love it when people come by and
admire my work.”
Favorite issue: Holiday Parties
By day, Mike Giglio works to better the community
as an investigator for the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection. By night, he works to scare the living daylights out of
After learning he had a talent for Christmas decorating, he decided
to expand to Halloween and now prides himself as one of the few people
out there trying to bring Halloween back to the forefront as a recognizable
One look at Giglio’s home during the months of October and December
and it’s easy to see his greatest achievement. He decks the
house with more than 3,500 orange and purple lights for Halloween
and more than 40,000 for Christmas. He covers his lawn with animated
dolls and figurines and invites the entire community to come out and
celebrate the holidays. But Halloween has gotten bigger over the years
with a children’s costume contest complete with first-place
trophies and creepy sound effects blaring from his speaker system.
For Christmas, you can always count on Santa Claus stopping by, and
if you’re lucky, he might just be on a real, live fire truck.
All proceeds go to a local charity every year.
You’ve seen his flyers in your doors, you’ve seen him
tirelessly promoting his events at local establishments and members
of the local media can expect to hear from him every year. He doesn’t
want recognition as much as he just wants to throw the biggest party
in the borough.
“I need the visibility to get people to come out here,”
he says. “It’s something that everyone will enjoy, but
they just need to hear about it and there’s only so much I can
do. I live on a dead end block, there’s not usually a lot of
passing cars to see my house. I’ve got to get the word out somehow.
The local media would rather write stories about a plane crash at
JFK or people dyin’ somewhere. This is the kind of thing people
want to see. Something positive. Something exciting.”
After years of decorating his home just for himself and his family
of four, five years ago, Giglio decided to, “bust out and do
something really big.” Nowadays, he drops about $1,000 on his
outdoor displays and spends weeks putting things together.
“I don’t see anyone else doing stuff like this,”
he says. “I want it to be bigger and better every year.”
Does everyone appreciate what he does to his home?
“Not everyone,” he said. “A lot of people think
this is all Satanism. I’m not a Satanist. I’m a churchgoer.”
Hundreds of people can’t be wrong. Each year, Giglio estimates,
about 300 to 400 people come out to check out his displays. On Halloween
night, it’s not uncommon for his panel of judges to rank upwards
of 175 kids in costumes. And, according to Giglio himself, the people
seem to appreciate his efforts.
“They love it,” he says. “I get people coming up
to me from all over saying, ‘wow, this is really great.’
My family thinks I’m crazy, but the people who come out here
really seem to appreciate it.”
– Jack Buehrer
are not bulletproof, so let’s stop the “bullet”
from getting into the wrong hands.”
Favorite Issue: Gun and Ammunition Control
Bishop-Goldsmith is a gun control advocate with a long list of tragic
experiences that have led her to be an active member in the anti-gun
violence movement in America. She has traveled around the world in
hopes of enforcing stricter gun laws and to recruit people for the
Bishop-Goldsmith is internationally known as the founder of Mothers
Against Guns (MAG). She founded the not-for-profit, non-partisan
organization in 1994 after the second one of her two Godsons was
shot and killed. Although she was deeply affected by the murder
of her first Godson in 1988, she knew something had to be done once
gun violence took another loved one six years later.
As the president of MAG, she has gotten elected officials like Senator
Malcolm Smith and Assemblywoman Vivian Cook involved in fighting
to pass legislation that will make it harder or impossible for just
anyone to get their hands on a gun.
For 10 years, Bishop-Goldsmith has been a firm advocate against
guns in the community. Bishop-Goldsmith and other mothers made their
way up to Albany last May to lobby the New York State Assembly and
State Senate to pass Bill S5186, a bill that will help keep guns
out of the wrong hands.
Like many community activists, Bishop-Goldsmith took a tragedy that
changed her life and reached out to individuals from around the
world who have been affected or want to help with her cause.
Bishop-Goldsmith has gone up against gun-toting folks who do not
share her views on gun control legislation, and opened the MAG website
to anyone who wants to state their views on gun control. Since the
site does not screen negative comments, she has been bad-mouthed
and criticized by gun owners.
As a well-known gun control activist, Bishop-Goldsmith is constantly
harassed for her beliefs, but she continues to travel the world
opening new chapters of MAG.
She is not afraid by the harsh words and comments, Bishop-Goldsmith
is actually moved that people are paying attention to her cause.
“They can scream and yell and get involved but at least they’re
paying attention,” she said.
