For all the ills that still plague our beloved borough, the one issue that deserves to get the spotlight, rarely does so. The Bronx political machine and establishment is perhaps the single most problematic entity we have yet to give our full attention. It is a system that is rife with corruption, nepotism and plain old apathy.
But change is on the horizon.
Bronxites are slowly making noise and voting out these career politicians who are in the business of being poverty pimps. We got rid of disgraced Pedro Espada (actually his dirty deeds finally caught up with him) and Naomi Rivera who was ousted by newcomer Mark Gjonaj.
We still have to rally against the Arroyo clan who continue to be run unopposed (and when they are challenged, they resort to alleged dirty tactics such as haunting the polling stations on election day and influencing the outcome of the vote such as Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo is accused of doing. ) Her daughter, Maria del Carmen Arroyo who is a city councilwoman is another who is no stranger to scandals.
What about the Diaz clan who is another political dynasty in the Bronx that simply runs on name recognition and unopposed? The despicable State Senator Ruben Diaz (father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr) is another charlatan that needs to boot from Bronx politics. Thankfully, he is the last of a crew of four poor excuse for politicians that remain. His cronies in the State Senate, Espada, Monserrate and Kruger have either been convicted and serving jail time or facing jail time.
To all of these politicians I would like to say to you on behalf of your constituents who have voiced either publicly or privately their distrust and disgust of you:
We are watching you and your days as our “elected” officials are numbered. There is a tide of Bronxites fed up with the cycle of poverty which you are all guilty of perpetuating in our borough. You have all been charged with securing the future of our borough and what do we have to show for it? We are still the poorest county in the state, with the highest unemployment in the city. We are still home to the poorest congressional district in the NATION and suffer rates of asthma that are amongst the highest in the country. We have some of the hungriest citizens who are also the unhealthiest and among the most obese.
We have the least access to the waterfront and lowest ratio of residents to parkland in the South Bronx yet our Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr chooses to support a deal to not only take away almost 100 acres of our waterfront with the dirty FreshDirect deal but it is a plan that will clog up our roads which will contribute to more asthma inducing traffic pollution. Is this acceptable in Manhattan? Brooklyn? Queens or even Staten Island? The answer is NO so why would we allow our borough President to happily give away our land on the empty promises of jobs?
Fellow Bronxites, we must remain united and continue to put fresh blood into office and hold them accountable for their failures in office and to our citizens.
As always, we welcome you to share widely and comment below so that we can engage in a discussion of solutions to our problems. For those of you who don’t have a Facebook account, you can email me your comments at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to post them on your behalf.
Make sure you read this excellent piece by Joe Hirsch on how residents are turning to local activists and shying away from politicians.