What You Should Know By Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz 32nd Senatorial District
Bronx County, New York
The Bronx is not a colony.
You should know that I am just calling it the way I see it: the way the district lines have been drawn for New York’s Congressional seats indicates to me that there are some people who still believe in colonies.
I respectfully suggest that it is time for Bronx County Chair Carl Heastie and Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. to call for a meeting of all Bronx elected officials – especially the Black and Hispanic officials – to be held in a private room and really find out where people stand. It is important to find out if anyone in the room is trying to divide the Bronx into parcels.
Even though a new Congressional Hispanic District is among our highest consideration, we should not be blind and just sacrifice the entire borough for one new Congressional seat. That said, I must insist again that the Bronx already has enough people to have its own Congressional seats without the need for outsiders to intrude in our ability to govern ourselves.
You should know that there are efforts underway to try to extend Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s district from White Plains in Northern Westchester to include parts of the Bronx, and efforts to extend Congressman Charles Rangel’s district from Harlem to include a chunk of the Bronx, and who knows who else! I'm afraid that Congressman Jose Serrano's seat might even be compromised by these plans.
According to the 2010 Census, the population in the Bronx is booming! And I must repeat this because you should know that the Bronx is booming because of the hard work and dedication of Bronx elected leaders and representatives who created an environment for people to come to live in the Bronx.
No matter what parcel they may be trying to give away to undermine the Black and Hispanic achievements in the Bronx – political and otherwise – we should realize that this tactic harkens back to the Reconstruction Era when gerrymandering was used to dilute the new found political strength of African Americans in the South. What a disgrace to try to impose these efforts - against our will - now as we celebrate Black Heritage Month!
If all of us in the Bronx come together and speak as one, we can stop what they’re trying to do to the Bronx. We all see what they are doing in Queens: while everyone is keeping quiet, the State Senate seat occupied by Senator José Peralta is being thrown to the wolves.
We in the Bronx cannot accept this. We should not allow it. It is not right, and it should be stopped.
I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.