For the past 15 years, she has served as the executive director of Forest Park Senior Center, and every year the center has fought to stay open, it’s taught Caltabiano a thing or two about stretching dollars.
"I’ve been able to run this senior center on less money than when I first got here,” said Caltabiano. “In Albany, they need to go on a budget and streamline their expenses, and I think I can bring the perspective that I've had over the last 30 years to this position."
Three decades of service include 12 years spent on the former Community School Board 27; 15 years on Community Board 9; and, for the last two years, as State Committee Woman of the 38th Assembly District.
If that isn’t proof enough of how hard she works, if elected, Caltabiano would propose that state legislators spend more time in Albany. She pointed to this year’s legislative schedule, noting that the total number of days lawmakers will be in Albany from January through June total up to little more than a month.
"The way it is now, we need them up there more,” she said. “How in the world can they do a
multi-billion dollar budget in 31 days?"
While Caltabiano served as chairperson of CB9’s Transportation Committee, she noticed that a street she often drove on to connect to Woodhaven Boulevard was dangerous because it was on an incline and drivers would often speed down the street trying to beat the traffic lights. She proposed that it be converted into a one-way street coming from Woodhaven Boulevard, and although it was an unpopular decision that inconvenienced many drivers including herself, it was the safest option.
“As a mother you put your things off to the side and you put your children ahead of yourself,” she said. “That's what our elected officials need to do, put their constituents ahead of themselves, and they don't."
Caltabiano realizes that running as a Republican has its drawbacks, but she remains confident that it’s her record that defines her, not her party.
“If they remember the things I've done or see the things that I'm doing now, they're the people that are going to go across the lines,” said Caltabiano. “Once they meet me I think they're going to like me. That's the impression I have."