Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Queens City Council Candidate: Daniel Dromm

Running for: City Council, 25th Council District, Queens

Year Running: September 2009 (Democratic Primary)

Party Affiliation: Democrat and Working Families

Candidate Bio:

Daniel Dromm is an educator, community organizer, union leader, and political activist. His experience and dedication to the community has led to Dromm being overwhelming elected Democratic District Leader in the 39th Assembly District, Part A (Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona and Woodside in Queens) in 2002 and re-elected in 2004 and 2006.

Daniel Dromm is an award-winning New York City public school teacher. Since 1984, he has instructed and inspired thousands of students at PS 199Q in Queens. In 2006, Dromm was chosen as Outstanding Teacher of the Year by his school's principal. Throughout his career, he has continuously been at the forefront of effective teaching methods. Dromm took a lead role in implementing several successful projects such as the "Philosophy for Children" project and the Integrated Language Arts project. He was hand-picked by the New York City Opera to give a workshop at Lincoln Center on bringing opera into the classroom. In 1997, along with colleague Barbara Baruch, Dromm won the 'UFT Kid's Day on Broadway' grant for his school. He has received awards from both the District and from the PTA for his dedication to students. Dromm is proud to be entrusted with the education of the children from the same community where his Irish immigrant ancestors landed years ago. He credits his mother, herself a lifelong teacher and United Federation of Teachers (UFT) member, with showing him the "tricks of the trade" and instilling in him a love for teaching.

In 1992, Dromm courageously came out as an openly gay teacher. The story became front-page news in daily newspapers throughout the city. The ensuing battle tested Dromm's resolve as a fighter who is unafraid to take on the powers that be. Dromm defeated several unsuccessful attempts to remove him from his job and became a role model for equality in the workplace. This episode in Dromm's life illustrated to him how important tenure is as a protection for teachers.

Dromm has dedicated himself tirelessly to his union. In 2000, he was selected to attend the prestigious New York State United Teachers Leadership Institute at Cornell University where he worked with other local unions from across the state. Prior to being elected as the UFT Chapter Leader at PS 199Q, Mr. Dromm was the school's UFT delegate. He received an Ely Trachtenberg Award from the UFT in 2000. He felt protected by the support he received from Sandra Feldman when he first came out. And, now, more than ever, he is grateful for the leadership and support of UFT President Randi Weingarten.

Dromm attended St. Mary's Elementary and Boys' High School in Manhasset, NY and graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He earned his master's degree from City College. Prior to working for the NYC Department of Education, Dromm was Educational Director of the Grant Day Care Center in Harlem. It was there, while fighting for the rights of the poor to affordable childcare, social services and education, that he acquired his effective organizing skills.

Deeply committed to civil rights and social justice, Dromm has established himself a fighter against prejudice, discrimination and violence as the founder and former co-chairperson of the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee. Fifteen years ago, he organized the first Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival which he still puts on the first Sunday in June in Jackson Heights. Dromm co-founded the Queens Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG). He helped found Queens Pride House. Dromm also co-founded the Generation Q Youth Services Program in Astoria.

A delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and a former board member of the JFK Democratic Club in Jackson Heights, Mr. Dromm has tried hard to promote the ideals and values of the Democratic Party throughout Queens. He co-founded the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens.

Dromm is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Jackson Heights and a board member of the Corona-based Community Conciliation Network. He is an active member of the 115th Precinct Community Council. Dromm regularly volunteers with the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and attends the meetings of the Western Jackson Heights Alliance.

Dromm is fluent in Spanish and has been honored by the Sociedad Puertorriquena de Queens for his commitment to the Latino community. He is a member of the NAACP - Corona/East Elmhurst branch and has also been honored by the Korean-American Association of Central Queens.

In October of 2006, Dromm received a Community Leadership Award from the Times/Ledger newspapers. He received the Marsh-Raimo Award from the UFT, which recognizes an individual who has shown continued commitment to the teacher's union through political action.

Daniel Dromm strongly believes that in order to bring about change, one must affect he political structure. To that end, Dromm's latest initiative is creating the New Visions Democratic Club, a progressive local party club decidated to serve our diverse community. Dromm has presided over an incredible expansion in membership of New Visions in 2007. It is creating change that motivates Daniel Dromm to run for City Council.

Candidate’s Statement:

Less than one year from now, you will go into the voting booth and you will select who will represent you in the New York City Council. You're going to have to ask yourself when you vote in the primary in September and in the election in November, "Who will lead us toward a better tomorrow?"

We are at a crossroads in the history of New York City. Our economy is in danger. Our schools are not adequately educating our children. Our streets are dirtier, louder and more dangerous. And our political process is being taken over by corporate interests and self-serving career politicians.

I am running for City Council to make New York City a better place to live. I am running to build a better future for the children and families of Jackson Heights, Rego Park, LeFrak City, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Woodside and Corona.

As a public school teacher for the past twenty-four years, I know first-hand what is working in our education system and I know all too well what desperately needs fixing. As a community activist, I have been at the forefront of making sure that everyone has equal rights and a strong voice in our society. As a district leader, I work with elected officials, businesses, civic groups, and non-profit organizations to make our neighborhoods livable.

A vote for Daniel Dromm is a vote to bring the community together. A vote for Daniel Dromm is for vote for better schools, cleaner and quieter streets, and safer neighborhoods.

Join me in making tomorrow better than today.

Sincerely, Daniel Dromm

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