Getting political in the Five Towns

Republicans and Democrats look to represent their communities

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The Inwood-AB GOP, comprised of local Nassau County Republican Committee representatives, covering Inwood, North Lawrence and Atlantic Beach, has been around for roughly 50 years. Recently there have been a number of changes beginning with a new leader.

A Facebook post on the organization’s page, published on March 26, stated: “Under new Executive Leader James Vilardi, we're recreating the image of the Republican Party in #Inwood, #NorthLawrence and #AtlanticBeach.”

James Vilardi, who serves on the executive committee, has been the executive leader since late last year. A Hewlett resident, Vilardi has been actively involved in the area for about 20 years. He said the Inwood-AB GOP is one of 72 republican committees in the county and explained that it is looking to reach a larger audience by using social media.

“We have a lot of members who really care about the mission and that’s really important to me,” Vilardi said.

As commissioner of Sanitary District No. 1, which serves the villages of Cedarhurst, Hewlett, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Neck, Inwood, Lawrence, Woodmere, Woodsburgh and portions of the unincorporated areas of Lynbrook and Green Acres, Vilardi frequently engages with people in the community.

Pete Caparelli, president of the club, said there are about 20 committee people and roughly 50 members. He said that the committee members meet almost weekly and the entire organization meets on the second Tuesday of each month at Inwood Buccaneers Hall at 275 Lawrence Ave. in Lawrence at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re here to help everybody,” Caparelli said, “regardless of their political party affiliation,” adding that the Inwood-AB GOP strives to provide residents with accurate information to best meet their needs and concerns. “The overall reaction has been very positive,” he added, about their relationship with residents. He said members go door-to-door introducing themselves so that residents know the organization is available to help with any concerns such as potholes and sanitation issues.

Improving the quality of life and keeping residents safe are among the organization’s priorities, according to Vilardi’s statement on the Inwood-AB GOP website. “We really have a great team of people,” he said. “The club needs to be built. We are trying to assist people at the grassroots level.”

The Mayor’s Cup, a golf outing and fundraiser for the Inwood-AB GOP, will be held on May 22 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Inwood Country Club. For more information about the organization and its upcoming events, go to www.inwoodabgop.com. To find out about other local Republican committees, visit http://bit.ly/2p9r01L.

On the other side of the political aisle, the Herbert Tenzer Five Towns Democratic Club is named after a Democrat from Lawrence who was elected to Congress in the late 1960s and represented part of Nassau County, Michael Turi, the acting president since 2012, said.

“The club maintains a small, but dedicated cadre of members, who also support Democratic events in the Five Towns,” Turi said, adding that the team is working on their next event to be announced soon, according to their website.

The organization was created in 1944. “The Five Towns Democratic Club supports local and national Democratic candidates, as well as issues that align with our progressive values,” according to the club’s mission statement on its website.

The club posted on Facebook on Feb. 20 that it is always looking for new volunteers and county committee members. To contact the club, visit www.fivetownsdemocraticclub.com or the club’s

Facebook page www.facebook.com/5TownsDems.

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