What You Should Know by Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Americans have a special affection for people who “die with their boots on”. We think of them as folks who never give up, never give in, and keep fighting until the very end.
With the new Congressional district lines yet to be decided, there may be many individuals who will never even get the opportunity to even put their boots on.
You should know, dear reader, that for months there have been negotiations between people of different communities and different ethnic groups horse-trading about elected offices and how the newly drawn district lines will impact their lives: “You go here and I’ll go there,” and “You can take this seat and I’ll take that seat.” They’ve been trading and negotiating all kinds of positions, based upon the expectations, that the new congressional district lines will be suited to their personal interests, egos, whims and desires.
You should know that we in the Hispanic community have fought and will continue to fight to get a new Hispanic Congressional district in New York City. I hope that after all is said and done, that these horse-traders will live up to their duty to see that the electorate receives fair and proportional representation in the drafting of the electoral district lines so that New York does get a new Hispanic district. In all fairness, no matter who occupies it - which nationality, color or creed – as long as he or she is a Hispanic.
The Afro-American community has been fighting and negotiating to maintain Congressman Charles Rangel’s district despite the loss of the African-American population in Harlem. The Asian community in Queens is rightly demanding that they deserve a new seat to be occupied by an Asian person.
As you might see, every community is hoping to get something for their people. The problem is that within those communities the expectation, the aspiration, the egos and the fight for individuals to be able to occupy the seats increase every day.
No doubt that there are even individuals who’ve actually begun to measure the windows for curtains for their new DC offices.
Now that Federal Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann has issued a Congressional District Proposal, every plan and aspiration are up in the air.
Negotiations for the Asian community to be able to get one seat, for the African American community to be able to maintain Congressman Charles Rangel’s seat in Harlem, and for the Hispanic community to be able to create a new Hispanic seat are up in the air. As of right now, every option is on the table.
To those who have already measured the windows for curtains and who plan to go to DC and are busy trying to put their boots on, I’m afraid that they may not even be able to die with their boots on because the way things seem to be going, they might not even have the time to put them on.
Or as we say in Puerto Rico: “Se quedaran con la carabina al hombro.”
I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.