Paul Russo

My father was an Italian immigrant who came to America, alone on a ship, at the age of 13. He was educated to the 6th grade.

He loved America and emeshed himself in menial work, and along with my mother, raised 6 children. He imbued us with a love of country and a quest for social justice. He was always listening to the news on the radio, and because of his lack of education would have me sit down wherein he would dictate a letter to the President, Governor, or Mayor. His positions were reasoned and believe it or not, would usually get a response from the politicians. By the way, he became an avid and outspoken Democrat. Little by little, all this was having an impression on me.

After graduation from high school I got involved with the Catholic Interracial Council of the Bronx. We would go to Catholic parishes and speak on racial justice. Sometimes, we were not well received by the parishioners but everybody was civil. I also got involved with the St. Vincent dePaul Society to help the poor. During marriage, while working in private industry and then the federal government I became deeply involved with the labor union, serving as steward, secretary,vice president, editor of the union newsletter, and legislative coordinator.

Upon becoming widowed, I volunteered and got trained as a Long Term Ombudsman overseeing and advocating for the residents of 3 nursing homes in Staten Island. Then for 8 years became an advocate for seniors as a Public Benefits Specialist for the NY Dept of the Aging; I covered 3 senior centers. Seniors were so grateful for my help, especially when I obtained financial benefits for them that they wanted to give me a few dollars to show appreciation. Of course, I was not allowed to accept the money, so they brought in cookies. Now as all of you who know me realize, that was the beginning of my becoming so plump. At least that is what I lay the blame on.

I mention these activities not for praise, but to show how my father's influence was brought to bear on my life. As he always said, what other political party looks out for the "least among us"? Democrats put people first and it is proven when Democrats are in power, America is a better place.

Our people centered Party advocates for clean air, women rights, labor union representation, healthcare for all, the right to vote, educational opportunity, immigration reform, safe workplace rules, fair pay for all, Wall St reform to protect Main Street, etc, etc, etc., all things that improve the quality of life for you and me.

So I would be interested in hearing from you as to why you are a Democrat. Give it some thought.