The more the National Rifle Association (NRA) vents, the more she
hopes they turn their negative energy toward her into positive energy
that will keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
“The NRA and I both agree that guns should not be in the hands
of young people,” Bishop-Goldsmith said.
Outside of Smith and Cook, Bishop-Goldsmith has teamed up with Councilman
James Sanders. And Speaker Gifford Miller mentioned getting Intro
454, regarding the purchasing and distribution of ammunition, passed
by the end of this year.
“I’m going to hold him to it,” said Bishop-Goldsmith.
She also said that Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. has hopped on board
to sponsor the passing of the bill.
– Raynelle Cerica Bull
doesn’t have a patent on history.”
Neighborhood: Forest Hills / Central Queens
Favorite Issue: Preserving Jewish History
Jeff Gottlieb has access to insider politics of
Queens civic causes as a special assistant to State Senator Brian
McLaughlin, and he has helped fight for diverse issues ranging from
revitalizing Jamaica as a major shopping area to opposing overcrowding
in Hillcrest Estates, but it his role as the President of the Central
Queens Historical Society that has earned him a place in this issue.
A teacher of 35 years, educating comes easy to Gottlieb, and as
a result he is known as a “repository” of Queens history.
He has published books on the history of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens
and Jamaica, and has been selected as one of a hundred historians
for the New York City 100: Greater New York Centennial Celebration.
But his greatest work has been in the study and propagation of
Jewish history, through his involvement with the Queens Jewish
Historical Society, the now-defunct Queens Purim Parade, and the
tours he offers, for free, of the Jewish Heritage Trail.
“Who doesn’t know Jeff Gottlieb?” asked Councilman
James Gennaro. Indeed, Gottlieb has been a fixture of Queens civic
life since the early 1980s. Gottlieb is seemingly omnipresent
in every issue, large and small, involving everything from park
cleaning to historical preservation to legal aid to immigrants.
By virtue of having worked in the offices of Frank Padavan, Alan
Hevesi, David Weprin and Brian McLaughlin, Gottlieb is probably
one of the most easily recognized faces on the civic scene even
though few are aware of exactly what it is that he does, aside
from his well-publicized historical tours.
Gottlieb is a trunk of a man who moves surprisingly swift, and
it’s no wonder that his most outrageous acts involve using
his stature for the benefit of the public. On one tour, their
bus got stuck on Cypress Hills Avenue, a.k.a. “death valley.”
It was a dangerous spot because the road twisted and the cars
couldn’t see them around the bend, so Gottlieb got out and
played traffic cop – and who wouldn’t listen to a
man that large? During yet another bus mishap, Gottlieb put his
muscle to the test.
“We were doing a tour of Jewish Queens one day. We left
a synagogue and somehow we got caught on a side street, and we
got stuck – we had a car in front and a car in the back,”
recalls Gottlieb. “So we jumped off the bus and pushed one
of the cars off the road so that we could continue the tour!”
Gottlieb ran against James Gennaro for the 24th District City
Council seat in 2001. Gottlieb, then a chief of staff for Councilman
Morton Povman, was accused of using taxpayer’s money to
finance his campaign, which Gottlieb admitted and promised not
to repeat. However, even Gennaro is impressed with Gottlieb’s
focused dedication to the history of Queens, as well as his civic
involvement in issues affecting Gennaro’s district.
“He’s labored in the civic vine for a long time, and
he’s been front and center on the scene. I think it’s
very admirable,” said Gennaro. “In addition to the
civic work, there’s a special dedication to preserving the
history of our area through these walking tours. I don’t
know if anyone knows the history of central Queens better than
are beautiful historic neighborhoods that I love that are in danger
of being destroyed.”
Favorite ISSUE: Zoning reform
and historic preservation
among the most obsessed, civic activism is often at best a hobby.
It is often a cottage industry populated by dedicated amateurs—drawing
on homeowners who hold down regular day jobs and focus on community
work in their spare time.
Flushing native Paul Graziano is a rare exception. An urban planner
by profession and crusading do-gooder by nature, Graziano combines
his career with his passion for preservation. With a masters degree
in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, Graziano has emerged as
a gun-for-hire in the exploding fields of zoning reform and historic
preservation, mixing paid consulting for politicians with pro
bono work with an array of community groups in Northeast Queens.
Born in North Flushing, Graziano returned to his native neighborhood
after college and threw himself briefly into local politics—eventually
challenging and losing to John Liu for the open City Council
seat in 2001 on the Green Party ticket.
