FRANK R. SEDDIO – Retired Judge of the Surrogate Court of KingsCounty, Democratic district leader in the 59th A.D., member of theWest Indian American Day Parade Committee, former District Managerand Chairperson of Community Board 18, former New York CityCommissioner of Traffic Enforcement, former State Assemblymember,former New York City Police OfficerCOMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: In 2007, Seddio retired from city governmentafter serving his hometown in one regard or another for more thanfour decades. A New York City Police Officer for over 23 years,Seddio’s role within the department was, not surprisingly,community affairs. He was still a young officer in 1969 when hisprecinct was approached about helping to coordinate the first WestIndian American Day Parade, beginning a partnership that he hascontinued for 42 years, serving as a member of the parade committeeafter leaving the police department. Everybody said, Who’s goingto come to Eastern Parkway? Are you crazy?’ Seddio recalled. Andthat first year we got 50,000 people, and now it’s the biggestparade in the city of New York.
JOB: I can’t keep a job, Seddio quipped. After leaving localpolitics behind in 2007, the lifetime Canarsie resident opened hisown law practice, Seddio & Carone, PLLC with Frank Carone, theson of an old friend who had passed away, but not before a briefstint in finance. I first went to a large banking organization,which in 2007 wasn’t the best thing to do, he said.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Seddio says the biggest obstacle he faces isthe negative perception that politicians face. I’ve been acommunity activist for more than 50 years and it gets me nuts whenonly one elected official does something wrong and we all getpainted with the same brush, he said. As a man who has spent alarge portion of his life in politics, Seddio admits to even hatingthe term politician.’ It has a negative connotation, heexplained. When people hear the word politician the subcategory isusually sleaze.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Of all his many experiences serving the citythroughout his life, it is the Christmas decorations adorningSeddio’s law office every holiday season that stand out in hismind. If I have to pick my favorite memory, I’d have to say it’smy Christmas display, he said proudly. At the risk of boasting,it’s the most famous display in New York City. We have hundreds ofthousands of lights. The display also includes a talking Christmastree, a Ferris wheel populated with stuffed animals and a15-foot-tall toy soldier. The extensive decorations, which Seddiosays have grown in scope over the 25 years he has kept up thetradition, have a price tag of roughly $350,000.
INSPIRATION: Seddio says he continues to be inspired by theyounger generation of community activists, specifically by theirpassion for making a difference. Every once and a while I’msitting in an audience and I see a young person who is trulyenthusiastic, who shows excitement and a real need to get thingsdone, he said. Even though their numbers are few, they’re theones who make a difference in their community.