Tomorrow, Tuesday September 12th is primary day and our city, our borough’s future is at stake. This isn’t hyperbole but a statement of fact as dysfunctional and ineffective Albany politicians like NYS Senator Ruben Diaz, NYS Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, and NYS Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj are attempting to bully their way into the New York City Council.
It is our responsibility as decent citizens not to let this happen which will leave a lasting legacy of harm on our city which has come so far for everyone.
That is why we are happy to endorse the following individuals in the following hottest races in The Bronx:
Diana Ayala, City Council District 8 (El Barrio/East Harlem, Mott Haven, Port Morris, Concourse, Highbridge, Longwood)
With all of the issues facing district 8 (which is being vacated by term-limited NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito) from health crisis to the opioid epidemic, homelessness, and gentrification just to name a few, we need someone who is not only intimately aware of these issues but someone who has been working boots on the ground in our neighborhoods and no one on this ballot is more better prepared and informed than Diana Ayala.
A survivor of domestic violence who also has lived through the shelter system and in NYCHA, Ayala is literally the face of District 8 making it more clearly why we need actual representation who we can be confident that will best represent us.
Ayala’s track record first as Constituent Services Director and then Deputy Chief of Staff for NYC Council Speaker Mark-Viverito has already shown us some of what she’s capable of accomplishing together with the community from her commitment to our senior population, especially in Mott Haven to her fight against the scourge of K2 which led to legislation passed by the Council to combat against this epidemic, shows us that she is more than capable of doing the work necessary for the betterment of our communities.
John Doyle, City Council District 13 (Allerton, City Island, Country Club, Edgewater Park, Ferry Point, Locust Point, Morris Park, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Parkway, Schuylerville, Silver Beach, Spencer Estates, Throggs Neck, Van Nest, Waterbury LaSalle, Westchester Square, Zerega)
The Bronx’s geographically largest city district is currently led by term-limited Jimmy Vacca and the race is one of the most crowded in our borough and although there are a couple of qualified candidates to represent this part of The Bronx there is no one better suited or prepared than John Doyle.
District 13 is diverse in not just the basic demographics of ethnic backgrounds but it is also economically diverse as well as politically with a one of the largest concentrations of Republican voters and although Doyle is a Democrat through and through, he has demonstrated being able to work with everyone and bring consensus to the issues that matter to the communities of the East Bronx.
If the people of District 13 are truly concerned about issues like over-development then they should stay away from NYS Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj who has bullied his way into the campaign through the backings of the Bronx Democratic machine as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars ($716,469 to be exact breaking all city council records and where is that money coming from you ask? Almost $100,000 from real estate interests who know Gjonaj will side with them when it comes to rezonings and over-development). Remember Gjonaj’s roots as a real estate broker and one of the wealthiest lawmakers in the state and ask yourself if he’s TRULY looking out for you and your pockets or his.
Randy Abreu, City Council District 14 (Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham, Kingsbridge)
The issues of District 14 have only gotten worse under current Council member Fernando Cabrera but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise from a highly homophobic man who actually endorsed Uganda’s anti-gay policies which includes the death penalty for members of the LGBTQ community.
This is not to mention that residents of District 14 are some of the most rent-burdened in NYC making them even more vulnerable to the forces of gentrification but during his tenure, things have gotten only worse. Cabrera actually said that it is harder to be rich than it is poor yet his constituents of which almost 60% are under the poverty line would disagree with this statement.
That’s where Randy Abreu comes in. In order to continue towards a truly progressive New York City, we need someone who will work for everyone and not just those who fall in line. Abreu has a commitment to bring better employment opportunities for Bronx residents by creating the borough’s first Grassroots Community Media Center, “…which will offer free media training and certification courses to Bronxites.”
Abreu understands that bringing jobs isn’t merely the solution because what good are they if Bronxites don’t qualify due to lack of skills? We must also step up and train our workforce to be able to uplift everyone.
Elvin Garcia, City Council District 18 (Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Clason Point, Harding Park)
Yet another seat being vacated by a term-limited council member, this time Annabel Palma, and yet another seat under attack by Albany with State Senator Ruben Diaz trying to infiltrate and bring his message of hate on the city level.
Elvin Garcia is the antithesis of what Ruben Diaz stands for. In his decades in office, the district still hasn’t progressed much and let’s not forget his homophobic ant-lgbtq stance despite having a lesbian grand daughter. As an LGBT leader here in The Bronx, there’s absolutely no way I can even agree with this man.
That’s why Elvin Garcia is our choice for this crowded race. He’s a fresh, young face as well as an openly gay man which we need to continue seeing more of in terms of representation.
For almost 3 years, Garcia worked as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Bronx Borough Director as well as an LGBT Liasion to the mayor affording him the opportunity to work with a hugely diverse borough like The Bronx in its entirety. It is this experience that he brings to the table to be able to work with many different groups and sides that we feel Elvin will make a great addition to the Council in order to continue on an inclusive progressive path.
To let Diaz steal this seat (and let’s be frank it’s stealing and do we really need to spell it out for you on why?) will set the city backwards, instead of forward. We know Diaz is easily bought and sold by lobbyists, we’ve seen him easily give away are environment and children’s health to FreshDirect in exchange for a few hundred turkeys during the holidays.
Rafael Salamanca Jr, District 17 (Concourse Village, Crotona Park East, East Tremont, Hunts Point, Longwood, Melrose, Morrisania, Port Morris, West Farms, North Brother Island, South Brother Island)
This one I’m sure is a bit of a surprise since we endorsed opposing candidate and worked for Julio Pabon when Maria del Carmen Arroyo stepped down but we appreciate seeing how hard Salamanca has been working and in many ways for the better than his predecessor. The changes are definitely noticeable especially when responding to constituent concerns, something that we did not get under Arroyo. Our district suffered greatly under her and her lack of responsiveness to actual constituents.
Don’t know where to vote? Find out here at NYC’s Poll Locator. Remember, poll sites open tomorrow, Tuesday September 12th from 6AM-9PM.