Following his brush with politics, Graziano decided to seek
out a different sort of mandate with one of the most important
constituencies in Queens: anxious homeowners. As a vocal advocate
for zoning revision, he hooked up with Councilman Tony Avella
in 2003 to undertake an ambitious zoning study of the entire
19th Council District, which includes Bayside, College Point
and Whitestone. This study became the template for the upcoming
zoning revision by City Planning, as well as a model for like-minded
reformers across the borough.
If there are people meeting to discuss zoning and preservation
in Queens, Paul Graziano will be there. And while there is no
shortage of activists consumed by these issues, Graziano sets
himself apart in one key way: he actually has immense technical
understanding of land use issues, which can confound even lifelong
And the work, with both politicians and neighborhood activists,
has paid off. As Graziano noted, the clamor for rezoning that
he helped ignite is working: “Everything north of the
LIE is being rezoned,” he said.
But the 19th District, where he did his most massive study,
remains he top acheivment.
At 33, Graziano is one of the youngest faces to populate the
civic activism game in Queens. But even at his relatively young
age, he can still look back and make light of his youthful indiscretions.
Several years back, his rock band headlined a night of music
at the Bohemian Beer Hall in Astoria—a night that ended
in fistfights and broken furniture. By any account, and particularly
Graziano’s, it was a “drunken brawl.”
Through his new consultant firm, Associated Cultural Resource
Consultants, Graziano works with political leaders from across
Queens. But his first political liaison, one that led to his
groundbreaking zoning study of Northeast Queens, stemmed from
an alliance with Councilman Avella.
“His contribution has been immeasurable to my fight to
stop over-development,” Avella said. “The study
he performed, at a very minimal cost to my budget, would have
cost ten times the amount with anyone else.”
these days only cover bad news. Or they cover big news. But
even the worst schools have good things going on.”
civicperson (his email address)
Neighborhood: West Cunningham Park
Favorite ISSUE: Preserving Community Character
Harris is a slight jovial man who favors shorts in the summer
and is in desperate need of a tan – in short, he looks
like a tourist, which he is a few times a year on his trips
to visit his children or take his wife out to the Mediterranean.
His stature is non-threatening, but the frequent smile on his
face suggests that his stature may be intentional and that he
knows things you don’t. It’s a good thing that he’s
not a super villain, because Bob Harris is everywhere, and he
Harris has been president of the West Cunnigham Park Civic
Association for the past 25 years, fighting to preserve community
character and quality of life for the area and the value of
houses for the homeowners. Standard fare has been preventing
community facilities from expanding without compensating for
parking, stopping big developments that threaten to bring
waste and noise pollution to the area, and keeping the one-family
home feel of the neighborhood. As the issue of rezoning is
at its hottest all over Queens, Harris and his association
are on top of pressuring the Department of City Planning to
make sure nothing “too big” like McMansions is
Bob is a proponent of “shotgun therapy” when it
comes to rallying support and spreading information about
a cause he picks up.
“You go to a paper, find a young reporter,” he
says, scanning the Tribune editorial office, “and you
say – here’s the story. And when the paper comes
out you include [the article] in the newsletter, send it to
civic associations, send it to the various city departments.”
And just in case the young reporters don’t quite get
it, Harris writes a column for the TimesLedger. When asked
about his PR savvy, Harris attributes it to a few college
courses and his job in the army – Harris was a projectionist,
no doubt picking up the importance of a powerful message from
Bob Harris has opposed such projects as a public swimming
pool in West Cunnigham, saying that the residents of the neighborhood
would not feel comfortable with the “young people”
the pool would attract. He was also against the building of
a skating rink in Cunnigham Park, on the grounds that the
park should be a more natural area. Both of the projects were
stopped, thanks in large part to the association.
Harris does not eat children, however. On the contrary, Harris,
a former social studies teacher at Thomas Edison, is a freelance
public relations man for several area schools. He regularly
writes newsletters and sends photos of school events to all
the Queens newspapers, with an emphasis on student achievement,
big and small.
“Newspapers these days only cover bad news. Or they
cover big news. But even the worst schools have good things
going on,” he said.
“Bob is a very…,” says Diane Cohen, CB 8
District Manager, looking for the right word. “Bob is
a very prominent member of Community Board 8. He’s been
a mainstay of the community for so many years. He’s
really out there, as they say,” she adds, perhaps referring
to both the many civic causes Harris is involved with as well
as his occasional similarity in speech to some of Christopher
Walken’s crazier characters.
they stop laughing, I think most people feel that I’m
pretty fair, dedicated.”
