Marthone to challenge Meeks again
by jason Cohen
Mar 12, 2014 | 487 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
He's an accountant by trade, but people are a passion for four-decade southeast Queens resident Joe Marthone. That's why Marthone is running for Congress against incumbent Gregory Meeks for the second time in two years.

While he may have lost in 2012, Marthone said it was still amoral victory, a great experience and it prepared him to run again today. He'll face off with Meeks in the Democratic Primary.

“What happened two years ago proved to me I was ready” he said. “I’m not Superman, and I will not claim to be able to do it all.”

Over the last 20 years, Marthone has worked as a community organizer for tenants in Rochdale Village. He’s often sought out as a motivational speaker, and has found time to serve as a mentor.

Whether it is Rochdale, Laurelton or any neighborhood in southeast Queens, Marthone walks the streets and says hello to everyone.

“It allows me to have some of that southern hospitality here in the northeast,” he said.

Marthone says the education system in southeast Queens is crumbling. When he went to school there were no Macbooks or smart boards, but kids graduated. Today, that is not the case.

“Failure is not an option,” he said. “There is absolutely no reason why our children shouldn’t be expected to excel. You can’t simply pass to get by.”

According to Marthone, education is the key to success, but the lack of job opportunities is disturbing as well. More than 50 percent of African American males ages 18 to 64 are either underemployed or unemployed. Meeks has held a few job fairs to help them, but more needs to be done, Marthone said.

“The choices and the opportunities ahead of them are minimal,” he said.

Marthone has worked as an auditor for the government and Medicaid and was a health maintenance organization manager. Additionally, he served as a special advisor to Nigeria at the United Nations.

He volunteered on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's second campaign, and during the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, he served as a grassroots captain campaigning in New York and various parts of Pennsylvania.

An overall lack of trust in those in government to address the important issues caused him to run in 2012.

“I started to sense that many elected officials don’t know what to do or they know what to do and simply refuse to do it,” he said. “It became apparent that I can’t trust anyone to do what needs to be done.”

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