The Juniper Park Civic Association is proud to announce that State Senator Serphin R. Maltese has been selected as “Man of the Year for 2001.”
Senator Maltese was first elected to the New York State Senate in November of 1988. He was recently reelected to his seventh term on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines. He represents the 15th Senatorial District in Queens County in the City of New York, which includes the communities of Forest Hills Gardens, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, Old Howard Beach, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, and parts of Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, South Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Sunnyside and Woodside; serving over 300,000 constituents.
Born in Corona, New York on December 7, 1932, Senator Maltese graduated from P.S. 63, JHS 64 and Stuyvesant High School. After his military service, he went to Manhattan College on a Regents Scholarship and the G.I. Bill, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was awarded a War Service Scholarship and received his LL.B. and J.D. degrees from Fordham University Law School. Senator Maltese was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1963 and admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senator Maltese is an Infantry Veteran of the Korean War and a member of the American Legion, Catholic War Veterans, Korean War Veterans Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His active role in veterans affairs prompted his appointment during his first term as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Veterans. He is currently a member of the American Legion's National Legislative Council.
As a Senator, Mr. Maltese has distinguished himself as a leading advocate not only for veterans throughout the state, but also for senior citizens and the middle class. He has been instrumental in the enactment of many significant initiatives to benefit these groups. In his second term, he served as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection. Prior to his election, Senator Maltese served as Queens Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau. His law enforcement experience and background led to his appointment as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction in his third term.
Upon seeking reelection to his second term, Senator Maltese was opposed by political bosses in Queens who objected to his independent stance on behalf of his constituents, forcing him to seek nomination by write-in vote. In the largest primary write-in vote in our nation’s history and with no other race on the ballot, Senator Maltese won renomination over his opponent by an astounding 6,243 to 237 margin.
In 1969, Senator Maltese was active as a citywide coordinator for State Senator John Marchi's mayoral bid and in 1970 he became Law Chairman and Election Law Advisor to U.S. Senator James L. Buckley. He served as Counsel to U.S. Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato and was elected a New York State Reagan-Bush Elector in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections. He also served as New York State Chairman for Conservatives for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and also served for seven years as a member of Senator D'Amato's Federal Judicial Selection Panel. He has served for more than fifteen years on the National Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union.
A co-founder of the New York State Conservative Party in 1962, Senator Maltese became Executive Director of the New York State Conservative Party in 1971 and Chairman of the Queens County Conservative Party in 1972. He was elected to the position of State Chairman of the party in 1986, a position in which he served until his election as Senator, when he voluntarily relinquished that post.
Senator Maltese's experience and interest in election law led to his appointment as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Elections in 1995. He was reappointed Chairman as he began his seventh term in 2001 and also serves on the following Senate Committees: Aging; Cities; Civil Service and Pensions; Codes; Higher Education; Housing and Community Development; and Investigations, and Government Operations. He is the only Senate Majority member from New York City on the Higher Education and Housing & Community Development Committees. In addition to his standing committee assignments, Senator Maltese serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Majority Task Force on Defense Spending in New York State and is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council's Task Force on Criminal Justice.
The Senator is affiliated with many civic and community organizations, including the Juniper Park Civic Association; Glendale Kiwanis; Queens Chamber of Commerce; Sons of Italy-Mario Lanza Lodge; Alpha Phi Delta; Americans of Italian Heritage; Belmonte-Mezzagno Benevolent Society; Italian Charities; and previously served as counsel to the New York State Commission on the Deaf and Multiply Impaired.
The Senator is also an Executive Board Member of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association and he has been serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Christ the King Regional High School since 1976.
Senator Maltese is past president of the New York Conference of Italian American State Legislators. He served as liaison for the Columbus Countdown Quincentennial Program and is an Honorary Chairman of the Italian American Professional Business Association. Senator Maltese also serves as Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party and was recently elected as a Delegate to the Year 2000 Republican National Convention by the largest margin in the entire City of New York.
In addition to the many awards received by Senator Maltese, he was recently recognized by St. John's University as the recipient of their prestigious President's Medal and by LaGuardia Community College with their distinguished President's Medal. He was named “Man of the Year” by the Commission for Social Justice and was recently presented with the New York State Catholic Conference’s Year 2000 Public Policy Award for his courageous public service in defense of innocent human life and in furtherance of educational choice.
He married the former Constance Mary DelVecchio on August 27, 1955 and they recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. Constance is a renowned portrait artist and is well known for her award-winning “Age of Discovery” and “American Women” portrait series, the latter which is exhibited in connection with Women's History Month celebrations. They reside in Middle Village, Queens. They have two daughters, Andrea Maltese Spanarkel and Leslie Maltese McGill, and Serf and Constance take great pride in them, their husbands, Arthur and Jim and their achievements. Leslie and Jim have presented the Senator and Mrs. Maltese with two granddaughters, Sondra Elizabeth and Eva Daly, and a grandson James Francis McGill. Andrea and Arthur have added to their happiness with Genevieve Frances Spanarkel.
Past recipients of the Juniper Park Civic Association’s “Man of the Year” award have included: Councilman Thomas V. Ognibene (1996), Governor George E. Pataki (1997), Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (1998), Francis J. Principe (1999), NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi (2000).