May 20, 2024
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Meet Allan Grafman, Republican Candidate For White Plains Common Council

Allan Grafman is running for White Plains Common Council on the Republican and Common Sense lines. The early voting period in this race of four candidates for three open council seats began Saturday, Oct. 23 and ends on Sunday, Oct. 31. Regular in-person voting will take place on Tuesday, November 2.

Allan and Beth Grafman moved to White Plains 25 years ago from the Midwest. “White Plains has been a very good place for us, ” Grafman said. The Grafmans raised their four children there. “I’ve been active in corporate governance, and I have been active in White Plains. My wife has been super active in our synagogue, Temple Israel Center; she’s been on the board, the executive committee, and has served as president of the sisterhood. I’ve been active in Boy Scouts.”

Grafman added that they were a founding family of Carmel Academy. As an active member of the community, he was on their radar and said that people asked if he would consider running. “I was talking to a well known rabbi who lives in White Plains, who asked why I was running. I said, ‘I’m in the same business you are—tikkun olam. It’s making a great place better. I have no business interest in White Plains, I have no aspirations for higher office. I am running solely to give the people of White Plains a different perspective that can make White Plains better’.”

When asked what he hopes to accomplish if elected, Grafman replied, “term limits.” He was then asked if elected, it will be you and five other Democrats. So how do you hope to work with them? Grafman then quoted Harrison Ford’s character in “Star Wars”—“Never tell me the odds.

“I have been on twelve boards,” he continued. “I’ve been chairman of a public company. I’m chair of the audit committee; there are a lot of personalities involved; there’s a lot of money at risk. My career shows success at bridging differences and building consensus. That’s what I am built to do. That’s what I enjoy doing.

“I don’t have personal positions that will exceed finding out what the residents of White Plains want. There are three parts to that: One, what do the people most impacted want? Two, what does the greater White Plains community want? Three, how do we get them aligned? If you think in that way, not symptomatically but more broadly, then there’s almost always a way. That’s what I’m about; finding a way to yes.”

When reviewing options for the City’s budget, Grafman explained “I would see what other cities in similar positions do and see how we can amend.” He used the example of parking. “I think this was a front-page story in the Journal News about how White Plains is quick to write tickets. What does that mean? If you enforce less, you’re going to have less revenue. If you enforce more, you might get more revenue, but you also might offend people.

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and I’m not going to impose what Alan Grafman wants to do. I’m going to find out where we are on the continuum of best practices.” In this example, he plans to study cities of similar size and how they enforce parking rules. “If most of them enforce it more, then OK, maybe we need to think about that, and other cities sell different types of permits or passes, maybe that’s something we could do.”

Grafman noted: “I bring different gifts. I bring a business perspective, one of five or six different people. I will be the only one who brings that level of business acumen to the party. And that’s why White Plains should vote for me, because I’m the new guy.

“The population of White Plains feels they have not been heard on major decisions,” Grafman summarized. “My goal is to make certain I am guided always by their concerns, needs, desires, wishes—and not what I think. Secondly, the same group has been running the Common Council for decades. I bring new energy, new ideas, new perspectives and different gifts. Third, I can help the Common Council be a little bit more effective at forging consensus out in the community.”

Grafman received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University (Phi Beta Kappa Honors), in Russian Language and Literature, his master’s in international affairs from Columbia University (International Fellow Honors), and his master’s in business administration from Columbia University (Beta Gamma Sigma Honors). He began his media career monetizing content as an ad salesman and on-air announcer at KSHE Radio in St. Louis. He currently runs All Media Ventures, a media consulting firm.

By Judy Berger

 

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