Carrying the Torch for the Republican Party

By Phil Orenstein
President, Queens Village Republican Club

Lt. Col. Allen West speaking at Lincoln Dinner

Years ago, former Congressman Lt. Col. Allen West, gave an encouraging message to the Queens Village Republican Club: “As the oldest GOP club in America, it is your duty to carry the torch for the Republican Party and its core principles for the whole nation.” Since he spoke those words as keynote speaker at our 2009 Lincoln Dinner, we have accomplished a great deal on a path to a brighter future for Queens and beyond. The latest election results show that many parts of Queens flipped from Democrat to Republican over the past few years (see diagram below). In Queens County where Democrats outnumber Republicans 6 to 1, many people got tired of the Democrat’s lies, false promises, crime, and chaos. They saw reality and voted accordingly.

I believe our club has played a role in this remarkable development, as we are making waves and carrying the torch far beyond Queens Village. From our historical beginnings to the present day, the club has been continuously active, gathering friends, leaders, and patriots in camaraderie, with a common vision to save America and change the world by working hard in our own backyard to build the grassroots foundation of the Republican Party.

To build this foundation we’ve been hosting monthly club meetings open to the public with inspiring guest speakers and Republican candidates discussing the hot topics of the day. During the pandemic and lockdowns, we Zoomed in such nationally renowned speakers as Gordon Chang, Steve Bannon, Trent England founder of Save our States, and Dr. Sandra Alfonsi speaking on her promising work to restore American civic standards to our textbooks and curriculum to save our schools. We marched behind our club banner in local parades, including the huge annual Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. We’re active in local civic associations, community boards, precinct councils, and school boards. We mail out our club newsletter and circulate our own newspaper, the Queens County Beacon, now celebrating its one-year anniversary disseminating the voices of free citizens throughout Queens.

We’ve been ahead of the curve, publishing position papers on the issues that impact our lives and influence the political pundits and newsmakers of America. We wrote on such topics as the Covid mandates, stuffing the ballot box with mail-in ballots, marijuana the gateway drug, our school children are ‘essential’, the war on small businesses and restaurants in NYC, and so much more. We have been the beacon of light in dark times, giving hope and encouragement to many citizens, from the positive feedback we’ve been receiving. For this we are grateful and will continue to carry the torch and never let the light go out.

We are one of the only political clubs in America to host an annual Lincoln Dinner, with hundreds of energized attendees, in a magnificent ballroom at the famous Antun’s of Queens Village. We’ve hosted such celebrated headliners in the past as Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Dan Bongino, Roger Stone, Trump’s campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, and many others, which has become one of the most highly anticipated gala events on the NYC Republican political calendar. Look for the coming announcements of the exciting 2023 Lincoln Dinner to be held on March 19th with a roster of rousing speakers and honorees, and make your reservations!  Check our website www.QVGOP.org for updates.

Over the years, we carried the torch faithfully supporting the NYPD. We remember the bad old days of crime and chaos in NYC, and way before BLM, Antifa, and the “War on Cops,” we saw what was coming. We launched the “Support Your Local Police” campaign when Democrat politicians started chipping away at the common sense “broken windows” policies which made NYC the safest big city in America. Then, Mayor de Blasio put Al Sharpton in the spotlight, giving free license for professional agitators to instigate a war on the police. In response, we staged mass rallies in every borough of NYC, led by former NYPD Captain Joseph Concannon, with thousands participating and culminating in a march downtown around City Hall chanting slogans of appreciation for our police. More recently, during the “defund the police” hysteria, we knocked on doors and circulated petitions to support the police when Democrats in the City Council voted for a budget which cut one billion dollars from the NYPD. We led the charge citywide to “Back the Blue” generating an outpouring of love and gratitude for our heroes! Now that crime in the city is at an all-time high, it’s not the NYPD, Americas finest police force, who are to blame, it’s Democrat policies and politicians who have handcuffed our police and coddled the criminals. If you truly respect and support our police, and want to make NYC safe again, it’s time to vote every Democrat out of public office!

Since the days of our late great Senator Frank Padavan, we carried out a program of Republican outreach visits to many of the various racial and religious communities in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in America. In the words of our beloved Senator, who sat on our club’s Board, “you’re all Republican, you just don’t know it yet,” he would often say to them. We planted seeds to grow our party in many immigrant communities, in unity under our flag, and we are now seeing beautiful buds growing as many are fleeing the Democrat Party, voting Republican, getting active, engaged, and involved. Greatest news of all is that we are starting off the New Year with a brand-new Board of Directors, to advance the goals and mission of our club. At our January 5th club meeting we will install a slate of new younger board members and officers who will “carry the torch for the Republican Party” still further. Together we will carry on the tradition of America’s oldest GOP club as the light through the dark times and this light will never go out. Happy New Year to all, a year of hope, strength, and a greater Republican Party, and many victories to celebrate.

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