Today’s news:

BIG SCREECHER - BWECC Couple of the Year

The Bensonhurst West End Community Council (BWECC) will celebrate its 48th Gala on November 19 at the beautiful El Caribe, and as my custom every year, will spotlight each honoree, so you will know their credentials, merits, outstanding contributions to the community that earned them their coveted ‘BWECC Year” award.

The 2008 Couple of the Year is Assemblyman William and Mary Colton, and here are the reasons they were chosen. Mary and Bill Colton were married in November 1996. A life long resident of Brooklyn, Mary was born in 1951. She is the oldest child of Nancy and Joseph Stanco.

Since her graduation from Catherine McAuley High School in 1969, Mary has pursued a career and education simultaneously. She received an AAS degree in Data Processing from Kingsborough Community College in 1988 and a BBA in Computer Science from Baruch College in 1996. Mary was employed at Kings County Hospital as a Systems Analyst Administrator in the G Building for the Department of Psychiatry. At work Mary was also a Shop Steward of District Council 37.

Mary’s desire to help the less fortunate has lead her to serve as a past recording secretary for the Sons of Italy; as a past vice president of the Progressive Democratic Club responsible for Good and Welfare; as a second degree member of the Knights of Columbus Columbiette, as well as to have served as the Recording Secretary for the Kings County Democratic Coalition Judicial Screening Committee.

Despite all her other activities, Mary actively participated in the St. Mary Mother of Jesus P.T.A. while her children attended grade school. She also chaired the Christmas fair and organized fashion shows, as well as other P.T.A. activities. She has also volunteered her services to St. Mary’s Mother of Jesus School as the computer teacher for grades kindergarten through eighth.

Mary has two grown children, Joseph and Jennifer, born in 1977. Mary is married to William Colton, the assemblyman for the 47th Assembly District where they reside in Bensonhurst.

Bill, as a life time resident of the assembly district which he now represents in the State Assembly, was born as the son of William Sr. and Frances Delucia Colton.

Bill was educated at St. Athanasius Elementary School and graduated from Cathedral Prep. In 1968 he received a B.A. Degree from St John’s University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Brooklyn College in 1971. Bill was a teacher in District 13 for eleven years, six of which he served as the UFT Chapter Leader for the school.

In 1979 Bill earned a J.D. degree in Law at St. John’s School of law and opened up a neighborhood law practice in the Bensonhurst area. In 1989 he donated his services as the attorney in a successful lawsuit to stop the City Department of Sanitation from re-opening the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator after it had been closed down in the aftermath of many community complaints. Now he is leading the fight to block the building of a Waste Transfer Station on this same site. He also has been a leading voice for more funding for education, seniors, veterans health care and mass transit.

Long active in local Democratic politics, he served as president of the Progressive Democratic Club. He was also a member of the Board of trustees of the Sons of Italy and a member of the Board of Directors of the Cardinal Stritch Knights of Columbus Council, and a Co-chair of the Kings County Democratic Coalition Judicial Screening Committee.

Since being elected to the State Assembly, Bill has been appointed as the Chair of the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management, Chair of the Majority Conference, and a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the Assembly. He also serves as a member of the Assembly Committee on Labor, Government Employees, Environmental Conservation and Corrections, and has served as a member of the Joint Budget Conference Committee on Higher Education.

Impressive bios aren’t they? Next week more on the Gala honorees.

Screech at you next week!

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