“Nickname? I don’t know but the
Borough President kept on calling me Rick.”
Favorite Issue: Residential Rezoning
The squeaky wheel gets the oil, but it’s
the quiet, thoughtful wheel that gets to bang the gavel.
That quiet, thoughtful wheel is Richard Hellenbrecht, who’s
been spinning around eastern Queens for more than 30 years,
most recently as Chairman of Community Board 13, physically,
one of the largest in the City.
From there, Hellenbrecht keeps an eye on the City’s
largest airport, JFK, and the McMansions sprouting in clustered
The fight to keep the largest community board from housing
the largest homeless shelter was a victory Hellenbrecht
considers his greatest. The Board of Standards and Appeals
(BSA) ruled against the Saratoga Houses who wanted to expand
their 349-room facility by an additional 151 rooms.
“We fought that with the cooperation of the civic
associations, [Borough President] Helen Marshall, and the
local elected officials, the Assemblymen, State Senators,
everybody,” he said.
The victory, though, was short-lived.
“The Homes for the Homeless filed for an article 78,
an appeal, and won,” said Hellenbrecht. “It
was a big up and a big down”
With that, Hellenbrecht expressed optimism in his latest
effort to maintain high quality of life Eastern Queens is
Hellenbrecht is also a founding member of the Flushing Meadows
Corona Park Conservancy, and served as its first President.
It’s not easy for this grandfather and community activist
to pick out a moment when he’s been “outrageous.”
When asked, he laughed off the notion and explained that
you really don’t need to act outrageous when you’re
fighting to keep oversized multi-family houses from squeezing
into the neighborhood.
“I find it pretty easy to try to develop coalitions,”
Hellenbrecht said. Hinting at the amount of effort he needs
to keep that coalition in line, Hellenbrecht added, “Occasionally
you have to put your foot down and say we’re going
to do this.”
The word most often used to describe Hellenbrecht is “thoughtful.”
In his three decades of community activism, Hellenbrecht
struck a unique balance between longtime residents whose
histories intertwine with one another, and newer residents
still adjusting to the labyrinth of the neighborhood and
But Hellenbrecht is also well known for his sense of humor,
which works wonders for disarming the various interest groups
he is so often fighting against.
“He certainly has a sense of humor,” said longtime
associate and fellow community character Corey Bearak. After
declining to elaborate or provide examples of Hellenbrecht’s
funnier side, Bearak added, “The guy is really thoughtful
on complex issues.”
Hellenbrecht and Bearak share a few laughs, but at times,
find each other on opposite ends of a debate.
were David and Goliath fighting in the rain storm.”
Neighborhood: Middle Village & Maspeth
Favorite ISSUE: Over-development
not big enough for the both of us,” is the message
Bob Holden usually tells real estate developers looking
to build big box stores, multi-family homes, and commercial
space in his neighborhood.
Holden is the President of the Juniper Valley Civic Organization,
the Public Safety Committee Chairman for Community Board
5, and editor and photographer for the group’s quarterly
magazine, The Juniper Berry. He also has photographed, but
not taken credit for, two professional produced banners
decrying over-development that were hung from a Maspeth
bridge over the Long Island Expressway.
Holden’s strongly-held belief that Middle Village
is overcrowded has led him into numerous fights with those
looking to build in the area. The biggest fight was over
the former site of the Elmhurst Gas Tanks. The property’s
owner, Keyspan Energy, said they’d give elected
officials some time to raise enough money to buy the property,
which they said was worth more than $12 million.
Skeptical money would be raised in time, Keyspan began
talks with private developers, who planned on opening
a Home Depot, Commerce Bank, storage facility and other
Holden and other advocates used this fact to paint Keyspan
as disingenuous in their negotiations with elected officials.
That, combined with Councilman Dennis Gallagher and Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, helped Keyspan sell the 6.5-acre property
to the city for $1. Bloomberg then announced the city
would create a park there.
Holden said the fight was an underdog victory of biblical
proportions: “We were David and Goliath fighting
in the rain storm.”
It’s not hard to tell what Bob Holden is thinking.
He usually lets everyone know. Loudly. He has organized
dozens of protest and rallies in and around Middle Village
and Maspeth. In his hands are either giant, colorful posters,
or simply, a bullhorn. Either way, his thoughts get aired.
Subtlty is not the weapon of choice when battling development.
