Supporting Candidates From the Bottom Up

Every four years, American citizens cast their vote for their favorite presidential nominee. Whether they have supported them throughout the entire campaign or simply cast a vote in protest of the opposing party, their vote affects the outcome of the race.

Manny Marinaro, a resident of Dutchess County, has been displaying his support for candidates in a more outspoken manner. Owner of Pizza Time Restaurant in Wappinger Falls, Marinaro started to become active in local politics a few years ago. Openly showing his “allegiance” to certain candidates by displaying banners and posters on his restaurant window, Marinaro explained the importance of endorsing a candidate through a local business.

As a business owner for over 30 years, Marinaro said, “What I’ve noticed through the years is that I work longer hours during the week and sometimes I bring home a shorter pay … There was an external problem.”

The government poses regulations that constantly affect the community and its local businesses. Fluctuating prices affect business’ systems of checks and balances, leading some to go bankrupt as they can’t keep up with prices and costs. All these external costs and liabilities were affecting Marinaro’s business.

To solve this problem, he started attending town meetings to hear what local officials had to say about these certain aspects. By supporting a candidate that had the same ideals and principles as him, Marinaro believed a change could be inspired, essentially leading to more prosperous business for his restaurant.

New York State Assemblyman, Kieran Lalor, was one of the first major candidates Marinaro and Pizza Time Restaurant began openly endorsing. Initially, Marinaro went to hear what Lalor had to say. “We asked him to talk to us and we helped him out because we liked what he said,” Marinaro said.

When a candidate is just starting out, it becomes difficult to make them well known in the community — especially if the also have very little resources. Marinaro would offer his help, by promoting Lalor by going door to door with the candidate and making phone calls to the community.

“You’re doing it from your heart you know?” Marinaro said. “Some people get paid to do that. I strongly believe that if u feel the support, you’ll convince more people to vote for your candidate.”

As he described, concentrating on a local election is crucial since it is these local people that are affecting our communities. By supporting the candidate of your choice and choosing to support them, you are influencing the community you live in. “It is extremely important to build the roots,” stated Marinaro, who will contribute to a candidate’s campaign if he believes he is the right choice for the community.

With the presidential election just a few days away, Marinaro explained how although he does not contribute at a national level, he has been endorsing Republican candidate Donald Trump by publicly displaying a sign on his window.

By endorsing candidates, he believes that his business has become more prosperous. While some of his customers are very supportive, others have displayed opposing opinions. Discussing points of views, each side could try to convince the other, but at the end of the day as Marinaro stated, “It’s our freedom of speech, it shouldn’t be offensive to someone.”