Perhaps a week or so later I sent him an e-mail asking him if he might consider sponsoring a resolution on Tibet and calling for the U.S. to pull out of the Beijing Olympics, an issue that brought on protests in many cities around the world and later a speedily crushed uprising in Lhasa, the capital of occupied Tibet. Perhaps a week or so later I received a reply indicating that Mr. Avella was prepared to introduce such a resolution and asking that I arrange for him to meet with me and a number of Tibetan people here. The meeting with Councilman Avella, involving the activist Dhondup Namgyal Khorko, two other members of the U.S. Tibet Committee, and me lasted about an hour.
During the following weeks there were numerous e-mails and telephone calls among Mr. Avella, the U.S.T.C. representatives, and me. And so with the energetic help of Mr. Avella's legislative director, Rebecca Sheehan, a resolution was completed and submitted for consideration. Both Mr. Avella and I were well aware that no bill could come up for a Council vote if Christine Quinn was opposed. The result, in an era where the term "right to life" has become a matter of interpretation, was that the bill suffered a political abortion.
Mr. Avella, who believes that the right to life isn't limited to the politically protected, has been a strong advocate for tenant's rights, fair taxation, the economically marginalized, and, in a rarity in the Council, animal rights as he led the fight to end the abuse endured by the carriage horses who escort those who can afford the considerable charges through Central Park.
I look forward to State Senator Avella's activities on such issues as the budget and monies existing in the almost never publicized Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR's), affordable housing, tax reform, and of course the major health and environmental nemesis of "fracking", which represents one of the most important confrontations between corporate (gas and oil) power and the public good affecting New Yorkers upstate and downstate in years, among other issues.
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