirozzolo said.
Pirozzolo gained national notoriety after hiring a local artist to create the 12-foot-high letter T, emblazoned with stars and stripes, which turned into a lightning rod as the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton heated up.
An unknown arsonist burned down the capital letter in August 2016. When Pirozzolo reconstructed the T — upsized to 16 feet — the city Department of Buildings fined him $2,400 and demanded he take it down.
Optician Sees a Need
Now the 55-year-old optician, who has a shop in Astoria, Queens, wants to join Trump in assuming political power. The Castleton Corners resident says his race is about “bringing common sense, not nonsense, back to city politics.”
He’s running on an old-school conservative platform he says is a necessary counterweight to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who “does not govern New York City.”
Rattling off his priorities, he says: “I’m in favor of lower taxes. I’m in favor of lower unemployment.”
Sam Pirozzolo works in his Castleton Corners home on Oct. 30, 2019. Photo: Clifford Michel/THE CITY
This is not the first political foray for Pirozzolo, who filed paperwork in August for his Council run and hired a Social Impact Strategies, a political consulting firm.
He campaigned unsuccessfully against Assemblymember Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island) in 2012, garnering about 40% of the vote in the general election.
Pirozzolo may have a better shot at the mid-Island City Council seat, which has been consistently occupied by Republicans.
Also seeking GOP voters’ support for a 2021 primary is George Wonica, a realtor and registered Conservative who plans to run for both the Conservative and Republican ballot lines.
“That’s fine,” Pirozzolo said. “Primaries are healthy.”
Suing for Schools
“T” also happens to be Pirrozolo’s middle initial, for Thomas — and sure enough, an image of his iconic red, white and blue lawn sign features prominently on his website and in campaign literature.
“This man has just done tremendous things,” he said of the president. “Staten Island was pro-Trump, so it would be foolish for anybody to think that opposing Trump in a Republican run for office is the way to go.”
During an interview with THE CITY Tuesday, Pirozzolo said he wanted to be a check on the mayor and the City Council’s progressive policies. He’s opposed to politicians receiving pensions and pondered whether Gracie Mansion would be better used as a homeless shelter.
He railed against Council attempts to rein in single-use plastic straws, and said the city has slid back in dealing with homelessnes. As for the mayor, Pirozzolo sees de Blasio as too hostile to the NYPD and too cozy with the United Federation of Teachers.
“The quality of life for the New Yorkers in the lower income segments has diminished terribly under the de Blasio administration,” said Pirozzolo.
Pirozzolo served for seven years as president of Staten Island’s Community Education Council, an advisory body to the city Department of Education.
At the CEC, he called for buzzer entry systems at the main entrance of all public schools and successfully petitioned the city Education Department to put gifted-and-talented classes in Staten Island middle schools.
A ‘Feeling of Community’
As vice president of the grassroots New York City Parents Union, he’s a plaintiff in two lawsuits: Davids v. State of New York, which challenges teacher tenure laws; and New Yorkers for Students’ Educational Rights v. State of New York, which seeks to compel the state to release additional funds to New York City schools.
“I have already accomplished in my professional career and in education, what other candidates would be talking about wanting to do,” said Pirozzolo.
The small business owner said he wants to bring “kitchen table” issues back to city politics, such as paving roads, expanding transportation options and reducing property taxes. He’s already advertising a local phone number where he takes calls from voters directly.
“I want Staten Island to remain a nice place to live for my children and my grandchildren,” said Pirozzolo, a lifelong Staten Islander. “I want to preserve that special feeling of community.”