August 29, 2007

Candidate Jason Murgia

Jason J. Murgia, who is completing his first full term representing the 1st District in the Niagara County Legislature, is seeking re-election to his county position.

A registered Democrat who is a member of the majority caucus, Murgia currently serves as first deputy majority leader, and he chairs the influential Administration Committee. He had been mentioned as a possible candidate for Mayor of Niagara Falls, but instead hopes to continue working for his constituents in the 1st District.

“I am flattered that so many people had encouraged me to run for mayor,” said Murgia. “But my heart is still with the 1st District. I want to continue the important work we have started in the County Legislature. It is an honor to represent the 1st District, and I hope to have that honor for at leasttwo more years.”

Murgia was appointed to the vacant legislative seat in January 2005. That fall, he defeated his primary opponent by a 3-to-2 margin and won the general election without opposition.

In 2005, he worked with churches, non-profit agencies and elected officials to keep essential education and employment-related programs at the Niagara County Trott ACCESS Center on 11th Street. He also helped secure $50,000 to support these important programs. He worked with city and county officials last summer to fund emergency repairs of the Pine Avenue Business Association’s gazebo, which had collapsed, and was needed for a series of public events.

Murgia has been a strong advocate for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and has worked to secure homeland security funds and low-cost power to help the hospital provide a high standard of care. He spoke out last year for the City of Niagara Falls to receive its fair share of casino funds, and he secured $10,000 for the Niagara Falls Greeters Program.

“I have been able to accomplish a lot for the district because I’m willing to work with anyone,” he said. “I’m not out to destroy anyone or score political points at someone else’s expense. I just want good government, and so do my constituents.”

“My campaign will be a positive one,” he added. “I think people have had enough of cynical, negative politics, and I don’t want any part of that kind of campaign.”

Murgia is known for his work as proprietor of the Orchard Grill, a thriving restaurant on Main Street in Niagara Falls. He also works as the 21st Century Grant
coordinator for the Niagara Falls City School District, where he oversees community use of Niagara Falls High School.

Murgia grew up in Niagara Falls and attended local schools before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from
the University of South Carolina in 1994. Murgia then returned to Niagara Falls to help revitalize the city.

1 comment:

Larry Castellani said...

A bit of wisdom that Mr. Murgia imparted during his appearance on Legislative Journal a few weeks ago is disturbing if we have ears to hear. Murgia said that he lives by the principle that if there’s something he feels he can do something about he will deal with it; if he feels there’s something that can’t be acted upon, he will not entertain dealing with it. The case in point on LJ was control and distribution of Niagara power. Yes, the community dropped the ball some half a century ago and lost control of a local natural resource. Now the state controls it and the community no longer benefits as it should or could. So it seems Murgia chooses not to “deal” with this issue even in discussion. This is unfortunate. Does this mean we continue to shove a painful history under the rug and not learn from it? According to Murgia’s “wisdom”, we, in effect, do exactly that. So, it seems rather than shoving history under the rug, especially on such shows as Legislative Journal, possibly we could and should ever again be bringing it to light. Talking about our failures may get us to realize that maybe it’s not too late to recover local control and political power, if not over Niagara electrical power, then over whatever may arise in the future. Murgia’s “wisdom” appears to be down-to-earth, good common sense. In fact it is a subtle and insidious form of self-censorship. It also separates education from the practice of democracy. The parties, the politicians and the particular interest groups will not do the job. The community as it chooses to define itself is the new agent of political organization and action. Of course it’s up to the community as to how it will define itself and whether it will come to political self-consciousness and power.