On June 26th, Democratic Primary voters in NY Congressional District 2 will determine which candidate – LIUBA GRECHEN SHIRLEY or Leg. DUWAYNE GREGORY – challenges the long-entrenched Republican incumbent in the midterm election.
Community organizer, business and non-profit leader Liuba Grechen Shirley and Suffolk County Legislator DuWayne Gregory faced each other Monday, June 4, in a debate held by the Seaford Wantagh Democratic Club at Levittown Hall.
The two Democrats, not surprisingly, have much more in common than not, but there are differences and points they each stressed.
Gregory is the Majority Leader of the Suffolk County Legislature, where he’s been legislator for the 15th District since 2008, compared to Grechen Shirley who hasn’t held an elected office.
Grechen Shirley’s fundraising efforts have been more successful; plus, the mother of two toddlers recently gained national attention when she became the first female congressional candidate to get FEC approval to use campaign donations for childcare when she’s working on her campaign.
The following short videos – each about 5 minutes – are Gregory’s and Grechen Shirley’s closing statements, and give insights about the candidates and the goals each would have if elected to congress:
VIDEO – DuWayne Gregory’s closing statement:
VIDEO – Liuba Grechen Shirley’s closing statement:
The candidates most forcefully voiced opposition for their Republican opponent running for his 14th term, Rep. Pete King, a politician they agreed neither reflects the values, nor serves the needs, of his constituents well.
When an audience member asked Gregory and Grechen Shirley what would happen if he or she didn’t win the June 26th primary – each promised to support the winner’s campaign to unseat King.
[DISCLOSURE: Photography I’ve done for Grechen Shirley has appeared elsewhere, but nowhere on this blog.]
On each anniversary of September 11, 2001, but not only on each anniversary, I remember the events of that day and how they’ve changed our world.
On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a week or so into the new school year at Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, Long Island. Except for our class computers suddenly losing internet access early that morning, it began as an ordinary Tuesday.
Then, as students passed from one class to another, a few of my writing students came in announcing news they’d heard on the radio in art class: “Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers!”
“What?!” I said. “Well… one plane might have that sort of accident, but not two – the same day. Someone must’ve heard the info wrong.”
But, over the loudspeaker later that morning, our principal, Fino Celano, gave us the news – calmly, solemnly – of the terrorist attacks on Manhattan’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon… then the plane crash in the Pennsylvania field. No one had heard the info wrong.
When I got home from school that afternoon, the tile floors our construction workers had ripped up from the kitchen and surrounding rooms the day before were more scattered than stacked. We were replacing our radiant in-floor heating, and the ground floor looked “like a bomb went off” – though I felt guilty even having that thought.
So the night of September 11, 2001, my husband Len, my older daughter Sue and I ate dinner at a local cafe.
Throughout the meal we watched the news coverage of the attacks on the TV up in the corner, and whispered “Nightmare… surreal… oh my god….”
My younger daughter Laurie was at college in Westchester. During one of our calls later that week, I told her I wanted to get her a cell phone, especially because of her trips between college and home.
Though she didn’t think she needed one, by the end of the call she understood that her mom really needed her to have one.
UPDATEJuly 30, 2019: Head of the U.S. Executive Branch signed bi-partisan 9/11 Victim Compensation bill: “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”