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Claudia Marasco to run for spot on Village of Lewiston Board

Sat, Mar 24th 2018 07:00 am
Submitted by the candidate
Claudia Marasco gets things done, not by pushing her own agenda or by playing partisan politics. But by listening.
If you see her striding down village streets, don't assume she is just out for a walk. She is on a mission. She wants to know what is in the hearts and minds of the villagers and business owners. What is important to them?
Stopping to talk along the way, she doesn't get far on her daily treks, which often take her in unexpected directions. When one Lewiston woman expressed her concern for public safety in light of several deadly mass shootings, Marasco sprang into action.
Raising the issue at the next village meeting, she learned the local police lacked the proper gear to protect them from assault weapons. That's when she and her neighbor, Arlene Sliz, launched their "Invest in a Vest" program, raising $30,000 to purchase individually fitted vests for 24 Lewiston and Youngstown officers, as well as for K-9 Taser, the four-legged member of the force.
Marasco is a "doer." Currently a member of the Village of Lewiston Planning Commission, she has been instrumental in the planning and development of many commercial and residential projects. But she never forgets about people, tirelessly working to build a compassionate community.
During the summer, you can find Marasco at Artpark's Tuesday evening concerts, collecting food and cash donations for the needy and organizing volunteers from Heart, Love & Soul and Community Missions. And she is already working hard on the third annual Lewiston Memorial Day remembrance event.
Marasco's extensive background in community service is predicated on the belief that "Love is an action word ... it's a verb."
As teacher and counselor in the Niagara-Wheatfield School District, she guided "The Goodwill Kids," a successful community service club for students and parents. Their work was recognized by numerous organizations, including the New York State Assembly, Red Cross and Walmart Foundation. She continues her community activism today, attending village governance meetings, doing what she does best - listening to what the community needs and formulating solutions for their concerns.
On one of her walks, she noticed there was no handicapped parking near the Hennepin Park Gazebo, a popular location for concerts in the summertime, so Marasco spearheaded the designation of several handicapped parking spaces at the corner of Fourth and Center streets.
At Lewiston's Northwest Jazz Festival, she noticed musicians struggling to tote their instruments to and from the stage at Hennepin Park. With permission of the village, she voluntarily marked off four parking spaces for musicians.
Throughout the year, Marasco can often be found at the International Peace Garden, where she volunteers as a caretaker. Here she encounters locals and visitors, happily educating them on the importance of the historic area. She is a walking chamber of commerce. In recognition of her community service, she was the recipient of the Village Citizen of the Year in 2010 and 2017.
Marasco said she believes in planning ahead - and says planning for the safety and prosperity of the village, residents, and businesses is essential if residents want to continue to draw crowds to festivals, restaurants and shops. As she often reminds people, "Lewiston is a destination. But for most of our residents, it is a final destination."
Marasco's community service awards are extensive and include the Paul Harris Fellow Rotary International, the New York State Senate's "Woman of Distinction," Community Missions of Niagara Falls and the Lewiston Police Department's William H. Galls Memorial Award.
Marasco said she would be honored to serve as trustee of the vibrant village. As she has proven in the past, she is eager to bring her community service to another level.
"I don't retire. I don't need a rocking chair. I just keep moving from one project to the next project. I'm always turning my blinker on and going into another lane," Marasco said.
Marasco is a registered Democrat. She received a B.S. in history and political science from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Education from Niagara University, as well as an advanced graduate degree in school counseling.

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