August 31, 2012 — A single mother takes it on her own to change a system that is wrong, corrupt and dysfunctional. Sounds like a line from a 1979 movie trailer (ironically the year Sandy Galef first entered public life) but it is real and playing out now.
This political season, there is one new face making waves and drawing sneers from the entrenched political orthodoxy that controls Albany and protects entrenched, loyal incumbents.
Building a grassroots campaign through small, local donations, Kim Izzarelli has made the race for the new 95th Assembly district competitive. She has spent her summer prodding Sandy Galef, a 20-year entrenched incumbent, to challenge her in debate without a hint of acknowledgement as a contender.
“Many, including my own party leadership, wrote off my race early on,” said Izzarelli. “Some may think they can pick winners and losers, but I believe that voters decide and they do not underestimate me. There are many single parents, under employed professionals out there. These are hard-working people who are barely hanging on to their homes, just trying to get by. Sandy Galef does not represent them.”
Izzarelli, 51, a single mother of two, has worked feverishly without the benefit of a political party machine, has carried herself with dignity into the final ten weeks of the election season, asking voters to consider important issues such as, the future economic health of New York, funding for schools, public-private partnerships and pension reform.
“It has been frustrating,” said Izzarelli, “even if Mrs. Galef feels I’m beneath her, which is obvious, she owes it to her constituents to intelligently debate these issues with me. Community opera, boating safety and smoking bans on playgrounds give Galef plenty of newsprint, but the middle-aged, underemployed professionals see right through her. The moms see right through her. The empty chair at the debates we’ve had is more than just a political symbol.”
“It takes political courage to move forward,” stated Izzarelli, “I’m the real Norma Rae.”