Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. formerly represented Astoria and served as Chair of the Public Safety Committee. As Chair, he successfully led the fight against having the 9/11 terror trials in New York City, and fought to stop cuts to the NYPD, add more officers to local precincts, and for New York City to get the money it deserves from the state and federal governments.
As the father of two young girls, he knows the importance of a safe learning environment. He wrote the law that helped put security cameras in schools and sponsored legislation to require the Department of Education to provide security measures for nonpublic schools. He has given millions of dollars to schools in his district to improve facilities, install computers and ensure that afterschool programming is never an afterthought.
Dubbed ‘The Man Who Hates Graffiti’ by the New York Times and ‘Graffiti Public Enemy No. 1’ by the Staten Island Advance, Vallone has waged war against graffiti vandals. Recognized worldwide as an anti-graffiti crusader, Vallone’s legislation has made it illegal to sell graffiti tools to minors and imposed a requirement that larger buildings and stores to clean graffiti from their property. Vallone expanded the ever-growing graffiti-fighting arsenal to include regulating the sale of etching acid and pens – often used to scratch surfaces.
Perhaps Vallone’s most lasting visible legacy is his law requiring that all new roll-down security gates be see-through. As foreboding solid gates are phased-out, canvasses for graffiti are eliminated and replaced with a vibrant streetscape. Vallone’s legislation is as varied and diverse as the community he represents – ranging from banning trans fats and establishing plastic bag recycling to his recent efforts to remove the addition of fluoride in our water supply. An Animal Activist, his last bill established an “Animal Abuse Registry,” to protect animals from serial abusers, which led him to be named one of the “Nations Top 10 Animal Defenders” by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Vallone has led the fight against the unfair concentration of power plants and represented C.H.O.K.E and Astoria residents in court, winning a major victory against the New York Power Authority that lead to the closing of the Charles Poletti Power Plant in 2010, the worst polluter in the city. Vallone got his start at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, where he successfully prosecuted thousands of criminals and compiled an impressive trial record of 40 top count convictions against one acquittal.
An accomplished athlete, Vallone was invited to play against the Chinese National Ping-Pong team on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, was Co-Captain of the Astoria Civic City Champion Football and Softball teams and continues to play as much indoor and beach volleyball as his busy schedule permits. He is also a professional musician, playing four instruments, an avid scuba diver and is often seen riding his motorcycle or bicycle around Astoria, where he was born and raised. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Fordham College and from Fordham Law School. He has two daughters, Catherine and Caroline.
Vallone has recently been appointed “Special Assistant” to Governor Cuomo, and is assigned to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, where he is using his extensive criminal justice background to help improve our State system.