Occupation: Attorney, Vallone and Vallone LLP
Education: Queens College CUNY (BA)
Paul Vallone, the brother of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and son of former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., has extensive ties to the district where he has lived for twenty years. He has served on two community boards, coached sports teams, created scholarship programs, and been an active member of the local parish. On reform issues, Vallone laments that in the City Council, “whoever is in the ‘in’ club, gets” and wants to create greater equity in the distribution of discretionary funding. He also believes a majority committee vote should send a bill to the next meeting of the entire City Council. He committed to being a full-time Councilmember and stated that he would no longer handle clients at his firm if elected. Beyond reform, his top priorities include maintaining the quality of life and safety of the district that has attracted families to the area. He also wants to reduce school overcrowding and help small businesses through more public-private partnerships. Citizens Union admires Vallone’s connections to the community. While he is not well versed in reform issues, Citizens Union believes he has a general understanding and would provide an open door if elected. His pragmatic and collaborative approach should serve him well in accomplishing his goals in the Council. We therefore endorse his candidacy.
Education: Harvard College (BA), New York University Law School (JD)
Dennis J. Saffran, a Nassau County attorney, has a passion for politics and public policy, which motivated him to run for City Council. He ran a non-profit organization in the 1990s that supported issues facing Mayor Giuliani including crime and quality of life issues and was a counsel to the New York State Housing Division. On reform issues, Saffran supports expanding poll workers by utilizing the municipal workforce and college students. He also wants to strengthen financial disclosure laws so that politicians must disclose their actual income, rather than a range in which their income falls, while eliminating the reporting of income from mid-level managers altogether. Beyond reform, Saffran’s top priorities include stemming overdevelopment through downzoning, as well as protecting merit-based admission to the specialized high schools by opposing lawsuits that would alter the current test required to gain admission. Saffran is principled in his views, but Citizens Union believes his opponent is better suited to build coalitions in the Council that will enable him to more effectively represent the district.