A Grassroots Change

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On Election Day, southeast Queens voters will have the opportunity to decide whether they want to be represented on the City Council by a young woman who four years ago captured the heart of this city.

Political newcomer Nicole Paultre-Bell became national news when her fiance and the father of her two children was killed outside a Queens nightclub hours before they were to be married. The shooting was an accident that outraged southeast Queens.

The quiet dignity Paultre-Bell, 26, showed in the days and weeks following this tragedy will never be forgotten. Today, she is running for the Council seat left vacant by the death of Thomas White.

After two challenges based on her residence and the number of people signing her petition, she made the following statement: “We have sent a clear message that the campaign for change won’t be hindered by unsubstantiated claims by my detractors. I’m hopeful that this sends a signal that politics in the district needs to move away from backroom deal-making to grassroots coalition building. I will continue to knock on doors, talk to constituents and look forward to serving the 28th Council District in the days to come.”

If elected, we wish her success in making good on that promise.

Should You Vote?

The election is less than a month away. In New York, voters will elect a new governor and state attorney general. Nationwide, voters will elect a new Congress with all seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 36 seats in the U.S. Senate up for a vote.

So it is not surprising that pundits are telling people it is their civic duty to vote. Maybe, but if you do not know who is running or what their platform is, your civic duty may be to stay home.

A great deal is at stake on Election Day. The Democrats could lose control of the House and even the Senate. This will make it difficult if not impossible for President Barack Obama to move forward with his agenda.

To help our readers become informed, TimesLedger Newspapers runs the Queens Campaigner, a website that collects political stories from TimesLedger’s various editions.

There is still time to become informed.

Updated 6:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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