Why Hillary Clinton Should Consider Making The Bronx Her 2016 Campaign Headquarters

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 18, 2011. (A2011) / Via Fox News Latino
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 18, 2011. (A2011) / Via Fox News Latino

It’s already here. With a little less than two years until the next presidential election, potential candidates are slowly coming onto the scene and although Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn’t officially announced her candidacy, she’s already amassing an army of a team and is reportedly seeking office space in Brooklyn and Long Island City in Queens.

But why not The Bronx?

If she does indeed announce her intent to run for president of The United States, The Bronx would make the perfect base of operations for such campaign.

Our borough is the most pro-Democratic of the 5 boroughs of New York City in the past 5 presidential elections. In 2012, The Bronx came in second with the highest percentage of voters for Obama in the nation and it also gave Obama the congressional district with the highest percentage of voters for his re-election in the country.

By planting roots in The Bronx, Clinton would be planting roots in America and the future of this country. The borough is the most Latino of the 5 counties which make up New York City and as Latinos are predicted to be the largest  group in America by 2043 — if not sooner — it is often said that Latinos will decide the next president.

But it’s not just Latinos that call The Bronx home. We are a melting pot of communities reflective of the American tapestry, with a beautiful blend of so many groups of people as one.

We have the highest rate LGBT families with children in the nation, we have one of the largest populations of African immigrants in New York City, and we’re home to Little Ireland too and so many other groups.

Ronald Reagan walks over rubble in a South Bronx lot in August 1980. Pickoff/AP via NPR
Ronald Reagan walks over rubble in a South Bronx lot in August 1980.
Pickoff/AP via NPR

Since Ronald Reagan, the last US President to visit The Bronx, we have come a long way from the burning years of government abandonment. The story of The Bronx and the story of the South Bronx is the story of America with its people, ever resilient, choosing to stay put, tough it out, and creating a better existence for themselves and their children.

This isn’t to say that we have overcome all our obstacles. In fact, it’s still quite the opposite. Although crime has gone down dramatically which makes us even safer than Boston and most large American cities, The Bronx is still home to the poorest congressional district in America.  We are battling issues of income inequality, health disparities, poor access to good education, and so many other issues.

Imagine the positive message that would send to our nation if Clinton chose to open up her headquarters not in Brooklyn or Queens, but The Bronx — the borough that has given so much to this country from founding fathers up until this present day with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — yet has received so little in return.

We are the borough of Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and his half-brother Gouverneur Morris who not only was a signer of the Constitution but is also the author of large sections of this treasured document and is considered the ‘Penman of the Constitution’ and the author of its preamble:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

There are many properties in The Bronx that fit the profile of over 100,000 square feet, which Clinton is reportedly seeking, and one which stands out the most is The Old Bronx Courthouse, the former civic center of The Bronx, symbol of urban decay and in the heart of the borough’s civic center in Melrose — the very land once owned by Gouverneur Morris.  A nationally landmarked building which is currently being restored to its former glory and definitely much more affordable than anything in Brooklyn and Queens.

It sits in a neighborhood where the community took control of their destiny and came together to help design what the revitalization of all the burnt out buildings and vacant lots would look like rather than let the city push out those who stayed during the roughest of the years and pave way for those of higher economic status than the existing population.

The Old Bronx Courthouse In Melrose.
The Old Bronx Courthouse In Melrose.

The area is rich in transportation with a Metro North station a few blocks away and express subway stations on the 2/5 trains at 3rd Avenue and 149th Street and the 4/B/D at Yankee Stadium – 161st Street.  It’s an area close to major highways and you can be in Manhattan in 10 minutes or less with many bridges leading towards downtown.

It’s also close to the Clinton’s home in Westchester County making it even more of a logical choice to place roots here in our beautiful mainland borough of The Bronx.

Let’s hope that Hillary Clinton hasn’t shut out The Bronx from consideration — a borough which she has often traveled through as most do from points north.

Why not come in and and sit a spell?


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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.