His ability to air his grievances through his civic group,
their magazine, protests, or the community board, make
him a force to be reckoned with. Who listens? Mayor Bloomberg,
his predecessor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki, and
Congressman Joseph Crowley, all of whom received Man of
the Year honors from Holden’s civic organization.
“Bob has redefined the role of a civic association
president and community activist,” said Councilman
Dennis Gallagher. “My most memorable moment with
Bob Holden and Tony Nunziato [another character] was standing
in the Keyspan site: that we were victorious, and defeated
a huge commercial establishment on Grand Avenue.”
In fact, Holden’s tenaciousness got the best of
him during that struggle. He organized a protest, made
dozens of signs and got more than 100 protesters out early
on a Saturday morning.
Only problem is that by the time the sun rose that morning,
Gallagher got Bloomberg to secure a deal to buy the park,
leaving Holden and his crowd to turn their protest into
not a conduit for other people. People need to do things
themselves. I’m just there to help them.”
Favorite Issue: Quality of life
is one of those rare community activists who doesn’t
try to do too much. He makes no bones about it: he’s
not going to do your dirty work for you. You could say
he’s a big DIY guy.
“I’ve always tried to bring people together
to improve the quality of life in this area,” said
the 40-year resident of Bayside. “I’ve always
thought people need to be involved and they need to do
it themselves. I try to get them organized so they can
present their issues. I try to make everyone a community
He’s a semi-retired publisher who still finds the
time to serve on the board of the Bayside Improvement
District and the Queens Civic Council, as well as head
up the New Property Civic Association.
Every time he drives down the road, Ippolito says he’s
reminded of one of his greatest achievements: trees.
Back in the 1980s, he organized the planting of several
trees along the streets of his neighborhood that over
the years have come to be a source of great pride to
him. “That was an accomplishment, getting everyone
to come out and get those planted,” he said.
Don’t think because Ippolito’s the guy who
gets things done that he’s going to go to bat
for you while you sit back and wait for results. That’s
not his style.
Take a recent problem involving cars parked along the
streets for days while their owners were out of town:
“I’d get people calling me up saying, ‘Hey,
Andy, do you think you could call about these cars?’
No. I’m not going to do this for you! You have
to call. I’ll call too, but people need to know
that people aren’t always just going to do things
for them. I’ll tell them who to call, who to write
to and have them do it. The problem with doing everything
for them is, if I move away, what then? I don’t
want to have people be in a situation where they can’t
get anything done.”
When Ozanam Hall was built more than 20 years ago near
Ippolito’s home, he didn’t object to the
construction of a nursing home, he objected to its size.
He organized more than 30 people to block the entrance
to the site of the 14-story building and they successfully
kept the bulldozers out - for a little while.
“We mobilized a whole group of people and we stopped
the construction, but it was only for a short time,”
he said. “They were going to arrest us. They called
the police and the paddywagon was brought in. Then we
had a choice: we either move or we take a ride to the
police station. So we left. It made us realize that
we really needed to get to work!”
Most people who know or have worked with Ippolito over
the years are well-aware of his “do-it-yourself”
policy. When the New Property Civic Association took
a little hiatus a few years back, it was Ippolito who
re-activated it: but he knew he needed the community’s
help to do it.
“We can’t always rely on just one person
to get things done and that’s really important
to him,” said Henry Euler, a fellow member of
the Association. “He’s always encouraging
everyone to do their part and to work together. He’s
very concerned about impacting his neighborhood, but
he always wants to do it together. He’s a pretty
low-key person but he’s very effective in affecting
change because he wants everyone to take responsibility
for the things in our neighborhood.”
often when we see something we don’t like, we
complain to each other and we don’t take action.
We should be about action not just talking.”
Age: “I’m an adult.”
Favorite Issue: Beautification
of Cambria Heights
As president of the Cambria Heights
Civic Association, Kevin Jemmott is actively involved
in building up his community and keeping the culture
alive. He is known for talking the talking and backing
it up with his actions in a timely manner. Since elected
as the president of the Cambria Heights Civic Association
in June, Jemmott has created a rapport with individuals
he feels will help make Cambria Heights a better place
Although Jemmott has a long list of accomplishments
that he has made in eastern Queens, especially in
his hometown of Cambria Heights, he feels creating
the Townsunited.org website was one of his greatest.
He began construction on the website in 2000, and
since its inception he has linked over 20 civic associations
and not-for-profit organizations to the site.
“It gives people a chance to come to one website
to do everything. That’s where I’ve helped
the largest number of people,” Jemmott said.
