2009-04-15 / Features

Ferraro Endorses Gioia For PA Post

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Councilmember Eric Gioia with President Bill Clinton and former Congressmember Geraldine Ferraro. Councilmember Eric Gioia with President Bill Clinton and former Congressmember Geraldine Ferraro. City Councilmember Eric Gioia received a major boost in his campaign for New York City Public Advocate with a recent endorsement from former Congressmember Geraldine Ferraro. Ferraro was accompanied by former President Bill Clinton when she urged Gioia's election this fall.

Gioia once worked for Clinton when he was president, serving in his administration as a deputy counsel while he attended law school at Georgetown University in Washington.

In making the endorsement, Ferraro stated, "In this economy, our next Public Advocate will have the responsibility to make sure working New Yorkers have a voice in City Hall and Eric Gioia is uniquely qualified to be that voice."

Pointing out that Gioia worked his way through New York University, Ferraro stated: "There is no doubt that Eric understands what it means to struggle in order to make ends meet. And he has taken that experience to the city council, where he has worked to cut government waste, inefficiency and mismanagement and has focused on cutting bureaucratic red tape so that working parents can get Food Stamps for their families."

Ferraro served three terms in Congress, from 1979 to 1984, representing a Queens district which included much of Gioia's Long Island City area. In 1984, she became the first female vice presidential candidate of a major party, running on the Democratic line.

Ferraro, an attorney, resided in Forest Hills Gardens when she ran for Congress. She now lives in Manhattan.

Gioia, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Public Advocate, is presently in his eighth year of service in the council. In accepting Ferraro's endorsement, he said Ferraro had inspired him to public service with her congressional career. He recalled: "I've known Ms. Ferraro since I was a small boy, when she'd come buy flowers in my family's shop on Roosevelt Avenue. She showed me that a working-class kid who never grew up with much could participate at the highest levels of government—even against incredible odds.

"Throughout her storied career, Ms. Ferraro has consistently fought against inequality and stood up for human rights. She is a true American hero."

Gioia has also been endorsed by six labor unions, including three NYPD line organizations. Along with labor support, Gioia has developed the largest grassroots network of any candidate in the city by virtue of thousands of campaign contributors whose average contribution is $10.

Among Gioia's possible opponents for the Democratic nomination is former Public Advocate Mark Green.

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