Jemmott has also put Cambria Heights on the map by
networking with other activists and elected officials
in the area. He said communication is the key to working
together as a team.
By parlaying with various elected officials and community
leaders, Jemmott has ensured that Cambria Heights
will be down zoned by 2005. He attributes all of the
advancements that he has made with his civic association
to planning accordingly.
Jemmott’s ability to get people involved and
motivated about community activism is the key to his
success as a local advocate. His first civic association
meeting this fall pulled in 100 attendees, which is
uncommon for most civic meetings.
Jemmott uses his previous managerial experience to
create development plans, and gets higher ups to aid
him in his goal of “transforming Cambria Heights
from a nice community to a great community.”
Jemmott’s calm and quiet demeanor makes him
easy to talk to and his ability to welcome suggestions
allows everyone’s opinions and concerns to be
Being the refined man that he is, Jemmott does not
feel the need to do anything outrageous. “Everything
is done on the realm of normality to get results,”
Jemmott finds that when people go to extreme lengths
to be heard it only works for the moment.
The one thing that Jemmott did that he considers to
be semi-outrageous was when he picked up a Cambria
Heights zoning map and drove up and down the blocks
to see if the homes were in an R4 zone, or if the
areas needed to be down zoned.
Jemmott has teamed up with Borough President Helen
Marshall, who spoke at the civic association’s
first meeting and he was also chairman of Senator
Malcolm Smith’s Technology Committee. He has
also worked closely with Councilman Leroy Comrie to
have trash receptacles replaced in Cambria Heights,
and Assemblywoman Barbara Clark with regard to down
According to all of the elected officials that have
worked with Jemmott, he is an easy person to work
with because he is organized and a genuinely good
person. He does not harass elected officials into
doing things that he wants them to do, which makes
it easier for them to accommodate or consider his
–Raynelle Cerica Bull
The Perennial Candidate
Neighborhood: West Flushing
Favorite Issue: Neighborhood Preservation
and Public Safety
Richard Jannaccio has been a well-known
figure on the Queens civic scene for years, and his
runs for office have earned him a place in politics
as well. These days, however, no one seems to know
where he is.
Jannaccio’s greatest achievement has been
his resilience in fighting for community causes
both as an insider and alone as a concerned citizen.
As a co-chair of the Fort Totten Advisory Board
he demanded removal of toxic waste from its site.
As vice-president of the Democratic Club of Flushing,
he supported term limits. As president of the West
Flushing Civic Association, Jannacio was concerned
with the air pollution and waste in West Flushing.
He helped prevent the building of a Mobil MiniMart
until its existing toxic waste was cleaned up, stopped
the building of a supermarket on the residential
Sanford Avenue and helped fine polluters and vendors
who take over sidewalks. Jannaccio, who is a New
York State certified science teacher and a former
research scientist, has fought for cleaner buses,
against marine transfer stations in Flushing, and
against indiscriminate spraying of Malathion.
Jannaccio is perhaps this era’s most eminent
“perennial candidate,” and he gets a
lot of flack for it from other politicians and activists.
In 1999, Jannaccio ran for the State Senate 16th
District seat as a Green Party candidate. Then,
in 2001, he ran in the Democratic Primary against
Councilman John Liu in the 20th District City Council.
In 2002, Jannaccio moved over to fight for the State
Assembly 22nd District seat. He lost all three,
but he came awfully close in his bid against Liu.
Aside from failing to appear at the polling stations
to rally his supporters in 2002, Jannaccio has been
known to “burn bridges.” His opponents,
however, agree that he can effectively rally on
behalf of his community, and that he is a well-educated
What few may know is that Jannaccio has had a history
of taking strong stands regardless of risks. In
addition to going for bold civic actions, Jannaccio
is not afraid to speak his mind even at the threat
of losing his livelihood. In August 1987, Jannaccio
was a science writer at the University of Wisconsin,
Madison, where he previously received his Master’s
The University hired one Philip Sobocinski, a retired
Army colonel, to help professors tailor their research
to attract Pentagon-funded bio-warfare research.
Jannaccio published a story disclosing Sobocinski’s
mission in the student newspaper, the Daily Cardinal.
The very next day Jannaccio was dismissed from his
Jannaccio has not been very visible on the scene.
He has not appeared at many Community Board 7 meetings
or updated his Civic Association website since 2002.
His former colleagues and political opponents did
not provide any insight, but did wonder where Jannaccio
was. The staff at the Tribune hopes that this article
finds Jannaccio getting ready to re-enter the civic